A Story About Everyone



The short movie A Story About Everyone was designed to invoke ideas beyond those that are literally shown. The main character, Everyone, breaks out of her paper world, and though she is at first frightened by the great things that can be, she is soon inspired. Back in the paper world though, the stick figures are not happy. They interrupt her fun and drag her back inside the lines. There she struggles to show her newly discovered and colorful personality in a place where there is only black and white. Eventually she tires of their confinement and returns to the land of colors and three dimensions to become a real girl.

This movie posed an interesting dilemma. How to show emotions and deeper discoveries with a poorly drawn figure? How to show the difference between two worlds? I decided to use lined paper for the stick figure world to literally represent the metaphor of living within the lines of society. The characters within this world are all drawn with a charcoal pencil which often smudged. The individual characters living within such strict lines have little definition. In the scene where she sticks her hand and the tip of her skirt into the other world, you will notice that they became colored, providing a direct comparison of the two lands.

I decided to use the metaphor of light for illumination. Everyone is no longer frightened once she has the light. She dances for joy in fact. The following montage of happiness with an overtone of giggles show her learning about music and activity, and making friends with my happy dog, whom she had previously been afraid of.

Finally there was the issue of how to differentiate Everyone from Everyone Else once she had returned to the lines. They strip her of her flower and color leaving her as blank as Everyone Else. I decided to use eyebrows as a tell. In the scene of a hundred faces, she is the only one with eyebrows, and they speak of her sorrow.

There were a couple more obvious metaphors, The title scene with the text A Story About Me, A Girl, Everyone is telling of the fact that this story of self discovery and struggle against society is something Everyone can relate to. 

It was difficult to insure that the watcher would understand all these points. For one, the video camera I have is not of the highest quality and would not focus at times. Another major issue I had is that once transferring the videos into quicktime, the top and bottom were cut off, leaving some of my thought bubble clues difficult to decider. The most effected scene being when she decides to use a cog as a flower. 

When I first sat down and began drawing I did not know the complete story, but as I drew it became clear. I had already picked my two themes self discovery and the individual struggle against society, so after having the complete story in my head, I went back to the beginning and added more drawings to show those themes a little bit better. I finished all the drawing and cutting before filming anything. 

The hardest part of that was getting my dog to do what I wanted. I ended up spoiling him with tiny pieces of steak to get him to be my actor. He did run away with my little character sitting on him a couple times, and I would have to run after him and find where she had flown off. 

After I finished the filming I had quite a few issues first removing the videos from my camera and then, getting their thumbnails to show up on imovie. I cut the videos together, and then added the song. I made some minor adjustments so the music and video fit better, added some sound effects (giggles and jail door slamming sounds) and finalized the project.

If I had more time, I would like to add more scenes between the ones already existing to help the watcher follow the plot line and catch the clues. I might put the project to music that fit a little bit better and use a higher quality camera to catch the already limited details of my drawings. 

The concept of this project is what I am most proud of. My drawings are poor and my video editing is passable, but the ideas and the metaphors that I tried to incorporate are something for me to be proud of.  I think that in terms of concept, this project is a star, I have rarely liked an idea so much. It is a bit frustrating to know I did not do it justice. 

Claire Elliot