Entry #9: Week of April 18

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This journal entry is due by midnight, Monday April 25.

This week's entry will consider the use of animation in the film Run Lola Run. In the film, each of the three segments contains an animated scene depicting Lola running down the stairs. But in each segment, the scene changes slightly. From your point of view, why do you think the filmmakers chose to animate this particular scene at those particular moments in the film? Consider what the process of animation might have allowed that shooting the scene with actual actors in the actual location might not have allowed? What does a switch to animation communicate to you? In what ways do you think the animation was or was not effective?

11 Comments

I think the filmmakers for Run Lola Run chose to animate the particular scene to stress its significance in the following chain of events. By switching to animation, it was as if the filmmakers were saying, “Pay attention- this is important!” It is easier for the audience to pick out the subtle differences between the scenes when they are animated. I also felt that the choice to switch to animation helped give the scenes a “what if” factor. Additionally, it reinforced the idea that the scene changes were very small, insignificant, and every day changes, yet those changes also determined the course of each story. In general, I don’t take animated stories as seriously as those involving real people. So to me, the scene also had a generic feel to it. Lola running down the stairs wouldn’t normally be the most important scene in the story, but it effectively said a lot by purposely doing very little.

I felt that the filmmakers chose to animate the scenes that they did because it was the starting point of change when the entire sequence began to replay itself in a different way each time. The animated scenes were eye-catching and different. It made the audience more in tune to what was going on. The animation helped pick out the tiny differences there were in each sequence. I feel like if the animation was not involved in the film it would lose its impact and sense of change. Animation allows filmmakers to showcase a sense of emotion that can not normally be depicted through actual shooting with actors. The animation features used while Lola is running down the stairs make the stairs seem warped and difficult to run down. While watching, the audience is able to feel like going down these stairs must be very difficult for Lola. I personally didn't like the animation because I like consistency in films. When a film continues to cut from one theme to another it makes the overall presentation seem scattered.The animation was not effective, for me anyway, because it made the film seem scattered. However, the entire movie was a little bit scattered in its title and theme, so in that case it does fit. I would just have preferred a more consistent theme for my liking.

With animation, any sort of reality is possible, and with a story such as Run Lola Run where the filmmakers play with the notion of reality, the use of animation allows them to go beyond even the physical barriers of reality to let the audience see a different perspective of the story. The director experimented with different types of techniques throughout the film, switching between video, film, and photography, as well as animation. This shows that a main point of the film is the idea of viewing the story through different filters, which leads to different feelings and interpretations. With animation you can go beyond any physical limits of telling a story. The animated sequence was not drawn realistically, but specific things in it were exaggerated and emphasized, allowing the filmmaker to more easily point these things out to the audience. Also, each time the animation sequence played it was subtly different from the previous time, possibly emphasizing that this was a the beginning of a new plot line, as the animations were shown at the start of each of Lola's adventures to help Manni. I think the animation was effective in that it was able to communicate a different perspective of Lola's story that was not available in a strictly realistic format. I thought it broke up the film into nice segments and gave it a cool overall feel.

I don't know why the filmmakers chose to animate those portions of the movie. After a day of shooting for our own project, I suspect that perhaps they forgot to shoot it or ran out of time! In any case, it does help to keep the movie interesting and unpredictable. The film has a very fast pace and the use of animation helps to sustain that.

Also, by changing the animated section (as well as some other parts of the movie) slightly in each of the three iterations, it shows how 'stochastic' or random life events can be, including peoples' actions.

I believe the film maker animated the three themes of Lola running down the stairs because she wanted us to stop and realize it was a break in the film. I feel she uses these transition points well because filming the actual scenes would have been not as dramatic. It communicated to me that the story was starting over and had parts that repeated. I think this was really effective in communicating the transitions of the film and the rapid passing of time.

In animations, you can make just about anything that you could think of. In the film “Run Lola Run”, the filmmakers chose to use some animation for part of the film. I think the reason for that is because animation makes much easier and better show the attention of the moment. In the part where Lola is running down the stair, the filmmakers used the animate to show the long stair ways. The angle of the scene is in eye level but you could see the long stair ways that twisted around and seems to never end. The camera is following her all the way which is showing how far and how long distance she had run. Another reason that the filmmakers chose animation for the scene instead of use the real actor is that the real actor would not be able to run the stair at that speed the animation show. Using the animate for the scene is also a safer way instead of real actor. In this case, the animation makes it more interesting to watch rather than watching the real actor runs the stair for that long period of time. I think using animation for this running the stair is effective because it makes that part more interesting, safer for the real actor, reduce the cost of the scene, and allowing the filmmakers to show what the audiences need to see.

I believe the film makers did these changes in the scene to show that certain things are important and to also show the viewers that everything matters. Every small thing in life affects everything else, and timing matters more than we give it credit for.
I believe it was effective by making the viewer concentrate more to see what changed during each scene, but I believe it could have been done better. The first part of the scene is redone too much in my opinion, to a point where it could have been done too much. I like how they switched to animation from the "real life" scenes because I believe it emphasized on things that it may not have been able to otherwise.

I think the use of animation in Run Lola Run was used for strictly logistic purposes. The animation allows for a dark, grimy look to the staircase without the worry of light-metering. Getting a dog to perform three scenes slightly differently would also prove extremely difficult. Also the stunt work involved with having an actor tumble down the stairs would prove costly in hiring a stunt actor, paying for extra insurance, etc. Animation also allows for the majority of the scene to be easily repeated, with only the differences between scenes redone. From a strictly artistic standpoint, the animation allows for a surrealist approach to the scene, with Lola descending seemingly never-ending flights of stairs, which would prove difficult with live-action filming. Overall, the switch to animation works for me in theory, I just have an aesthetic problem with the actual illustration of the scene. It seems poorly done and doesn't meld with the feel of the live-action sequences. A better approach might have been the rotoscoping seen in Waking Life or A Scanner Darkly.

I think the use of the animation in Run Lola Run is used to emphasize those particular moments. She was shown running into a spiral thing that helped to emphasize her struggle - this may not have been portrayed enough if filmed with actors instead of using animation. The switch to animation makes you wonder why we need to pay more attention to that moment, but essentially it makes you pay more attention to it for a reason. The animation was effective in showing what she was going through was a struggle and that she was “stuck” in some sense. It also signified the start of her journey each time and let you know what was going on and made you think “here we go again!”

In Run Lola Run, animation was used as a form of symbolism to get a point or idea across to the audience. I felt that the scene where Lola was running down the stairs was extremely interesting to watch and added meaning to the movie. It starts out with her being a real human who is dealing with an issue of time. Time is incorporated into everything she is doing. When she leaves the house and is running to beat the clock, the scene becomes animated. When the scene becomes animated, it captures the attention of the audience and causes you to think about why it is happening and how important time is to the film and the scene in particular. If they would have shot this scene with real actors in real time, it wouldn’t have had the same effect. You would see Lola running down the stairs and out the door; it is obvious that she is in a hurry and that she needs to be somewhere. With the animation, intensity and seriousness is added to the scene. I think it was an extremely effective switch and it allowed the viewer to interpret the seriousness and importance of time in their own way.

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This page contains a single entry by GiGi published on April 22, 2011 9:45 PM.

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