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Animal Locomotion is an animation film you won’t forget

Noga Sirota and Asa Rikin were collaborating for the first time on ‘Animal Locomotion’, an animation film they made while studying in the department of screen-based arts at Bezalel.

The film is without a clear narrative, more of a flexible stream of mind – combined with different mediums and physical techniques. It revolves around the animal nature of the human species. Here is a little taste of this magnificent movie and the work process behind it.

Animal Locomotion. נגה סירוטה ואסא ריקין
Animal Locomotion. Noga Sirota and Asa Rikin

Tell us a few words about the project:

‘Animal Locomotion’ is our graduation project. it’s not narrative driven, more of a stream of mind. It combines all sorts of mediums & techniques (for example acrylic paint on glass, stop motion, found footage etc) when the main idea is to deal with the raw animalistic nature that humans have (yes, very pretentious).”

נגה סירוטה ואסא ריקין
Noga Sirota and Asa Rikin

How did you come up with the concept?

“Right from the get go we knew we both wanted to make a film that isn’t plot driven, but more of an experience of vision & sound. We knew we wanted to play with materials, to experiment & explore. 

After that, we came up with “the end of the world party” as a result of the historical context we were in last year (Covid-19). From that point on we began a process of disassembly and assembly, in which we dealt a lot with structure & making (and storing away) images, without committing to a script or an organized storyboard. In fact, we didn’t know how the movie would turn out right until the end.”

מתוך תהליך העבודה על הסרט
The process of making the film. Noga Sirota and Asa Rikin
מתוך תהליך העבודה על הסרט
The process of making the film. Noga Sirota and Asa Rikin
מתוך תהליך העבודה על הסרט
The process of making the film. Noga Sirota and Asa Rikin
Animal Locomotion. נגה סירוטה ואסא ריקין
Animal Locomotion. Noga Sirota and Asa Rikin
Animal Locomotion. נגה סירוטה ואסא ריקין
Animal Locomotion. Noga Sirota and Asa Rikin

Who were your mentors? 

“We had three official mentors: Noa Berman-Herzberg, Dudu Mezah and Moran Somer. Moran, the head of the stop-motion specialization (which we were part of) guided us towards movies & inspirations that helped us develop a visual language. 

Noa met us at the beginning of the year with a direction but no clear strategy, and she really helped us script wise. Also she really gave us confidence to keep doing what we’re working on.

Dudu was there all throughout the year but mainly during the second semester. He encouraged us to keep working how we did – creating and researching constantly, and towards the end he helped with putting everything together.
Besides them we also consulted with Osi Wald, that’s really connected to unusual techniques & processes.

All through our work on the project we were torn between sharing and listening to others opinions and keeping it to ourselves, since we got contradicting critiques all the time and it was a challenge to balance everything.”

What were your inspirations?

First of all, the name of the movie is a homage to the legendary work of Maybridge, mainly his research about the movement of animals & people. We also feel like there’s a lot of influence from religion & mythology and their representation in classic art.

Besides, there are a few animation movies we loved and they were in our minds while creating. We recommend all of them very much:

Which part was the most stressful? 

Because of the nature of our process, we collected a variety of tests & ideas from different worlds & languages that we liked and wanted to combine into our project – but the first time we put everything on a timeline it just didn’t work.

So we realized we’re facing a big challenge, which is to connect all of the different components, and also knowing what we need to let go of. That was the moment we doubted our process and we were very confused. The relief came about two months later, when we disassembled everything and put it back together. And then we had a screening in front of our class and we felt like we’re on the right track. 

LocoAnimal Locomotion. נגה סירוטה ואסא ריקיןmotion. נגה סירוטה ואסא ריקין
Animal Locomotion. Noga Sirota and Asa Rikin

What will stick to you from this project to future projects?

“First of all – the partnership, it’s the first time we worked together and it was very successful. Also our method, which allowed us to work in a very freeing & creative way. The multiple techniques gave us the privilege to experiment and have fun. And in the end – it works! We just understood that the method we developed is not only fun but also creates good stuff. We hope to keep working like this.”

Animal Locomotion. נגה סירוטה ואסא ריקין
Animal Locomotion. Noga Sirota and Asa Rikin

What’s your advice for students starting their final year?

“The work on the graduation project in animation takes a whole year, it’s a long time! Pick something that you really want to do, that is important to you and also fun – because you can’t suffer and be stressed out throughout a whole year. It also makes an impact on the content, the technique and the experience. This is your last year that you have this platform that gives you such creative freedom.”

מתוך תהליך העבודה על הסרט
The process of making the film. Noga Sirota and Asa Rikin

What are your plans for now, after you finish school?

“We hope to keep creating from a place of curiosity and research – together or apart. Other than that we had a very good working experience with Lior Soltz, our composer, that was an inseparable part of the process and the final result and we hope we get the chance to work together again.”

Where you could find them?

ווהו! נרשמת לניוזלטר שלנו בהצלחה!

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