This film took five years to make, because I was using acetate cels for the first time and had to draw, ink and paint 8,136 images myself, and because I got divorced in the middle of the process and was distracted. The second film for independent animators is often difficult to survive. You get a little more ambitious after having struggled through the first and end up creating an immense mountain to scale. It’s important to finish it. I managed to finish this film, but just barely. I remember shooting for 21 straight days, 12 hours a day with five cel layers on my makeshift stand. I lost track on my dopesheet at some advanced point in the process and just laid on the floor and cried, thinking that the film had gotten the better of me. By the end, when I was making the credits on the spot, I was so tired that I misspelled my mother’s name . . . which is difficult to do considering that it’s also my name. My mother is thanked at the end of the film as “Sharon Shroeder.”
This is the first of three “water vacation” films I’ve made. I was really inspired during this period (and still am) by quiet, uneventful films. Robert Bresson, Yashirjuo Ozu, Wim Wenders and, probably most appropriate here, Jacques Tati. In truth, I’m more influenced by live action filmmaking than animation.