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VIDEO: ‘Dragon Trap’

Editor’s Note: Open Screen, New Orleans will host a free screening on Thursday, March 12 at 7 PM. Mediamakers of all types are invited to show up with short video pieces. A few of Open Screen presenters offer to share their work and experiences with NolaVie. Here’s one with Tiny Circus:

How would you describe/introduce your video?

Tiny Circus: We made Dragon Trap at St. Cecilia Elementary School in Ames, Iowa with a group of over 200 people, including students, teachers, and adult volunteers. Students brainstormed and conceptualized the story in advance of our work week. Once Tiny Circus facilitators arrived, everyone spent hours and hours for 5 days straight making characters and sets and then shooting scenes at two animation stations.

The week ended with a glorious celebratory premiere on the school soccer field where family and friends enjoyed popcorn, a life-sized dragon replica, funky hats, and a program of other Tiny Circus animations made with schools and community groups across the country.

During the Open Screen, you mentioned that over 200 people were involved with your video. Do you have any advice for filmmakers who want to work with a large production like yours?

TC: Right off the bat, one of the things we always do is to give everyone credit by giving no one credit. Tiny Circus is the only name in every animation, and that’s because once a person works on a Tiny Circus project, they’re part of Tiny Circus! By eliminating a hierarchy of credits from the work, everyone feels a sense of ownership over the project and it’s entirely more possible to cultivate community rather than competition amongst our members.

Tiny Circus members have invested a lot of time and energy into thinking about, testing, and revising ways of collaborating, so sharing credit is only one of many ways we structure our projects to be radically collaborative. We do things differently from most working in art, film and academia. We’re always happy to share our methods with others, so please get in touch with us if you ever want to know more about our process:

What’s next from Tiny Circus?

TC: We’ll go from working with college students in Tennessee and New Hampshire to Iowa for an environmental film festival to premiere an animation about recycling!  We’re also working on a short promotional piece for a maker fair at the Science Center of Iowa.

Where can people find out more about your projects?

TC: Here’s a few links to some other new projects:

Learn more about videos presented during Open Screen here


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