Ripening is a cathartic journey that explores the inner turmoil of a crumbling relationship and the fruitful outcome of the experience.
The film needed to be grounded on the central character’s feelings so that they felt real, tactile – hence the choice for constructing the character in a stop-motion clay style technique. I felt that in order to be honest. I could only communicate how the experience affected me from my perspective and that everything else -while important – was flat in comparison. I cannot truly know or in some cases understand the thoughts and actions of my former partner- hence the decision to construct the female character in a two dimensional style.
This choice of styles sits at the heart of the narrative and permeates through the film especially in the environments . There are three distinct settings for the film – the morning, the dream/nightmare and the sunset. The morning and the sunset environments are constructed to reside within the three dimensional space, a tactile space, a space you could touch. It is grounded and while it changes, it changes slowly with distinct purpose and use. This gives the viewer a sense of ease, safety. It is predictable, dependable. The dream/nightmare space is mercurial, temporal, always shifting, moving – like a memory.
The harshness of the words, with their banner like appearance, speak to the reality of her expression as well as the degeneration of the relationship over time. All of these words were common place expressions for her- both positive and negative and are directly tied to the wheel of time that moves beneath their feet. In treating the negative words I felt that it was important to give them a agitated feeling to help re-enforce the visual impact. As the words grew worse, the echoes of them compounded like a swarm of bees or an unimaginable weight until it was too much to bear and I exploded.
The tree on the hill at the end of the path holds a powerful personal symbol for me. Trees embody the flow of our lives, the many choices we make, good or bad, all are connected to the trunk that is us. All our experiences bear the potential, just like the blossoms on the tree, to produce valuable lessons which we carry with us, like the fruit, on the rest of our journey. This fruit feeds us, helps us grow just as our experiences do. I wanted to communicate that while this experience was tough, the lesson learned produced a powerful fruit which allowed me to continue on my journey.