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Behind the Scenes of "Upon the Strand"

Introduction
Production credits
The Sonnet
Paraphrase of the Sonnet
ASL Script
Production Art

Introduction

This page gives a behind-the-scenes peak on the animated short "Upon the Strand".

In the year 1595, British poet Edmund Spenser (1552-1599) composed a series of sonnets which he called Amoretti. This animated short is an adaptation of sonnet 75 of Amoretti translated into American Sign Language. Not only is the language of the original sonnet archaic and beautiful, but also the concrete imagery and the concepts are quite romantic. For these reasons, I chose this sonnet as the subject of an animated short I wanted to make in American Sign Language.

Historically, sign language has hardly ever been portrayed in hand-drawn animation for a very simple reason: it's too much work to do draw out an entire language. (That may soon change with computer animation.) However, I wanted to create an appealing medium to introduce people, especially young people, who were unfamiliar with Deaf culture to ASL. I found that animation is one such medium. If personification is the embodiment of a quality or the assigning of human characteristics to inanimate objects, then anthropomorphism is the assigning of human characteristics to animate creatures. Using this combination of ASL in anthropomorphic animation, I hope to help develop an interest in the natural language of the Deaf in kids and adults alike.

Artists and other contributors in six different countries and eight states in the U.S. have contributed art, music, and linguistic consultation to this project. Please see the production credits below to learn more about these amazing individuals. The artists Rex in St. Petersburg, Russia; Kristan (kaykaykit) in New Brunswick, Canada; and Kris Lewis in the United States especially have contributed a lot of work to this project. Rex alone drew almost 100 keyframes for the project.

Because the sign language in the animation had to be clear enough that native Deaf signers could easily understand it, Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing individuals reviewed each of the signs, and the signs were changed, some many times, until the native signers could clearly understand them.

The characters that appear in the animation are Tobermorey and Katie. You can click on their names to learn more about them.

In addition to this animated short, you can visit my website to learn more about deafness and American Sign Language.


Production Credits

Poetry by
Narrative Voice

 

Edmund Spenser
Edward Hicks


Character Animation
Tobermorey
Animation Keyframes
Tweening & Coloring
Additional Character Art
Storyboards


Concept Art


Character Design
 

Rex
F. C. Stamps
Kristan T. (kaykaykit)
Lizzard
F. C. Stamps
TUS
Rebecca Carroll (Nikori)
C. S. Ragz
Atan
Janice Rosenthal (Jannali)


Katie
Animation Keyframes

Tweening & Coloring
Additional Character Art
Storyboards

Concept Art


Character Design
  Rex
Lucky M. V.
F. C. Stamps
Kristan T. (kaykaykit)
Lizzard
F. C. Stamps
Rebecca Carroll (Nikori)
TUS
C. S. Ragz
Rebecca Carroll (Nikori)

Backgrounds & Special Effects
Backgrounds

Backgrounds Concept Art
Special Effects

Easter Eggs Art


  Kristan T. (kaykaykit)
Kris Lewis (Greykitty)
Kristan T. (kaykaykit)
F. C. Stamps
Kristan T. (kaykaykit)
Chelsea G. R. (NQN)
Kristan T. (kaykaykit)
NCH85
F. C. Stamps

American Sign Language
ASL Script

ASL Script Consultation

Animated ASL QA



  F. C. Stamps
Lizzard
Brad Houck
Colleen Houck
Lizzard
Rebecca Norris
Alyssa Owens
Veronica Pollard
Heather Spreen

Overall Animation
Animation Consultation/QA



Captioning
  Janice Rosenthal (Jannali)
Kristan T. (kaykaykit)
Rebecca Carroll (Nikori)
Chelsea G. R. (NQN)
F. C. Stamps

Tech
Flash Loading Screen
Sonnet Audio Recording
Sound effects
Backend Coding
Reverse Animatic Cameraman
  Eric Rosenberg
Edward Hicks
from flashkit.com
F. C. Stamps
Jennifer Richards


Musical Score

"Serene"
Composed by Kristan T. (kaykaykit)
Music Copyright 2005 Kristan T.

