I love to explore different kinds of media, and one of my favorites is animation. I’ve always been a bit of an animation junkie, and even worked in the field for a while as a computer graphics consultant (not as an animator.) So when my daughter registered for an intensive semester of film-making at a local high school, I was hoping we’d get a chance to work together in some capacity. And what do you know? We did.
Over the course of several months, we worked on a few projects, but this was my favorite. Learning how to use a 3D graphics system is way beyond the scope of a 4 month program, so I handled that part, but the beauty of 3D is that, once the sets have been built and the models animated, the director can then fly around through the scene choosing shots, requesting lighting changes, and so on. You know, the way a real director would work with actors and a crew. I love the energy of working with young people. They’re not afraid to ask for the impossible, and sometimes, you even find a way to deliver.
She did all the writing, planning, and sound design as well as directing. I handled the software parts, doing everything in the totally free and very powerful Blender. And together we produced something that tickles us both. The story’s much shorter and simpler than anything I deal with in my novels, but that allowed us to put more of our time into the visuals and audio. Often students try to tackle too much content for the time and resources they have to work with, but fortunately in this case we were able to keep each other reined in.
The original production spanned about two months last year, but we didn’t have enough time to render the project at full resolution and quality before she had to submit it for her grade. So in the months since then, I’ve been slowly re-rendering everything at full resolution. And now it’s all done and ready to share, so I present to you our short film, entitled, “Discovering Coffee.”