Churchville-Chili Performing Arts Center hosted the premier of nine digitally animated movies Feb. 17.
The Churchville-Chili High School animators had never seen their work on anything but their computer screens, and the composers who had created the original soundtracks anticipated their first look at the final movies. As the students watched, the screen was filled with their visions: a series of 30-second car chases through 3-D cities, forests or mountains.
The event was the culmination of part one of an innovative student film project. Music teacher Terry Bacon’s Digital Music class and art teacher Jonathan Woodard’s advanced computer graphics and design students collaborated, each supplying a part of the final experience. The musicians began the process, with the creation of 18 soundtracks. The nine visual artists, mostly seniors, each chose one favorite track as the basis for creating their animated movie. The sound and visual artists only had an initial discussion in the preliminary design stage of the sound tracks.
“It is an interesting collaborative method, very similar to the way artists work in real studios,” said Woodard. “Different experts contribute their talents to the project with minimal personal interaction with each other. They have to be creative, but then cede control to other artists.”
“For this first project, we limited students to the subject of a car chase,” said Bacon. “It helped them focus. They still had to explore many online resource libraries to find existing sound and art assets and had liberty to create their own digital environments for the action.”
The next project for the two groups will be more open, starting with the visual artists who will create 2-D animations using styles and subjects of their own choice. They will pass their final graphics onto the musicians for soundtrack and voiceovers. Like the composers before them, they will have no say in the final interpretation of their work.
“We’re exploring many fun projects, like creating custom ringtones, and this chance to work with visual artists on a project of this magnitude is awesome,” said Bacon.
“We’re so lucky to be able to offer our artists opportunities like this,” said Woodard. “This is an incredible way for them to stretch their talents and learn collaborative skills that will serve them in the arts or whatever field they choose to enter after graduation.”