City of Sounds
Date of Submission
Film and Electronic Arts
Project Advisor 1
City of Sounds is an animated short film about finding companionship in unexpected places. It follows a lonely accordion player in post-apocalyptic Italy, who longs for an audience in the nearly abandoned city of Venice. By the end of the film, she not only gains her audience, but an entire choir of strange and wonderful vocalists who join her in song. For this film, I wanted to explore themes of isolation and connection. We have all been cut off from our communities this year, and so I wanted to provide a hopeful message in a playful package, reminding the audience that sometimes doors open where we least expect them.
I have been passionate about animation since before I came to Bard. I believe it is a medium that can thoughtfully provoke the audience in ways that live action film cannot. When I began the film program here, I knew that I wanted more animation in my education than Bard could provide. On top of my classes, I also participated in multiple animation tutorials, as well as supplemental animation courses at other schools. This project is truly an amalgamation of what I’ve learned over the past four years. I saw senior projects as an opportunity to put my knowledge to the test– to animate something bigger than anything I had ever done before.
City of Sounds provided much of a challenge. I decided early on that I wanted to hand draw every detail. Using a tablet my dad got for me when I was twelve, I spent November till May holed up in my studio drawing out every background and frame. I was lucky enough to already have the plot, characters, and setting worked out: the idea for this project was originally synthesized in a summer class I took called ‘Storytelling for Animation’ with professor Pamela Stalker (Berkeley City College). In this class I made an animatic with the same plot, which ended up functioning as a storyboard. When my senior year began, I redrafted much of the work from this class and used it during the pre-production phase.
Sound plays a key role in the film– other than the voices, all sounds were made using the body of an accordion. As an accordionist myself, I wanted to showcase the breadth of what the instrument can do. Working with musician and friend Strangely Doesburg, we crafted a unique soundtrack that would give a layer of depth and surrealism to the world in which the film takes place. It is a city of sounds and mysteries, only uncovered if you trust your intuition and open the right doors.
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Cory, Teah Rose Leanne, "City of Sounds" (2021). Senior Projects Spring 2021. 301.
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