SVA Film & Animation
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Faculty Blog: Frank Gresham

BFA Animation instructor Frank Gresham shares a class collaboration from his ’15 fall semester about two anthropomorphic roommates that don’t get along. 

This year during the Fall Semester 2015, my students for this class collaboratively embarked on the creation of a two-minute animated film, the production of which was designed to mimic the production process of a full fledged professional animation studio. The students of this class began the process by pitching their original story ideas. A winning story was voted on democratically. The students thence joined production teams specific to their individual interests and talents (such as character design team, prop design team, location design team, layout team, color design team, storyboarding team, sound design team, editing team, etc.). With the help of a student Animation Coordinator chosen from their ranks by me, the entire class collaboratively built a short film over the course of a single semester, bringing the film as a group through all the stages of pre-production, production (every student animated an equal amount of assigned footage, no matter what team they also belonged to), and post production.

The resulting film from this class effort is entitled Roommates; it’s a finished animation color short, complete with music and effects. To my knowledge, this is the first time a film of this kind has been created collaboratively by an entire class within the Animation Department at SVA. With the successful completion of Roommates and the favorable response it has so far engendered, it is my hope to create a film in this fashion with my junior-year animators every Fall henceforward.

Roommates was written by Advanced Animation Studio student Alexa Swanson, is the story two species-dissimilar freshman roommates with wildly divergent personalities who must overcome their incompatibilities and learn to coexist in the confines of the dorm room they share. Becca, a jovial and jocky anthropomorphic dog, discovers on her arrival to college she must cohabitate with brooding goth feline Hazel. Tension builds to the breaking point as our roommates discover irritation in one another’s every habit. Can our fate-entwined characters survive one another’s enervating idiosyncrasies? Or are these critters destined to fight like cats and dogs to the bitter end? Watch the proverbial fur go flying as the answer unfolds.

Watch Roommates above, and sound off in the comments what you think!

Filed Under: Faculty Blog