Heartstrings is a 3D animated short film created at the Savannah College of Art and Design that centers around the story of an Irish immigrant named Ailidh in New York City and her father.
I had the pleasure of directing a wonderfully talented team of eleven artists. I was responsible for writing the original screenplay and pitching the story, as well as heading the visual development department and overseeing the production as a whole. Since we were such a small team, we all wore many hats and I worked on the storyboards for the film, the rigs for both main characters, layout, lighting, compositing, and more.
As of September 2022, Heartstrings has rounded out its festival circuit with 35 selections, 4 awards, 2 semi-finalist selections, 1 nomination, and 1 honorable mention. As excited as we’ve been to have the opportunity to share our story with festival audiences in more than 15 countries, we’re also elated to now be able to share it with the rest of the world.
These videos give a peek into Heartstrings's production process using some of the shots I worked on, visually detailing how we progressed from our storyboards to the final product, from our animatic to our 3D layout, and how we animated according to reference footage.
Click/tap below to play.
Heartstrings Process Breakdowns
Visual Development Artwork
When I originally pitched this short film concept to the SCAD chairs of animation, I had already been developing artwork for this story for about a year. With that, I had a collection of sketches and paintings that I added to throughout preproduction, beginning in summer of 2020. The pieces below served as exploration and became guides for the film's visual language, character design, and overall aesthetic.