Know that sickening feeling you get when you realize you've locked yourself out of your home or car, and there's no help in sight? Or maybe you have a key, but the dang thing gets jammed in the door? Animator Suyoung Jang tapped into those frustrating experiences to create Clavis, a heroic little locksmith, and the star of a short film that cleverly mixes live action with animation.
GoComics recently chatted with Suyoung, who is a senior at Ringling College of Art and Design, about "Clavis, the Locksmith." The animation placed among 10 semi-finalist animations in the first-ever Short Shorts Animation Contest. You can view all of these wonderfully creative animations by clicking here.
GoComics: What inspired you to create this animated short? How did you come up with the idea?
I am a professional "locked out" person. I leave my key in my room very often. When I was a freshman, I was on my way to the bathroom, and I didn’t bring my key. I locked myself out. My roommates were in class at the moment so, unavoidably, I needed to cross the whole campus to get help from a public safety officer who had a master key. I was only wearing a shower gown. When I was a junior, again, I didn’t bring my key, so I got back into my room through the window. Thankfully, my room was on the first floor, so it was not dangerous at all. Haha. These kinds of funny little happenings in my life inspired me to create this short film about the Clavis, my little shrew locksmith. If he was a real creature, he would be my hero.
GoComics: Who are your biggest creative influences?
Paul Downs, current Blue Sky studio animator and Ringling College computer animation department faculty member, is one of the most inspiring people for me as an animator. He always pushes my ideas and animation until they get better.
GoComics: What is your all-time favorite animated feature?
It is a really hard question to answer. I love so many animated films. But if I needed to choose only one, then I will pick Disney’s Hercules as my favorite. I think my choice is affected by the primacy effect because Hercules was the very first animated film I watched in the theater. I know this film is not perfect, but it’s entertaining, the character designs are gorgeous, and most of all, it makes me happy. The energetic, colorful music and animation of Hercules always cheer me up.
GoComics: What is the most challenging part of the animation process for you?
Coming up with the idea. The planning is the most difficult and challenging.
GoComics: What do you envision yourself doing in five years?
I am pretty sure I will be working in the film industry as a prominent animator.
GoComics: How did you learn about the Short Shorts contest? Why did you decide to participate (besides the $25,000 grand prize)?
My instructor Paul Downs forwarded the information email to me. And I wanted to see how far I could go with my animation outside of the school. And I think it was a good decision.