International School students see their stories come alive - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

International School students see their stories come alive

At one time or another, most elementary school students wrote short stories. But few can say that the stories they wrote ended up on a big screen. On Monday afternoon, some local students could.

Even though they are nowhere near college age, dozens of local students took seats in a classroom at Loyola University. They were there to see their hard work come alive on a large video screen. The students attend the International School of Louisiana, and with the volume up on the monitor their eyes were fixed on the animated films that played for their entertainment. But there was more to it than just entertainment.

The second-graders actually wrote the stories that were later turned into colorful animation.

"It's a lot of writing, it's about speaking, it's about literature," said International School French teacher, Lilian Deltort.

Students in Loyola's "advanced motion-graphics" class were tasked with turning their little clients' stories into animation, and they took it seriously.

But first they required some help because the second-graders wrote their stories in French, a language they are now fluent in because of their curriculum at the International School of Louisiana.

The Loyola students got help translating the stories written by the second-graders from teachers at their Camp Street school.

"I wanted to take what I know, put it on their level and make them understand," said Loyola senior Kortney Cleveland, who developed one of the vibrant, animated stories.

Enjoli Gilbert, a junior at Loyola, animated a story about a penguin and a duck.

"Just moved them around then played with the type on the top, edited it down, so it looks like the penguin is moving across the screen or the duck is waddling or something, but I finally pulled it together at the end which I'm proud to say that I really loved this one," said Gilbert, as she smiled.

Anneliese DePano, another junior in the graphics design class, created an animation about a horse pretending to be an elephant.

"It still got their moral across like things aren't always what they seem, but it was still fun," said DePano with a laugh. "It was a horse that dressed up like an elephant because he wanted to get into the zoo and so he was able to trick the zoo keeper because the zoo keeper didn't recognize him as a horse. Horses weren't allowed in the zoo, apparently." 

"This project has brought more excitement to my design students than any project I ever offered," said Professor Daniela Marx, who teaches the motions-graphic class at Loyola.

She said the students must draw every character they will use in the animation and come up with the appropriate colors schemes, as well.

"We are not about to pull things off a website, that's like an instant F," said one student.

Professor Marx said they are required to make story boards, which are depictions of their characters and how they stack up in the animated film.

"Basically creating the entire piece from beginning to end from flat images and knowing exactly what happens when," she said.

And after the big reveal at Loyola, the second-graders engaged in reviews of the college students' work.

"I love the animation, it was funny," said Belle Adelman-Cannon.

"They're good," said Corbyn Thonn.

And the second-graders even handed out letter-grades for the animations.

"I think it was mostly A's because how they're making sort of like films," said Adelman-Cannon.

"I graded it with an "A," said Thonn.

"I learned a lot and it was easy to take it from my point of view. I don't understand this language, so how can I make the subtitles as interesting as the actual piece?" said Cleveland of working with the young students.

Of course, the animated stories prompted a lot of laughter and enjoyment by the second-graders, and the Loyola professor said the colorful creations required a great deal of work by her students.

"It takes one hour for every second, basically, for this to be produced," Marx said. "Most pieces are two minutes each, so that's 120 seconds, so at least they worked on it 120 hours."

And she hopes what her students at Loyola University are doing will be employed by the ever-growing "Hollywood South."

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