The Mill‘s Aran Quinn and Jeff Dates have created a charming animated short based on US Children’s Poet Laureate Kenn Nesbitt’s poem Wayne the Stegosaurus for annual film and poetry event Motionpoems.
Motionpoems was founded by animator and producer Angela Kassube in 2008. The company works with at least 12 filmmakers each year to turn contemporary poems into original short films, with the aim of bringing poetry to a wider audience.
Sixteen films premiered at this year’s event, which was held in Minneapolis last week, incuding live action shorts and some compelling animations.
Dates and Quinn’s film depicts Nesbitt’s witty and cheerful poem about a stegosaurus who, despite his large stature, doesn’t have a very big brain.
As Quinn and Dates explain on The Mill’s blog, the film is purely digital but combines cell and 3D animation to create a hand-drawn feel. After selecting Nesbitt’s work from a curated list of poems, Quinn developed a rough storyboard and animated the film’s 2D elements such as birds and flowers, while Dates animated Wayne and other 3D features.
The finished film is beautifully produced and the colourful visuals provide the perfect accompaniment to Nesbitt’s witty rhyme. The film also makes great use of sound, with an excellent voiceover from Christopher Lukas.
“I wanted a obvious contrast between Wayne’s character and Lukas’s deep and textured wise voice. This juxtaposition helped amplify the silliness of Wayne’s simple mind. Because of this, the sound was to be subtle layer to aid the jokes,” explains Quinn.
The full set of films has yet to be released online, but other submissions include LA production house Gentleman Scholar’s painterly slightly less safe for work adaptation of Dora Malech’s poem, Working Order:
And a black and white adaptation of Nathan Anderson’s Stupid Sandwich, made by Carolyn Figel and Andrew Montague at MPC.
You can see the full list of participants and watch submissions from previous years at motionpoems.com