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Work / Animation

Ola Szmida animates our “bad thoughts” in this well-observed and funny short film

Ola Szmida’s animation Unwanted Desires is a compilation of short scenes with one thing in common, “inappropriate behaviour”. Ola has captured the bad thoughts and impulses many of us battle against for fear of being a social outcast. “Such behaviour is inappropriate because of many reasons; sometimes it’s dangerous, disgusting, incomprehensible or just doesn’t comply with social standards,” explains the animator. “Because these actions are ‘forbidden’ it is tempting to cross the border – Unwanted Desires is my personal diary, a notebook of never realised ‘bad impulses’.”

Ola created the film during her one-year scholarship at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne, Germany. “I started with two or three scenes and then I showed my teachers and colleagues. Every few weeks I prepared a few more scenes and then made test screenings to find the best order of the scenes,” says Ola. “The process of drawing the animation didn’t take too much effort, but the conceptual stage was quite long.”

Through a series of short, sharp vignettes Ola manages to create a sense of tension, humour and shock through her scratchy line animation. The way the animator has cut the film and transitioned from scene to scene also adds to the fast pace and suspense, as Ola often moves on just before the wicked action is realised, leaving the viewer hanging. “I want to shock people a little, but in a good way – to make them laugh at themselves,” she says. “I also want to say something about the social expectations, which have made us behave in a certain way for so long.”

The doodle-like style of the animation is typical of Ola’s other work in its energy. “I love to draw freely and spontaneously, but on the other hand I am attracted to thought through narratives,” she explains. “I am trying to mix these two aspects and make loose-looking animations with a strict story. I catch myself drawing mostly women, girls, boys, dogs, birds and strange faces. I prefer to work with contour lines more than colour.”

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Ola Szmida: Unwanted Desires

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Ola Szmida: Unwanted Desires

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Ola Szmida: Unwanted Desires

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Ola Szmida: Unwanted Desires