"Upon the Strand"
Composed by Jennifer Richards
Music Copyright 2007 Jennifer Richards

"Upon the Strand" Animated Short
Copyright 2007 F. C. Stamps
All rights reserved.



The Sonnet

from Amoretti: Sonnet 75
Edmund Spenser 1595

One day I wrote her name upon the strand1
But came the waves and washed it away:
Agayne I wrote it with a second hand,
But came the tyde, and made my paynes his pray2.
"Vayne man," sayd she, "that doest in vaine assay3,
A mortall thing so to immortalize,
For I my selve shall lyke to this decay,
And eek4 my name bee wyped out lykewize."
"Not so," quod5 I, "let baser things devize6
To dy in dust, but you shall live by fame:
My verse your vertues rare shall eternize,
And in the heavens wryte your glorious name.
Where whenas death shall all the world subdew,
Our love shall live, and later life renew."

1. beach 2. prey 3. attempt 4. also 5. quoth 6. contrive


Paraphrase of the Sonnet

Due to the archaic language used in the sonnet, I have written a paraphrase to help viewers understand its meaning more clearly.

One day I wrote her name upon the beach
But the waves came and washed it away:
Again I wrote it a second a time,
But the tide came, and made my efforts his prey.
"Vain man," said she, "that tries in vain,
To immortalize a mortal thing,
For I myself shall, like this [writing in the sand], decay,
And my name also will likewise be wiped out."
"Not so," said I, "let baser things try
To die in dust, but you shall live by fame:
My poetry shall make your rare virtues eternal,
And in the heavens write your glorious name.
Whereas death shall subdue all the world,
Our love shall live, and later life renew."


ASL Script

Narrator:
[Line 1] DISTANT-PAST HAPPEN BEACH -DOM SWEETHEART US-TWO(exclusive) TWO-PEOPLE-SAUNTER(with expression) HER NAME I WRITE(with finger)

[Line 2] BUT HAPPEN WATER -DOM BEACH SMOOTH(with expression)

[Line 3] AGAIN HER NAME WRITE(with finger)

[Line 4] BUT AGAIN WATER-DOM BEACH SMOOTH(with expression)

Katie:
[Line 5] SILLY YOU. WHY WRITE(with finger)

[Line 6] THAT(towards name) MUST DISSOLVE SMOOTH(with expression)

[Line 7] MYSELF SAME DISSOLVE LACK WILL

[Line 8] SAME MY NAME DISSOLVE WILL

Tobey:
[Line 9] NO NO(expression)! UNDERSTAND(expression) LOWLY THINGS GO-AHEAD

[Line 10] DIE DISSOLVE FINE. BUT YOU(emphasis) EXATLED LIVE ETERNAL WILL, HOW (Rh-q) THROUGH FAME

[Line 11] MY POEM YOUR BEAUTY RECORD ETERNAL WILL

[Line 12] IF-SAME YOUR NAME HEAVEN THERE(up) WRITE(up with finger) GLORY(up)

[Line 13] WHATEVER WORLD ALL DIE-DIE-DIE(2h alt.) DISSOLVE WHATEVER

[Line 14] US-TWO(inclusive) OUR LOVE CONTINUE ETERNAL WILL. AND LATER PEOPLE INSPIRE.


Production Art

This is some but not all of the production art used in creating the animation. In addition to more sketches not shown here, there was also a reverse animatic made, as well as a scenery video, and scores of photographs of sign language modeling for the artists. Kaykaykit also made some animated concept art of the opening wave motion. Those files along with backgrounds by Kaykaykit and Greykitty and the videos are simply too large to include here.

BY TUS in Missouri By Nikori in Texas By Nikori in Texas By Nikori in Texas By Nikori in Texas

 

 

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