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A Crash Course in Animated Productions

Animation students discover the reality of creating and managing animated productions.

BFA Animation and Motion Media students now have the opportunity to take Animation Studio, a course that pairs clients (mostly nonprofits) with students to create and develop animated content for various organizations. Mirroring the processes of a professional animation studio, this course exposes students to animation development, client relations, and managing animated productions.

Recent clients include Make-A-Wish New Hampshire, Child Homelessness Initiative (directed by Lesley's own Lisa Fiore), and a film production company called Terra Incognita Films (produced by Lesley's own Ron Lamothe). "It was a really successful semester for both students and clients, and we have some great plans for the future of the course," shares Instructor Mike Annear.

image of three animation stills from student projects


Animation BFA students Jess Brown, Sean Dimarco and Rachel Donnelly worked closely with the Child Homelessness Initiative to produce Every Child Deserves a Home. The animated short is a balance between honoring children’s competence and curiosity with the realities of homelessness, poverty and assumptions or biases that people have about homelessness.

"Working with students was a tremendous experience, particularly as someone unfamiliar with the creative process required for any animation work," shares Lisa Fiore. "The students were responsive and clear with their ideas and plans at every step. Our conversations resulted in new understandings and clarifications for me, which strengthened my ability to communicate about the Initiative. The final project reflects beautifully many key concepts that we discussed. This is especially noteworthy since the students didn’t have a background in child development."

The nonprofit organization, Make-A-Wish Foundation New Hampshire, grants wishes on a weekly basis to children with life-threatening illnesses across the state. Working with the Foundation, students Jenny DeMarines, Sam Manning, and Gabby Zarrella created their own informational short for the organization. They effectively communicated the mission and process of the nonprofit for a broader audience who may otherwise be unfamiliar with the organization. Make-A-Wish rolled out the animation on social media soon after the semester ended to a positive reception.