We’re taking a moment to catch up with Connie Black about her stop-motion practice, working remotely and creatively processing the Black Lives Matter events of this year. Connie graduated from University of the Arts London with a BA in Animation and has been with Nexus Studios three and a half years. At present she is working on our animated Netflix series ‘The House’ as Production Coordinator, the stop-motion dark comedy is currently in production with crew working remotely across the world.
How have you found working remotely?
It’s very different working remotely, mostly I miss the interaction with people in my team and walking around the office seeing amazing work being produced. On a normal day in the office I would always be on the go, so I’ve had to force myself to become more active outside working hours to keep fit! ‘The House’ team is great with communicating and keeping connected online so that’s been a real help to shorten the great distance between all our members!
Can you talk through your own practice and what drew you to stop-motion?
I’ve always been fascinated by stop motion since I saw Wallace and Gromit eating cheese on the moon and Chicken Run as a kid. I’m also a huge puppet fan, movies such as The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, and the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park fascinated me with how these characters were coming to life. The making of bonus features on films was my favourite part, it was one of those, ‘I want to do that when I’m older!’ moments. I focused more on photography in my childhood but through my studies I discovered pixelation, the perfect combination of photography and movement, which led me back to my adoration for stop motion.
Your Black Lives Matter and Black History Month videos are beautiful. What were the drawbacks and positives of using stop-motion when tackling such a sensitive subject?
Animation is a great tool for approaching sensitive topics with a lighter tone. I have always wanted to try and animate things I am passionate about or are for a good cause. The drawback of choosing stop-motion animation is that it’s a lengthy process. When my attention was brought to Black Lives Matter movement earlier this year, I had so many things to say and wanted to create something straight away. I found it hard to fit that into a short video and I knew it would take quite some time to make.
What resources did you draw on when prepping your Black Lives Matter and Black History Month videos?
It was important to me to draw from resources that are factual and honest, so I drew from history books, I held lots of conversations with a diverse group of people to get first hand experiences and of course the Black Lives Matter website. I was inspired by Ava DuVernay’s work alongside other filmmakers who have created such powerful pieces that make you see the world differently.
What positives are you taking from 2020?
There are so many! I have a compilation of animations on their way about the positives of this year! But I must say that one of the biggest positives from this year for me, is having serious world issues at the forefront of my vision. I tend to shy away from negative news and difficult world problems but being in lockdown really forced me to look at it head on and educate myself about the world today and its history.