Date of Submission

Spring 2015

Academic Programs and Concentrations

Film and Electronic Arts

Project Advisor 1

Peggy Ahwesh

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Classical mythology has always been an important part of my life. My father, being Greek-Italian, named me after the ancient Greek goddess of the earth and would read to me before bed Ovid’s “Metamorphoses” among many other myths. So it became clear to me after taking a couple of classical studies classes, and going on a trip to the Villa Borghese in Rome, that I would revisit an old passion of mine, re-create some of my favorite stories and portray them through the format of animation as my senior project.

“Don’t make me come down there” is essentially a comical outlook on some of the relationships and events that occur throughout certain myths. These gods are animalistic and their actions – whether positive or not – are always exonerated because they are deities. In my versions of the myths, I wanted to make fun of how violent and ridiculous these gods were by humanizing them, yet keeping it light through the psychedelic imagery. I initially imagined a telenovela style storyline, which later developed into a closer look into the dysfunctional relationship between Zeus and his immortal children Apollo, Artemis and Dionysus. In my version of the myths, the Olympian sky god is considered to be a terrible father who does not discipline his children, who in turn run around the earth causing trouble such as killing and raping mortals. I needed a character to be the logical and moral compass of the story; so I chose Hermes, the messenger of the gods, as the only relatively serious person who calls out Zeus on his behavior. I also diluted the storylines into very short informal and crass conversations that inform the audience of what they need to know without having any previous knowledge of these stories. In addition, I made sure to keep some important symbols attributed to each god or myth, and made a few puns that I hope will make any Classics student or Art Historian giggle.

As for choosing animation as my mode of expression, I wanted to create a surreal visual experience that would enable me to take these myths into a completely different dimension of my own. From 3D animating to rotoscoping, I cannot even begin to describe my aesthetic as I have used so many different techniques to bring my characters alive. As a fan of Rome’s golden age, I decided to use images of classical Roman statues for my deities to truly portray them in the most pristine way, as they are gods and must be perfect. Apart from that, the rest of my animation is combination of vibrant colors and textures that take you from a mundane existence to a psychedelic world of my creation, in which I draw a lot of inspiration from the art and magic I experienced at the Burning Man festival in Nevada.

I hope this piece will open up people’s imagination as well as incite a laugh here and there, and hopefully stir up interest in these ancient but provocative myths. For me, this project does not end here in an eight-minute animation. I want to pursue bringing back these stories from the past and interpreting them in modern ways through filmmaking. Who knows? You might be seeing the next Greek mythology inspired soap opera in a few years!

Open Access Agreement

On-Campus only

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