In just 15 seconds, Kinetic Imaging seniors Allison Zigadlo and Triet Le had impressed two of the most revered French filmmakers in the world. For the 25th French Film Festival, held this past March, Zigadlo and Le had prepared an animated tribute in charcoal to director Jacques Perrin and composer Bruno Coulais at the request of festival director Dr. Peter Kirkpatrick. After Perrin and Coulais watched the tribute, Le says, “they hugged us and put their hands on their hearts. It was a highlight of my student life.”
Zigadlo and Le spent a month completing the 15-second animation. They began by watching four films that Perrin and Coulais had partnered on, and then created a prototype of the film called an animatic. After making 170 drawings in charcoal and photographing them one-by- one, they composited them together to sequence into the finished short.
For Zigadlo, it was her favorite moment as an undergraduate. “The whole experience,” she says, “of receiving the project, animating, and then presenting our work in front of a wide audience was definitely the highlight of my time here.”
The two animators originally decided to get into Kinetic Imaging for the freedom and breadth of the program, which allowed them to take on ambitious projects like this. Though Zigadlo came to VCUarts interested in video, and Le arrived with a healthy fascination for drawing and movement, their shared belief in the limitless potential of animation fueled their incredible work.
After graduation, Le says that he’ll be seeking internships and jobs to continue honing his skills in drawing, design and animated filmmaking. Zigadlo will be moving to Philadelphia, where she will continue to work on animations and videos.