Joanne-Gladys Sucich

Surface Level

Bachelor of Design 2D animation Character Animation Animatic Video Stylised Narrative Mental Health

Floating in Between

This project is an exploration of portraying a young adolescent with depression using water as a metaphorical symbol in a 2d Animated film.

Surface Level is a 2D animated short that explores how self-inflicted doubt can change one’s mental state and influence their actions. Using creative narration and water as a medium, I have created an animation that has an underlying message to younger viewers- to accept help and not be ashamed to ask for it.

My work is inspired by Pixar’s Inside Out (Pixar, 2015) and their portrayal of depression being a numb feeling that eats away at moments you cherish. I approached my project with the passion to create a fantasy-like story that is able to connect with the younger audience.

Water has two sides, you can either float or sink- but some linger in the middle; this is where I believe a lot of young adolescents lie. I used water as my medium because I have a strong connection with the water, and I believe that it represents human beings well. My ambitious idea to animate water was very high and I am still learning how to make my animations organic and natural; using practice-based research, through trial and error, I found common ground with animating water.

Something I found unique about my project is that my character is not shunned by her peers but is accepted. During my research, I found that a lot of young teens cast themselves out of groups, so they don’t feel out of place- isolation. My goal with my film is to show young viewers that it is okay to ask for help.