Work / Animation

Elenor Kopka’s film noir-inspired animation takes us on a monochrome trip

Straßburg-based Elenor Kopka’s monochrome animation tells the tale of an ambiguous, spherical blob’s road trip, where we’re taken on a surreal film noir-inspired journey. The short takes its title from the song the animation is set to, Resurrection Drive Part II by Canadian band Timber Timbre. The idea came from Elenor wanting to challenge herself by using already made music as the foundation for an entire film. “The track’s spooky energy speaks to me so the atmosphere of the music hugely impacted the setting, and the action is kind of woven around the rhythm and pulse,” says the animator.

A moon-like wrinkled character meanders through dusty, unnamed roads and after stopping at a bar, the figure drifts into a unnerving trip with various lines and shapes wriggling past him. Elenor’s scratchy textures and undulating skies add a hypnotic and uncertain tone to the piece and it’s this obscurity that makes the animation even more compelling. “In my work I strive to create things that seem like a tiny part of a big alternative universe, with the beginning and end left untold… It’s like a creepy excitement only seeing a tiny part of another world that could contain everything and anything imaginable,” says Elenor.

Cloaked in black and white, the limited colour palette of the film is something the animator adopted during her more design-led work. “I used to do a lot of print graphics like lithography and woodcuts before I started animating, which kind of taught me that most of the time black and white is enough to create a strong image,” she says. “I spend a lot of time on the shape and texture of the elements in my work and when I’m happy with them I often don’t feel like adding more.”

This practical experience has informed Elenor’s animation process. At the beginning of each animation she starts out by sketching settings and characters on paper and then progresses onto drawing each hand by frame. “I try to keep the spirit of my drawings as much as I can once I translate everything on screen. In the end there’s lots of editing and composing with countless layers of moving objects, backgrounds and other elements to create more depth,” explains Elenor. This layering enhances the “shady and mysterious atmosphere” provided by her grainy monochrome backgrounds.

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Elenor Kopka: Resurrection Drive Part II

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Elenor Kopka: Resurrection Drive Part II

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Elenor Kopka: Resurrection Drive Part II

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Elenor Kopka: Resurrection Drive Part II

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Elenor Kopka: Resurrection Drive Part II