‘My Year of Dicks’ Filmmakers On Animating The “Overwhelming, All-Encompassing” Feeling Of Having A Crush

When Pamela Ribon set out to adapt her memoir into an animated short, producer Jeanette Jeanenne suggested director Sara Gunnarsdóttir to direct. This collaboration led to a comedic animated short that won awards at multiple festivals before finally receiving an Oscar nomination. My Year of Dicks, based on a chapter of Ribon’s memoir Notes to Boys: And Other Things I Shouldn’t Share in Public, follows a 15-year-old Pam on a comedic journey to find the right boy to lose her virginity to. The animated short is split into five chapters, each following the story of a different crush with a different style of animation.

Related Story

'Great Expectations' Teaser: Olivia Colman's Miss Havisham Meets Young Pip In Steven Knight's Dickens Adaptation

DEADLINE: How did this short come about? When did you decide to make an animated short based on your memoir?

PAMELA RIBON: The idea for the short came about from FX networks, when we had been talking about what I could try in the animation pipeline. They had looked over a few of my things and Megan Reid really responded to my Notes to Boys book and talked about how animation can really enrich a young female protagonist’s fantasy life, which the book is all about – me just outta my league. I was raised on romance novels and films in the ’80s, so I was ready to get it done because that’s what I thought you were supposed to do – you only became a woman once you lost your virginity. And we had the idea that you could really play with all these different animated genres. And then Jeanette had been told the vague idea, as she’s produced other things for FX networks, and Sara was on the top of her list. I saw her stuff and I was thought they were incredible. Her work on The Diary of a Teenage Girl, I already knew, but I hadn’t seen The Case Against Adnan Syed where she had done the diaries of Hae Min Lee. And it felt like the animation that I was watching during that time on late night MTV.

DEADLINE: Jeanette, after getting the vague pitch, what did you think about it as the story developed?

JEANENNE: It was interesting because, like Pam said, before I got involved it was the most vague pitch on the planet. It was literally just, “Hey, there’s someone who’s a writer who has these scripts that are about a teenage girl. Do you know a director that’d be good for this?” And immediately I was like, “Sara’s perfect for it.” And then when Sara brought me on and I finally got a chance to read the scripts, then I thought Sara’s the only person that could do this justice. I was just so excited to be on board and could really see what was possible with it because it could very easily have been paired with the wrong director. It could have been something not as sensitive without the cinematic point of view that is very unique to Sara.

DEADLINE: Sara, what did you think of the story when you first got involved?

SARA GUNNARSDÓTTIR: FX contacted me and sent me three out of five scripts. I thought it had a lot of heart and it was funny and I was just really flattered that somebody was going to trust me to direct the whole thing. I’ve worked so much in the live action space, where I’m just kind of making this animated world within a bigger picture, so this was exciting. I did a couple of drawings and I had a folder with some photographs that I thought had the right tone and mood with some sort of a budget and brought it to FX. And then they were like, “Oh, you have to put sound in your budget. This is all visuals.” So I realized I had no idea what I was doing and I called Jeannette and I was like, “You wanna do this with me? Please help me.” I knew that she had recommended me for it, so I was happy to ask her to come help me.

DEADLINE: Where did the idea of using different styles of animation come from?

RIBON: Well, once I got the idea of not having the present me looking back, which is how the book works, I just wanted to stay in the past. I was thinking about how I really absorbed the crush that I was having and always imagined him in a very different light than anybody else did – in whatever phase I was going through at the time. Knowing that you could take a crush, and it becomes that defining moment in your life. I think the animation style shows that overwhelming, all-encompassing feeling of being all in for this person, and you could play around with what is fun about those genres and what’s fun about that style of animation.

DEADLINE: What was it like directing five different genres of animation?

GUNNARSDÓTTIR: That was so much fun, because I was reading the scripts and I had already been working with artists who are my friends and I really like. But I’d never done anything so big. I usually work with one or two people at a time. So, I had this small group of artists that I really loved. When I was reading the script, I just immediately paired the artist that I knew with the genres and I asked them if they wanted to do it with me. It was so much fun to ask them because they could all kind of bring their own artistic style, and they all said yes. So, I had my dream team do each genre and I just gave it to them like it was theirs. And what you see, what came out of it, is just their art.

Must Read Stories

Emma Corrin Lands Key Role In Disney & Marvel Studios’ Sequel ‘Deadpool 3’

AMPAS Chief Says Response To Slap “Inadequate”; Class Photo

The Unusual Journey Of Big-Budget Ben Affleck Movie ‘Hypnotic’ Will Continue At EFM

Fears Over UK ‘Studio Tax’ That Could “Torpedo” Booming Production Biz

Read More About:

Source: Read Full Article