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Creating Joy Through Cartoons

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Working on 'Sisters' in the 2-D M.F.A. Lab. Courtesy of Chiara Ferrari.

The latest animation profile in our ongoing series focuses on Chiara Ferrari. Twins, Chiara and Kim, are the creators of the short, Sisters. Their film won second place for the 2-D Animation Short Film Full Color category at the 2015 Spring Show. After graduation, Ferrari received a job offer at DHX Media in Vancouver, Canada.

Why an M.F.A. degree in 2-D/traditional animation and stop motion at the Academy?

I chose to pursue 2-D animation, because I wanted to turn my passion for illustration into an industry. Cartoons really helped spark my imagination and fun as a kid, and it’s something that I would like to give to other children. 

Name three big influences during your time as a student at the Academy.

One of my favorite things about cartoons has been their ability to make me laugh. Chuck Jones was a big influence in trying to learn just what it was about animation that can be so darn funny! A second major influence for me while at AAU was my director, Sherrie Sinclair. Aside from her amazing animation skills, her good mood always reminded me that the most important part of wanting to learn animation is simply following your passion. My third influence was my classmates. I learned much from them, and I am honored to be working with them in the industry.

In less than three sentences, what is your film about?

he film my sister and I worked on was about nuns falling from the sky. It’s called Sisters for more than one reason!

While you were working on your thesis project, which personified emotion from Inside Out would you have been?

While working on my thesis film, I felt like Joy most of the time. Although it was often stressful and frustrating, in the end it was a project where I got to see my passion turn into something really unique! But most of all, what kept it so fun for me was being able to work on it with my sister!

What tools and programs did you use to make your film?

Sisters was made primarily using traditional paper animation and TVPaint. Additionally, ToonBoom Harmony, Adobe After Effects, Premiere and Photoshop.

Why did you decide to submit your film into festivals? 

My sister and I decided to submit our film to festivals mainly because we are hoping somebody else will think falling nuns are funny and will go home with a smile.

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Movie poster for 'Sisters.' Courtesy of Chiara Ferrari.

After graduating from the Academy, what are you up to now?

I got a job as a posing artist (key frame animator) at DHX Media. I worked on season 4 of a show called Littlest Pet Shop. Now, I’m working on the Peabody and Sherman show they are producing for DreamWorks. 

Would you encourage future graduate students to submit their work to festivals? If so, what would you suggest for them to do and NOT to do?

I certainly encourage future graduates to submit their work to festivals, because it’s a great way to receive feedback and exposure. My suggestion is not to wait. I know that you feel burnt out after the film is finally finished, but it’s worth it to submit right away so that it doesn’t get put on that dangerous “to-do-eventually list.”

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(Left to right) Chiara Ferrari and Kim Ferrari. Courtesy of Chiara Ferrari.

If you could only watch one film on constant replay for the rest of your life, what would it be?

It would be The Boxtrolls. It’s so wacky and heartfelt! I love how unique the world is and how the message is that differences are not something to be afraid of. 

 

For the full interview with links to Chiara Ferrari’s work, please visit www.animationschooldaily.com.