During the Summer 2023 Art + Action Lab internship, the teens were tasked with creating experimental films for their final project. Divided into five teams, each team compiled a 3-5 minute film using animation, found footage, live action, claymation, open source images/videos, puppetry, cut paper, drawing over photos, or a combination of these techniques. Unique scores were then composed for each film by students from MSU Denver’s Department of Music. The final short-films were screened for the public at CVA and will have another screening with Denver Digerati in September. All five films are available for you to view below.
Art + Action Lab Summer 2023 Video Projects
by Drew Hager
For our short film “Space Pop” we wanted to write a story that included aliens, a market, sparkles, and soda. Combining these words with seemingly no connection, we came up with a starting point for our creation: a story about soda (pop) in space. The animation process itself was very spontaneous: we experimented with many styles including stop-motion, 2D animation, and image manipulation, anything we could get our hands on. After some mistakes and many setbacks, we finally ended up with a multimedia project unlike any other that we call Space Pop.
Filmmakers: Maggie, Dannis, Olivia
Musical Composer: Tyler Treadway
The film “Proxy” was created by Mia, Ella, and Eli. The idea was to create a story about an alien invasion where human fears are collected by bugs through their nightmares. Each of us made nightmares with separate mediums and experimented to show how surreal dreams can be. Mia used 2D stop motion with a collage to represent a fear of being stalked. Ella used digital animation to represent a fear of clowns and teeth. The nightmares are meant to be unique, similar to how wide the range of real-life dreams can be.
Filmmakers: Mia, Ella, Eli
Musical Composer: Esai Falcon
Into the Light
“Into the Light” is a multimedia short film produced by Finn C., Juno R., and Ruth D. With our main inspiration being “Across the Spider-Verse,” this film incorporates live-action video and still frames, 2D animation, and paper craft. Our film follows the main character (portrayed by Ruth) on her viewing of an Art Gallery. After having a connection to a certain piece, a portal to another world opens. Chaos ensues as we see our main character, and new friends, band together to defeat a new foe. We invite you to sit back and enjoy our short, fun adventure.
Filmmakers: Finn, Juno, Ruth
Musical Composers: Esai Falcon and Tyler Treadway
Day by Day
We all have been affected by mental health in one way or another, each year over 8 million people die due to mental disorders worldwide. With this film, we wanted to bring light to how impactful mental illness can be, as well as break the stigma surrounding mental illness. Because mental disorders affect people in so many different ways, finding a way to powerfully depict this was quite tedious, we wanted to illustrate mental illness in a macabre way while still having a “happy ending.” To accurately present mental illness as a physical being we used 2D animation top of live action to represent the difference between the two worlds as well as embodying the “otherworldly” and “misplaced” feeling many people struggle with. Although our film contains a darker theme we really wanted to emphasize how small acts of kindness can make a huge difference in people’s lives. We want people walking out of here today striving to be the person that can give someone their happy ending.
Filmmakers: Izzie, Ev
Musical Composer: Tyler Treadway
For “Ain’t Here” we wanted an old-style live-action film. We understand some might not understand most of the jokes and acting in the movie, but it was made that way. The laughs and memories made during the creation of this movie are enough for us, and we hope that people can see those happy memories and enjoy them with us. To film the movie we used an iPhone 13 and a tripod. For props, we used paper, drawing, felt for blood and we also made the knife from felt. For the editing process, we chose to put it in black and white for a more classical feel We wanted to make the editing witty and stick to a theme.
Filmmakers: Akira, Anthony, Jazz
Musical Composers: Esai Falcon