1,800 Drawings, 1 Video: School Projects to Great Endeavors

Most people believe that school projects are mere requirements one has to complete so that they can get a decent grade. Most simply want to get past it. They do what they have to do. They put just right amount of effort. They submit what is due. And they receive the grade enough for them to pass the course. But sometimes, there are those few who view the simple assignment in a different way, a number of students who are inspired and determined to make use of the school’s demands to showcase their talents, to prove their worth, and to produce something quite exceptional and brilliant. CIIT’s very own Mitzi Michaela Cabrera and Michelle Karyl Nerona belong to that select few.

It began as a simple assignment for Professor Jason Moss. Excited, motivated and tremendously challenged, they seized the opportunity provided to them by their class, and poured a tremendous amount of effort to create something they can take pride in.They chose to adapt the local scene’s indie rock darlings Up Dharma Down and their song Clarity into a music video. But what they did wasn’t a simple rendering of a narrative or the filming of a dramatic performance. What they did instead was an animation reel, a cacophony of different images, which became complimentary not only to the lyrics of the song but to the tone, idiosyncratic melodies and haunting nature of the beautiful song. When asked about their decision to pursue the creation of this video, their response was simple and modest. They only wanted to have the video considered by the band to make this as an official video, proving that a simple desire to be recognized is all one needs to create something exceptional.

The creation process wasn’t easy. It was a painstaking endeavor. As they told us, it took them two months to complete the initial pre-production work. The team had to produce exactly 1,800 illustrations, all done by hand on sheets of bond paper, and each drawing had to be scanned and transferred to a computer. After, they had to manipulate the images in Adobe Flash CS5 and a trial-and-error process occurred as they had to make sure that each frame coincides with what’s happening on the song. Often, they would adjust the speed of the video just so they could get it right. Finally, they had to export their creation to Adobe Premiere CS5 and do some last minute implementations.

What came out is a surreal take on a beautiful piece of music, something engaging, playful, quirky, completely embodying the thematic content of the song and what the band is for a lot of people.

With a simple challenge, both Mitzi and Karyl were able to produce something astounding, teaching everyone to look beyond what is given to you and to constantly challenge yourself no matter how big the task is.Possessed by that kind of attitude, one can be certain that every task becomes something worth it.