The Film: A Royal Pain

"A Royal Pain" emerges from one of the most satisfying courses I've ever taught. It started with a pair of filmmakers (Taylor Wogoman and Daniel Reinisch) who shared a common interest in animation. Encouraged to expand their skillset, the two recruited a complement of artists and musicians.

At the heart of the film is an ambitious orchestral score, composed by Logan Knoppers in the style of Carl Stalling and performed by an ensemble of 36 musicians. As it was being recorded, artist Elizabeth Steiner created characters and settings that fully exploited two-dimensional design. Using Adobe's After Effects software, animators fashioned a world from "flat" textures of fabric, glass, and paper.

Because admission to the class was by invitation, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that the heat of production forged a group of extremely close friendships. But camaraderie alone hardly guaranteed the film's success. Its public screenings and awards can, rather, be attributed to solid storytelling well-executed.

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Special Topics in Communication
Best Student Film, Chicago Comedy Film Festival (IL) | Official Selection, Columbia Gorge International Film Festival (WA)