A film I made for my Honors independent project class at Wayne State University. I don’t have much experience in animation, and so I chose to use this class to explore animated storytelling and the process that goes into making an animated short.
I began this semester looking at birth rites for the major three religions. Almost immediately I realized that birth rites were not that interesting to me, so I decided to try the complete opposite: death rites. I started my research with West African rituals, specifically the Ghanaian tradition of burying the dead in fantastical coffins. I liked the juxtaposition of happiness with death, an inherently sad event. I decided that I wanted to research this further and focus on celebratory rituals surrounding death. Drawing from this research, my piece seeks to question the sad nature of funerals in our culture.
Tables are places of happiness for me. They are where friends and family gather to share a meal, discuss and debate topics, share hopes and dreams, play games, all of which ultimately bond people together. By making a coffin into a table, I want to show that the feelings of love and happiness I associate with tables can be applied to funerals as well. The game on the table is another iteration of this happiness, as well as a commentary on death itself. Death is not the antithesis of life, but ultimately it is how you win the game.