The second in our Award Winner Interview series talks to Anete Melece about her charming animation Analysis Paralysis which won our 2016 Grand Prix. The animation tells the story of Anton, as he struggles with the world around him and tries to find a way to connect.

Congratulations on your 2016 Encounters Festival win! How does it feel?

Thank you! Even though it happened quite a while ago, it still feels great.

I enjoyed the festival alot and I must say that I have never watched my film together with so open and engaging audience, it was really a pleasure. Bristol is amazing.

The animation tells a universal story about the danger of overthinking – and the burden of an over analytical mind – was this something you observed around you?  Or a personal experience?  What inspired the story?

It is partly based on my personal experience. The main character Anton has an analytical and complicated mind, but he’s not necessarily very smart, he is simply tangled in too many thoughts and each of them is pulling him in a different direction and as a result, he stands still. Sometimes I also have these moments on indecisiveness so I know him very well. The scene in the supermarket is completely about me.

On the other hand it’s not just him. It’s also the world around us that is so complicated with all these countless possibilities, options etc. that sometimes it feels overwhelming even if one is not specially analytical.

The animation still maintains a humour and lightness, despite the challenges the main character is facing – how did you get this balance between a serious topic, and creating a funny, lighter tone in the film? 

Humour is my favourite form of attitude same in art and life. So I didn’t try to specially find that balance, I simply can’t make anything that would be only serious. Meanwhile to spend so much time and effort for a work that would contain only jokes also doesn’t seem to be enough inviting.

Can you tell us a little bit about your animation technique?

The film is a combination of digital cut-out animation made with CelAction (animated by my dear friend Stefan Holaus) and drawing on paper (animated by myself). But both techniques were based on a drawing made by felt-tip pens.

How long did this film take to complete? 

From the moment of having the idea until the moment it was completely finished it took approximately 2 years.

What was your biggest challenge?

I guess the storyline – I constantly changed it until the very last moment.

When I started to work on it I thought that the story is going to be only about Anton and his indecisiveness, but later while analysing the reasons behind his behaviour I realised that actually it is about something else. In his fear of making something wrong (or trying to be always perfect) he has ended up being lonely even though the intention to be perfect most likely stems exactly from that wish to be good and liked by others. He is looking for a chess partner because he wants to connect. And then it was apparent that the other character – the Gardener actually must play much bigger role in his life and also in the story.

The challenge was to not to get lost into that complicated mind of Anton and still keep the story clear and understandable.

Anete Melece blog postWhat’s next?  Will there be more to come in this particular style, or will you be taking things in a different direction?

This was the first time I did a drawn animation and discovered that I like it a lot, so I might go in this direction. In general would like to try out something new.


Before we leave, are there any recent animations you’ve encountered that have caught your attention?

The esoteric humour in “Mr Madila” by Rory Waudby-Tolley, the visual poetry in “Empty” by Jeong Dahee, the way of seeing one insignificant moment in so many ways in “Here There” by Alexander Stewart, the absurdness in “Decorado” by Alberto Vazquez – these are some of them.


Watch a trailer for naalysis Paralysis below:

Analysis Paralysis Trailer from Anete Melece on Vimeo.