5Q's w/Sam Lane "Spell of the West" Director



#1: Can you describe your movie and why somebody should see it in less than 280 characters?

Spell of the West is an animated short about a cowgirl who must join forces with some stressed out animals in order to stop the evil Ax-Man. The film features screaming birds and horses, making it an interesting watch.

#2: What do you want the Borrego Springs Film Festival audience to know about your film that isn’t obvious from its title?

This is a film with an environmental theme. It was inspired by a book I read called, "The Songs of Trees," by David Haskell, which describes the ways in which trees communicate to each other. I highly recommend it.

#3: What is your movie making background? Tell us about yourself.

I am a BFA4 in the Experimental Animation program at the California Institute of the Arts, and I've been making animated films since about 9th grade. My first animation class was actually a logistical mistake--I had signed up for a painting class in high school, and instead got put in digital arts. It ended up working out for me. I loved to draw, and I loved telling stories. Animation is the perfect blend of those two things, and since you don't have to worry about locations, actors, or bulky equipment, you can make it as fantastical as you want.

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#4: What was the biggest lesson learned in getting your film made?

The biggest lesson I learned was that I am incapable of functioning without sleep. I cannot operate on less than 8 hours. All-nighters are out of the question.

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#5: What does the future hold for your film and you?

I am planning to continue the festival circuit with this film, and in the meantime I am working on my senior thesis. My new project is a stop motion film that is backed by the Princess Grace Foundation USA. For the first time in my life, I get to build an entire team of artists to help me, which is incredibly exciting. The story will feature a pop star, a nun, and a fistfight!

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Matthew NothelferComment