This is the second part of the interview with the famous Dave Carter. If you did not read the first part, Dave Carter is an Australian stop motion filmmaker. His Psychotown series was featured in the Animation Show 4.
Interview (Part 2)
Philip Tomlinson: Can you tell me a bit more about your animation method?
Dave Carter: The only way I can have fun is when I’m feeling creative. I tend to avoid doing any storyboards because they limit the creative process. It may take me a week to complete a storyboard where I have everything worked out, but that means the creative part of my project is finished. I am left with making the movie. That’s why I try to be semi-spontaneous. I’ll have a rough outline but it’s never on paper, just in my head. For example, it took me 3 and a half months to finish the 3 minute music video for Pomomofo. I didn’t even know how it was going to end. At times, it became quite painful because it would of been so much easier if I had a plan.
Psychotown #5 – Oranges
PT: If you aren’t making storyboards, what is the first phase of your creative process?
DC: I always need to start out making some designs and experimenting with them. I have to test out whether these designs are going to complement the story and the humor of the project. It’s also the scariest part because it is the period where a project might get aborted. I thought I had a miscarriage recently, but it’s okay now.
Psychotown # 2 – Shit Coup
PT: Does this mean you precut all your drawings before making your movie?
DC: Usually, I’ll precut everything, characters first. When making the Psychotown series, I’d precut because I would be doing all these faces, mouths, eyes and stuff. On the other hand, I only had the characters designed when beginning the Pomomofo video clip. I just improvised the rest using all the paper and books available to me. I really wanted to give the clip a stream of consciousness feel.
PT: Do you have any favorite books to cut out from?
DC: Medical Journals, Russian Readers Digests, and Jevoha Witness Pamphlets are my favorite. Unforunately I don’t use them as much as I should. I think I might be passed that phase. I’ve been working on drawing a lot more lately.
PT: I wanted to see more cool backgrounds like in Psychotown…
DC: The backgrounds in Psychotown helped create a claustrophobic setting. The characters are supposed to look like they’re trapped. They are holed-up in their own homes. Right now, I want to focus on the characters rather than decor. A lot of my new works don’t even have backgrounds, because I feel it suits the humor better when your focus is on nothing else but the gags.
Psychotown #6 – Free Association
PT: Why can’t I find any of your newer shorts on line?
DC: There’s actually a lot of my works that aren’t online. It’s not that I don’t want to share it with others. I just find it’s more much satisfying to keep your work offline until you get to present it to a real audience. The reason why I animate is to make people laugh. On the Internet, I don’t get that satisfaction. I can just look at the numbers of views and likes on Youtube. It doesn’t feel as real. Seeing real people laugh gives me motivation to keep working on my projects. The last big show was in 2006 and I haven’t put much up since then. I’m having a public showing of my work in March 2012 and I’ll be putting up some more stuff online afterwards. I know keeping the newer shorts offline might not be a great strategy but, once this show is done, I’ll try to be a bit more consistent on keeping my online fans up to date.
Lick a Dick a Day – Mr Car
PT: Do you have any survival tips for future artists?
DC: I have thousands of tips running through my mind, but I guess the best would be that you need to have a lot of faith in your ideas. It’s essential if you want to overcome the fear of failure and maintain a personal touch to your art. Personally, I create work for my friends because they are like an extension of me. It’s almost like catering to myself because they still have my taste and sensibilities. It’s also easier than having to deal with the million of people out there on Youtube. That’s really how I approach animation; I make works for my friends to laugh at.
Stimpy’s Cartoon Show
PT: Are you inspired by any specific animators?
DC: I try to take inspiration from filmmakers rather than animators. If I consider myself as an animator first and foremost, then I’m going too labour to much on the quality of the work. I already tend to be a perfectionist and I’d like to produce the most works I can. If I had to recommend one movie, it would have to be Lars von Trier’s Breaking the Waves.