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A Paw Over Dark
Animation & Illustration

Our film follows Massimo, a washed up thespian, who performs passionately in a grimy theater to a nearly empty audience. However, everything changes when a clueless dog jumps on stage. What ensues is a surreal, comical, and haunting descent into madness as we witness what our actor is willing to do and sacrifice so he can be loved just as much as one stupid dog. A Paw Over Dark is inspired by our own struggles as artists and by our love of quirky, mixed media animation. As young adults, we sometimes grapple with self doubt, envy and our pesky egos – both in the artistic sphere, and in our personal lives. We wanted to create a film that explores the grim consequences of changing ourselves in order to be loved and admired. Another important aspect of our film is the visual style. Through various compositing techniques, we are mimicking a nostalgic feel reminiscent of xeroxed cel animation. Utilizing Chiaroscuro lighting and moody colors, our grimy backgrounds serve as the perfect stage for our fallen actor. Live action plays a crucial role in the film as well. Our audience members are performed by actors wearing uniquely designed masks, evoking the look of a greek choir. The footage is then solarized to emulate the ways older animated films combined animation and live action.  We adore the odd, the uncanny, and the off beat, and our visuals are vital to communicating that.

BFA Team:

Co-Director - Dorian Saisse

Co-Director - Marisa Molson

Story Lead - Bradley Williams

Animation Lead - Luca Di Stefano

Story Artist - Craig Corpuz

Background Co-Lead - Nathaly Gutierrez

Background Co-Lead - Kelsey Ward

Character Designer - Veronica Czaja

Character Designer - Chloe Bennett

Animation & Illustration