Gonzalo Menevichian’s short animation Time is a “contemplative and calm” visualisation of a daydream
The Argentinian animator and designer uses a film editing technique called the Kuleshov Effect, which helps draw out meaning from the in-between moments of scenes.
- 1 October 2021
- Ruby Boddington
- Reading Time
- 3 minutes
At the end of 2019, Gonzalo Menevichian was working as an animator, bringing other peoples ideas and storyboards to life. He was working long hours yet still, the pull of creating something just for himself – “thinking, designing and having my own voice” – proved strong and he began to sketch in his evenings and free time. Although sporadic and unrelated Gonzalo found “that some of the drawings were making sense to me,” he tells It’s Nice That. A rough concept started to form, one that would eventually turn into a short titled Time, a trippy yet calming journey through the mind’s eye and a meditation on the passing of time.
Gonzalo was born and raised in Buenos Aires, and after graduating from the University of Buenos Aires with a degree in graphic design, moved to New York “with a tiny chance of getting a job in the design and animation industry.” It worked, as six years later, he’s still based out of the east coast City.
From the offset, he recalls, Time was meant to be “contemplative and calm-paced”. But it wasn’t until he’d finished the artworking and animation, and began working on the sound design that the project came into its own, Gonzalo explains. “It was hard work but a great challenge,” he says. “I wanted to have a piece of music composed uniquely for the short.” The sound design therefore perfectly mirrors and responds to Gonzalo’s animations, following a similar pace to film; beginning slowly and building until it reaches a crescendo. What’s more, each scene has its own melody to help differentiate between them, but each melody had to fit with the next, something that proved particularly tricky.
This flow from one scene to the next was especially important to get right though, as the concept of Time relies on the Kuleshov Effect. A film editing effect, it refers to the notion that viewers can derive more meaning from the interaction of two sequential shots than from a single shot in isolation. “I thought it could be something interesting to explore in the short, so I was trying to build a meaning through different shots that are completely dissociated between each other, but once you see them, you start getting some sort of sense,” Gonzalo explains. So within Time, which is of course animation, we see particular attention paid to the transition from one scene to the next, as ideas and objects are juxtaposed and morph into something new to create a narrative. “I tried to leave it as open as I could, so anyone that watched the short could complete the meaning depending on their own thoughts,” Gonzalo responds when asked what he intended that narrative to be. From his perspective, however, it’s a film that displays how our minds wander from one thing to the next. “For example, the first scene starts with a clear and starry sky and slowly becomes cloudy and busy, building tension until it resolves into a sort of rabbit hole where some symbols of logic do not have a place to land,” he explains.
Visually, the film is graphic, bold and clean, following the aesthetic that pervades all of Gonzalo’s personal animation and illustration work. Gonzalo explains it stems directly from strong decisions: “Defined shapes and clear layouts that combine cinematic aspects with reduced colours, evocative of graphic posters.” The idea, he continues, was that each scene was finessed and therefore could work well on its own, as well as in conjunction with the rest of the film. The result is a film that is a pleasure to watch. It takes you on a meandering journey through multiple worlds which are at times mesmerising and strange, with no real destination in mind – the perfect visualisation of a daydream.
GalleryGonzalo Menevichian: Time (Copyright © Gonzalo Menevichian, 2021)
Gonzalo Menevichian: Time (Copyright © Gonzalo Menevichian, 2021)
About the Author
Ruby joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in September 2017 after graduating from the Graphic Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins. In April 2018, she became a staff writer and in August 2019, she was made associate editor. Get in contact with Ruby about ideas you may have for long-form stories on the site.