Writing Animated Documentary: A Theory of Practice

  • Paul Wells Animation Academy, School of Arts, English & Drama, Loughborough University


This short discussion provides some introductory remarks on writing for the documentary form in animation. Taking into account theories of the place of animation in utilitarian films, avant-garde works and the essay film, the analysis, based on auto-ethnographic insights, provides some methods and approaches to developing animated documentary work. These include ‘Making Animation Choices’,  ‘Staging in Space’, ‘Using Attachment and Detachment’, developing ‘Episodic lists and Micro-Narratives’, and deploying ‘Transition and Associative Relations’. The analysis seeks to show that these approaches to the animated documentary reveal and evidence a theory of practice, and a practice of theory.

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