Lin Tam Takes Us Behind the Scenes of Her New Animated Brief ‘Friendship’

Impressed by her real-life experiences, Lin Tam’s animated brief Friendship celebrates the great thing about an enduring human connection. We not too long ago caught up with younger filmmaker to seek out out extra about her challenge, which has gained a number of awards and has made the spherical of indie animation festivals all over the world over the previous yr. Here’s what she advised us:


Animation Journal: Are you able to inform us a bit about your background and curiosity in animation?

Lin Tam
Lin Tam

Lin Tam: My background is a mix of leisure and know-how. I’ve all the time beloved the convergence of utilizing know-how and leisure to inform heartfelt tales. A majority of my profession has been bridging these two worlds to push the envelope in storytelling. From cell gaming to AR/VR tasks, I all the time discovered myself at this intersection in discovering new methods of emotional storytelling that impacts the viewers. Throughout this exploration, I noticed firsthand how animation was the glue that took inventive tales to an entire new degree.

Animation has a method of disarming adults to being children once more, it brings pleasure to children, and provides us a way of surprise in storytelling. I may construct a fantasy world in animation and have chocolate fountains sprinkled with sweet within the sky that the viewers would imagine is regular because it’s a part of this imaginary world. That’s what I like about animation! There are not any limits to how inventive you will be. The creators have the chance to make actually something they need in animation to assist drive the tales they inform.


Sketch of Amy and Lisa for ‘Friendship’

When did you start engaged on Friendship?

Friendship began on the peak of COVID in 2020. The concept got here to me when the world was on lockdown and all people was advised to have social distance from one another. I considered how a yr in the past (2019) I used to be surrounded by family members and buddies. After which in 2020, everybody was afraid to be close to one another or have any contact by any means.

This acquired me fascinated about the chums in my life; how some buddies got here in for a season, some for a cause and solely a handful lasted the take a look at of time. I observed how the “take a look at of time” between ups and downs both strengthens a bond or breaks a friendship. I noticed that not all friendships are supposed to final, however the ones that do are priceless … and honoring these lifelong commitments are the idea for the brief movie. From this seed, I began writing the define of Friendship.



How lengthy did it take to make?

The whole course of from script to manufacturing took just a little over a yr to finish. It took me about three months from define to script to jot down Friendship. After ending the preliminary draft, I took the script out to focus teams all over the world to see how the the story would resonate with others. I realized that it doesn’t matter what the geography or nationality, Friendship hit an emotional word with the viewers.

It was really great to listen to that studying the script impressed some folks to succeed in out to lengthy misplaced buddies, how rewarding it was catching up on  life landmarks and challenges. However what was most impactful to me was listening to that some folks reconnected with lengthy misplaced buddies simply in time to attract them out of loneliness, melancholy and suicidal ideas. That, to me, fueled the hearth to make this movie.

As soon as the ultimate script was accomplished, I began exploring the varied designs of the characters. I wished the characters to have a singular and heart-warming expression. I used to be impressed by the cartoon kinds of the Nineteen Nineties reminiscent of Hey Arnold, Powerpuff Ladies, Pinky and the Mind and lots of extra.




How many individuals labored on it and which animation instruments did you employ?

The whole group for Friendship was between 10-15 folks relying on what wanted to be achieved throughout the whole course of. We had a combination of 2D and 3D animators for this challenge. We used  Toon Growth, Autodesk 3ds Max, After Results and Photoshop.


What was the inspiration behind the story?

The inspiration for this brief movie is predicated on me and my childhood good friend. We’re very totally different in ethnicities and personalities. We met in highschool, went by adolescent milestones collectively, we grew aside and reconnected once more by the twists and turns of life. To today, no matter geography or time, we nonetheless handle to keep up a correspondence. And once we do reconnect, it’s as if time by no means handed. We choose up the place we left off. That to me is a real testomony of a terrific friendship.


What do you like concerning the closing outcomes?

I like the stylistic look of the brief movie, which is 2.5D animation. The characters are 2D, however the backgrounds and property are 3D giving it a visually distinctive look that bridges these two animation kinds. I additionally love the retro nostalgia really feel to the brief movie. I wished to create an setting that the viewers would gravitate in the direction of fascinated about their childhood buddies. A reminiscent down reminiscence lane throughout an age of innocence the place all that mattered was hanging out with your pals.


Lisa expression sheet for ‘Friendship’

What had been your greatest challenges?

As a result of Friendship has no dialog, the auditory emotion of the story needed to be carried by music. Though it was a lofty purpose for an impartial brief to compose reside orchestrated music, I knew this was the one solution to categorical the fervour and emotion I wished to seize in Friendship in comparison with pre-laid tracks.

I spent tons of of hours watching different animated movies that additionally relied closely on music, and after I got here throughout Joaquin Garcia’s reel I knew it was a match. Joaquin listened intently to my course, working diligently from my very own stitched music observe of the animatic. I recall how excited I used to be when Joaquin introduced in an electrical guitarist to considered one of our early work periods. I appreciated that power and focus he carried all through the whole challenge. What made this music a problem was creating the varied melodies and devices in the course of the transitional levels of their lives. It took many rewrites and iterations, however in the long run we managed to get the stylistic really feel of the music to assist carry the storytelling.


What do you hope audiences will get out of your brief?

I hope this movie provides viewers the enjoyment of reminiscing and galvanizing them to reconnect with friendships in their very own lives; maybe even stopping melancholy attributable to loneliness.  Friendship’s theme is that connection and bonding are a fundamental human want that all of us crave for no matter geography, age or ethnicity. It’s about how one good friend can really make an affect in your life.


Amy’s Room structure for ‘Friendship’


What are you engaged on subsequent?

I’m engaged on a demo pilot to pitch Friendship as a TV animated collection. I imagine there are such a lot of tales to be advised between the characters and their buddies throughout their self-discovery in class and in life. I might love for a community/streamer to tackle this challenge, given the curiosity we’d had from movie competition audiences. We’d like extra inclusive tales advised by feminine creators that talk to unrepresented communities which can be not often seen in animation. I’m additionally engaged on one other brief movie that can push real-time animation and AI to the following degree of storytelling. We’re in early levels of growth for this challenge.


What was the most important lesson you realized from the expertise of creating your brief that you may cross on to future filmmakers?

When you have a narrative to inform, begin the method. Don’t look forward to permission to do it. Do one small factor at a time. Begin with the define, then work on the script. By taking child steps this helps you imagine it’s doable to make your brief movie a actuality. Earlier than it, you’ll entice others who need to be a part of your challenge. I turned a whole lot of naysayers to believers as I continued to maneuver ahead no matter what folks thought. Quickly sufficient, a number of of them wished to be a part of this challenge since they noticed how a lot progress and fervour I had in my movie. You need to imagine in your challenge and be your greatest cheerleader. Nobody else can do it for you.


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