Harvey Herman

Thoughtful animated gems and a poetic leaning from this young film-maker.

How do you develop your concepts?

There’s no set formula to the way I develop my ideas, but I would say that having an investigative approach to my surroundings has become integral to my creative process. Conducting interviews and regularly visiting and photographing spaces that interest me, even if the outcome is unclear, helps to keep me engaged, curious and open to new discoveries.

How did your interest in graphics and animation arise?

I began animating while I was in my second year of art school, and it was
definitely in response to a desire to create more immersive pieces of work. I have a real love for still imagery, and there is a real art to expressing something in a single frame, but I personally found that, once I began to play with motion, sound and time, there was an amazing sense of truly ‘building’ something.

Who are your heroes?

In all honesty most of my heroes come outside of my own field, and in many ways I believe this is important. If I had to name one it would be David Thomas
Broughton, an experimental singer/songwriter known for his funny, surreal, yet endearingly modest live performances. The expressive and honest approach he has to his work, and the commitment he appears to have to his own vision, is something that makes him a true hero of mine. Go and see him and you’ll see what I mean.

Where do you go for inspiration?

I get outside with my camera and notebook and walk. Wherever I am, there’s normally something to help stimulate ideas, be it a snippet of conversation, an object discarded on the street, or simply some time to think.

Tell us about a favourite recent project.

My animation ‘Meeting Place’ is the result of my ongoing interest in the
psychological and social implications of networked technology. Inspired by the research of Sherry Turkle (another hero of mine), the film reflects her observed paradox; “in continual contact, we are alone together”.
I chose to present the social network as a vacuum-like space into which visitors come and go. Homes are collected together in a huddle, yet the inhabitants are hopelessly distant from each other, restricted by walls and hypnotized by their screens.

What annoys you most about your industry?

Probably being asked to define it.

 Where would you like to be in a year’s time?

I still feel I have a huge amount of maturing to do, and hope that I can manage to work on a wide variety of both personal and freelance projects over the coming
months in order to help that process. A particular area of focus for me, though, is moving image, and I’m eager to push my animation work further toward a cinema context. A huge personal ambition is to develop at least one ten minute short that, by this time next year, I can aim to get into a good selection of short film festivals both in the UK and abroad.