Her subject matter may be hard-hitting, but Rosa’s more cheerful aesthetic is informed by classic animation studios from days gone by, as well as the “expressiveness” of a certain sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea.
“Recently I have really gotten into creating a bouncy exaggerated movement that is quite influenced by classic Rubberhose animation,” she says. “A big influence has also been UPA animation, I really admire the way that they only include necessary elements in the background to give a sense of the space.”
When watching Sent Away, it is hard not to notice the evocative use of sound and music in particular. For this, Rosa, who is based in London having grown up in the Peak District, collaborated with musician Martino Gasparrini: “He wrote all of the music and we worked closely on the sound design and decisions. I wanted to have the sound of a French Horn throughout the film, and use it both musically and in more abstract, distorted ways,” she explains. “The beating drums were also used to bring in militaristic connotations whilst also building tension.”
It is this freedom to create interesting visual landscapes and soundscapes that makes animation a unique format for factual films, and it is clearly something that Rosa embraces: “There are so many visual techniques that animation can offer within documentary, for instance, using visual metaphor to demonstrate things that might lie beneath the surface and that aren’t immediately visible.” It is evidently something that’s working too, with Sent Away recently winning the 2019 London Factual Animation Festival.
Following on from this success, Rosa has begun planning her next film, where she will be collaborating with fellow RCA graduate Gabriella Marsh. The topic they will be exploring has not yet been revealed, however, we’re expecting another unique combination of dark subject matter juxtaposed with light aesthetics.