Students to showcase work in animated film festival

On Friday, Dec. 16, a semester of hard work will culminate at the Detroit Mercy Animated Short Film Festival.

Students in Professor Andrew Papa and Professor Jason Roche’s Computer Animation and Voice Acting class will be presenting their final projects at the festival to cap off the Fall semester. The festival will start at 11 a.m. in the Architecture Exhibition Space in the Warren Loranger Architecture Building on the McNichols campus.

Admission is free and open to all.

“Every aspect of each film is entirely student-done,” said Papa. “The writing, acting, editing and audio are all students. We wanted students to understand every component of production.”

Students have spent hours preparing for this event. The class had two projects throughout the semester to develop their skills. The first was a short audio piece and the second was a short animation piece.

With this experience gained, the students were ready to embark on a larger group project.

“Working in groups feels very natural and rewarding because we all have different levels of experience when it comes to animating and voice acting,” said senior Lorenzo Izzi. “It was great to have most of our classes in the computer lab so we could practice animating and recording.”

The class focused on students creating their own workflow and practicing what it is like to create and meet their own deadlines. Both Papa and Roche felt it was best to leave the creative process to the students while being there to guide them along the way with technical aspects.

“We left the thematic parts up to the students,” said Papa. “We felt like our job as instructors was to give them the tools and let them build their own product and guide them along the way.”

Both the professors and students have seen real-time progression in their skills in the weeks leading up to the festival.

The upcoming event is extremely important for not only the students but the professors as well. The class was made possible due to a grant from the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, which required some sort of public presenta- tion of the students’ work.

The instructors say it was apparent early on that a film festival was the perfect way to showcase these projects.

“We’re just so grateful for the grant because none of this could happen without it,” said Papa. “It is really about the technology and ability to create for these students.”

Oftentimes, students are burdened by exams and studying with a lack of opportunity to express themselves creatively.

Classes such as this allow students to have an opportunity to learn important life skills.

“It is definitely not easy to learn all of the software and programs,” said Izzi.

“But it is nice to be able to create things and apply this kind of work to my career.”