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Fresh AIR

Discovery by Dennis

Discovery is a Dennis Wardzala film that we commissioned through our pilot scheme called Fresh AIR – an Artist In Residence scheme that invites emerging animators to create a short film based on a one-word brief, ‘Discovery’. Fresh AIR aims to provide new artists with a platform to explore a theme, while working in a nurturing environment. The films are intended to reflect that creative freedom.

Dennis, who has an industrial design background, created a film based on a meaningful journey of self-discovery, portrayed through the eyes of an ambitious hiker.

He goes into further detail in a short interview with Morgan (CD):

MP: Thanks for staying with us a while!
DW: Thank you guys for having me! I enjoyed the 3 weeks a lot!

MP: Your background is in illustration, and you’ve got plenty of talent in that. Why on earth do you want to learn animation?!
DW: Thanks a lot! Actually, my background is in industrial design, which is far more technical.
I guess I was always looking for ways to live creativity. That is why I started with architecture and made plenty of stops before I arrived at animation.

I have always loved to sketch and draw though. It had been a hobby through the years until I eventually decided to invest more time in illustrating after my studies. Then I stumbled into the world of animation and motion graphics. I was blown away. I saw the worlds of illustration, graphic design, film and even user interface coming together. So, I wanted to do that as well!

MP: Can you talk a bit about where the idea for the film came from?
DW: The idea for the film came not long before I started to work on it.
I went on a road trip to Scotland with my wife’s family. That time made a big impression on me. The raw nature, the sea, the lochs and of course the highlands were really inspiring.
But it was also a time where we got to experience and discover new aspects of one another. Obviously seeing family for a couple of days once in a while is very different from spending ten whole days in a wood cabin, where we could hear each other’s breathing through the thin walls.
That intense time made me think about discovery in an emotional and interpersonal way. What does it mean to discover someone? What will I see? Can it be risky? The landscapes of our mountain climb gave the visual inspiration.

MP: I love the style you’ve chosen. It feels very organic. I don’t know why I want to say breathable/fresh too. Can you tell us a bit about your choice here?
DW: Thank you. I feel the same way.
I wanted to simplify the landscapes but without losing the organic feel. I used bold shapes and colours to gain contrast between scenes. At the same time, I worked with textured brushes and cel animated the walks for a more natural feel.
Another key part of the animation is the camera movement I applied to the layers giving the video a handheld feeling. Almost as if it was filmed with a GoPro.

MP: What’s next for Dennis?
DW: I’m thinking about jumping into freelancing. My goal is to animate, illustrate and art direct for animation and motion graphics as much as I can. I’ve already had the opportunity to work with and for some amazing folks in the animation industry and hope this will continue and increase.


Commissioned and produced by Seed Animation
Animation director: Dennis Wardzala
Sound designer: Ruanth Chrisley Thyssen
Music: Natalia Tsupryk