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

Impressed by her real-life experiences, Lin Tam’s animated quick Friendship celebrates the fantastic thing about an enduring human connection. We lately caught up with younger filmmaker to search out out extra about her challenge, which has received a number of awards and has made the spherical of indie animation festivals world wide 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 mixture of leisure and expertise. I’ve all the time cherished the convergence of utilizing expertise 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 a complete new stage.

Animation has a method of disarming adults to being youngsters once more, it brings pleasure to youngsters, and provides us a way of marvel in storytelling. I might 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 aren’t any limits to how inventive you could 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 top of COVID in 2020. The concept got here to me when the world was on lockdown and everyone was advised to have social distance from one another. I thought of how a yr in the past (2019) I used to be surrounded by family members and mates. After which in 2020, everybody was afraid to be close to one another or have any contact in anyway.

This bought me fascinated by the chums in my life; how some mates got here in for a season, some for a cause and solely a handful lasted the take a look at of time. I seen 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 premise for the quick movie. From this seed, I began writing the define of Friendship.



How lengthy did it take to make?

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

It was actually great to listen to that studying the script impressed some individuals to succeed in out to lengthy misplaced mates, how rewarding it was catching up on  life landmarks and challenges. However what was most impactful to me was listening to that some individuals reconnected with lengthy misplaced mates 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 novel and heart-warming expression. I used to be impressed by the cartoon types of the 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 utilize?

The complete group for Friendship was between 10-15 individuals relying on what wanted to be accomplished throughout all the 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 quick movie relies on me and my childhood buddy. We’re very completely 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 at the present time, no matter geography or time, we nonetheless handle to communicate. And after 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 an awesome friendship.


What do you’re keen on in regards to the closing outcomes?

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


Lisa expression sheet for ‘Friendship’

What have 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 aim for an impartial quick to compose dwell 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 lots of of hours watching different animated movies that additionally relied closely on music, and once I got here throughout Joaquin Garcia’s reel I knew it was a match. Joaquin listened intently to my path, 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 certainly one of our early work periods. I appreciated that power and focus he carried all through all the challenge. What made this music a problem was creating the varied melodies and devices in the course of the transitional phases 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 quick?

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


Amy’s Room format 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 mates throughout their self-discovery in class and in life. I’d love for a community/streamer to tackle this challenge, given the curiosity we’d had from movie pageant audiences. We’d like extra inclusive tales advised by feminine creators that talk to unrepresented communities which might be not often seen in animation. I’m additionally engaged on one other quick movie that can push real-time animation and AI to the following stage of storytelling. We’re in early phases of growth for this challenge.


What was the most important lesson you discovered from the expertise of creating your quick which you can go on to future filmmakers?

In case you have a narrative to inform, begin the method. Don’t anticipate 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 attainable to make your quick movie a actuality. Earlier than you realize it, you’ll appeal to others who need to be a part of your challenge. I turned loads of naysayers to believers as I continued to maneuver ahead no matter what individuals thought. Quickly sufficient, a number of of them wished to be a part of this challenge since they noticed how a lot progress and keenness I had in my movie. It’s a must to imagine in your challenge and be your greatest cheerleader. Nobody else can do it for you.


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