Audience of One
Animated narrative film, 4 minutes 45 seconds
“Audience of One” is a story about the desire to capture something ineffible. It touches on the tension between the solitary act of creating and experiencing beauty and the commodification of beautiful things by society.
A glowing fish is attracted by the song of a gondolier, who isn't attracting the attention of his tourist customers. The fish makes herself visible to the gondolier, but it is only until the gondolier learns of the fish’s monetary value at an auction that he decides to pursue it. When the pluck of some mystical figures' guitar sounds from down the canal, the gondolier turns from chasing the fish to following it. Finding himself in the musicians' domain - the fish swimming around to their tune - the gondolier seizes upon the opportunity to catch it.
But once he takes it out of the water, into his hands, the glow of the fish fades, and its body shivers. Should he sell it? The musicians have ceased playing, and its glow quickly fades.
The gondolier tosses the fish back in the water, where it relinquishes its glow. The fish wags its tail at him, asking for something. It wants him to sing. At the first instance of the gondolier's voice, the musicians resumes another, slightly somber accompaniment, which they continue as the evening fades into night.
Shot at 12fps in stop-motion, the film was fabricated using flat puppets of plastics colored with oil paint. The story evolved in response to a painting by the Venetian artist Titian called “Pastoral Concert.”
Written, Directed, Fabricated, Animated and Edited by Kate Butler
"Gondo" the gondolier voiced by Chris Morriss
Guitar tunes composed and played by Kate Butler
Sound effects from freesound.org
Advised by David Mattingly and Robert Lyons at the Pratt Institute