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Update on the Made Here Fund

A group photo with many of the Made Here Recipeints
Mike Dougherty
Vermont Public
Top row from from L to R: Elissa Pine, Jennifer Sutton, Malcolm Quinn Silver-Van Meter, Onel Salazar Umanzor, Travis Van Alstyne, Bira Vanara, Mary Wesley

Bottom row from L to R: Brad Heck, Willow O’Feral, Rocket, Migmar Tsering

Project Updates

Made Here Fund recipients had the opportunity to gather and meet each other in person for the first time on April 13th, at a special reception during the Made Here Film Festival at the Burlington Beer Company. It was such an exciting moment to meet and celebrate together. Our hope is to create more opportunities for collaboration and conversation in the future.

As part of the Fund process, we ask recipients to check in on progress at the halfway point of their timeline. From time to time, we will be able to share these updates, as creators head towards their project finish lines.

Malcolm Quinn Silver-Van Meter

Project: The Balloonist

Still of animation sequence in The Balloonist.
Animation by Samuel Wright Smith
Still of animation sequence in The Balloonist.

My animator and I are near finished with our animations, which will then be integrated into the film. I am recutting most of it while keeping the basic structure and moments I had before. I have also brought in some more music, provided by Thetford folk musician Derek Burkins. I am consulting with a sound designer on a few elements of it, and will take it to a colorist soon.

Still of animation sequence in The Balloonist.
Malcolm Quinn Silver-Van Meter
Film still, courtesy the filmmaker

Part of what I'm trying to do is to create a piece that embodies the energy of its subject. Like Brian's creations, I want the film to have a handmade feel. I pivoted from originally doing watercolors for the animated segments to doing oil pastels because of their almost childlike feel — while still offering enough control to contribute some painterliness. I also wanted to capture some more simple moments with Brian than I had previously in the edit. I already had a lot about his philosophies and notions about legacy in the film, but I'm trying here to see how much I can make it feel like the viewer is hanging out with Brian. I think it's the first time I've tried to play with perspective in this way, and it's a really interesting learning experience as I think about how I motivate different styles and energies in my work. It also feels very special to be working on a film that is a rural Vermont story, as much of the stuff I've worked on more recently has been in the city.

~Malcolm Quinn Silver-Van Meter

Travis Van Alstyne

Project: Love of the Land

A few things are underway at the moment. Currently I'm working on animation, which I'm 80% done with. Also, music is being recorded and discussions around sound design have started.

The only challenge at the moment is the sheer amount of time it takes to animate. The rotoscope process is slow, taking at least an hour for every second of finished animation. I'm still hoping to be done at the end of July, but it's possible it might be early fall before everything comes together.

In the process of working on this project, I've had the pleasure of getting acquainted with my own inner strength and drive. I'm at the point in production where shear force and commitment is needed to finish the project. While the end result is always uplifting, the process of animation can be tedious and slow. But, I'm overcoming this and moving forward!

~Travis Van Alstyne

As Director of Content Partnership, Eric works with individuals and organizations to make connections leading to more Vermont stories. As Producer of the Made Here series, Eric partners with filmmakers from New England and Quebec to broadcast and stream local films. Find more info here:
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