Feeling A Little Horse

David Barlow-Krelina’s Winning Short About A Horse That Can’t Stop Coughing

David Barlow-Krelina and Jenna Marks had only two days to create A Horse Throat, the winning animation at the 48-hour contest in the Stuttgart Festival of Animated film. In this short time, the pair created a fancifully offbeat piece that set them apart from the competition.

‘It was all about making quick decisions and not getting caught up in the little details,’ David told us. ‘I remember points throughout the process where I was so tired that I got into delirious fits of laughter at my own drawings. The other people in the room must have thought I was a real weirdo!’

We asked David more about his work:

The Plus: How did you adapt your normal creative process to work in this competition?
I usually start with a single idea that sparks my interest: a moment that I find intriguing. Then I work backwards and forward to create a narrative out of it, throwing various characters and plot twists into the mix. I tend to be a bit of a control freak when it comes to developing my ideas, so I try to make a conscious effort to let go of certain aspects of the work and bring back a sense of spontaneity.

The fact that we had to make it in 48 hours was a big challenge! We chose a story that included minimal actions to save time in the animation process. On top of that, we also had to deal with the mental and physical strain due to lack of sleep.

TP: Are any of the characters in your films based on people in your life?
In A Horse Throat we mostly relied on stereotypes to create the characters. Stereotypes are great because they allow you to tap into personalities that people already know, so it saves a lot of film time.

The characters in this particular film were all imaginary, although I guess you could say some of the their traits remind me of certain people in my life. You might even say that the angry bear in the film is me!

TP: What is your favourite cartoon?
Ren and Stimpy. I loved the gross and twisted sense of humour of that show as a kid. I really like John Kricfalusi’s drawing style, especially the way he does facial expressions and visual gags.

TP: What advice would you give to aspiring animators?
Don’t be afraid to copy other artists; sometimes it’s the best way to learn. Gather inspiration from everything. Surround yourself with nurturing people. Don’t suffer for your art; art should be fun! Be guided by your intuition, rather than relying on predefined formulas.