You talked a little bit about mentorship, how did that come into play?
Katelyn Robledo: We had basically nothing throughout the course of a year, we would send them rough cuts and get feedback on that. We went to them with every question involving contracts, involving licensing music, licensing all of the things. I think it was just helpful always to have different opinions, no matter what we were doing. I think one of the things at the very end that we were still asking is the score for the film. They were giving us feedback up until the last month. They helped us in every way that we could have imagined.
Kira Dane: At the same time, We were nervous in the beginning, especially for me, since it’s such a personal story. They’re such a huge institution and that maybe, they would be controlling in a lot of aspects, or there’d be certain things that we didn’t have a say over, but it never felt like that. They were always really, really open. In the end, things were still our decision, which I just thought was so rare.
Was there a piece of advice or something they gave you that either effected or drastically changed your approach to making the film that you found most valuable?
Kira Dane: Honestly, we were so new to all of this. They’re still helping us now with trying to figure out distribution and the business side of it. We had never produced our films of this caliber before. Katelyn and I were both directing and producing. So all of the more business end. They were really helpful there.
“…it was just helpful always to have different opinions, no matter what we were doing.”
What were your specific roles? Kira, I guess you’re the more public-facing member of the film, but did you divide up the responsibilities? What was your work dynamic like?
Kira Dane: Yeah, we did so much. Even though we had this grant, we were crazy ambitious with the money we had. Wanting to do an overseas shoot in Japan, and wanting to do a frame by frame animation, and wanting to do Super 8, and all the processing costs. So choosing all of those things, we simultaneously had decided not to bring on much help. We had very little help. So Katelyn and I were co-producing, co-directing, but at the same time, we were divvying up a lot of animation. Katelyn did all of the paper ripping animations, and I did a lot of the watercolor animation.
But in the end, Katelyn was just like, “There’s no way you’re going to be able to do all of because it takes so long.” So she made the very wise decision of bringing on some other watercolor animators. She was totally right. It was so helpful and cool to collaborate with two other artists who were doing it both remotely. But both of us were editing together, and Katelyn was shooting. Katelyn was shooting all of the Super 8, and yeah, so we were playing a role in every aspect of the film.