It took just three weeks, from start to finish, for Visual and Media Arts major Kris Theorin ’20 to create an animated short film for Disney.
“The whole thing was a really tight turnaround from the time they actually pick you to when you have to turn it in,” Theorin said, “so it was three weeks at the beginning of the semester.”
Something’s Awry, Theorin’s family’s production company, was selected through crowdsourced studio Tongal to create a short film for Disney and Young Storytellers, a Los Angeles-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit that works to help low-income public school students improve their writing skills and find their voices.
It’s one of four production teams chosen to help with the Disney and Young Storytellers Warrior Stories program.
In January, selected middle school students were given a pre-release screening of Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time before its release in early March. Afterward, the students wrote short films inspired by the movie, which were developed and filmed with the help of production companies like Something’s Awry. In February, the Warrior Stories films were screened at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, where A Wrinkle in Time director Ava DuVernay skyped in.
Something’s Awry directed and produced The Ultimate Yintegration, written by 11-year-old Joan Moreno. The story depicts a world split into a black and white yin-yang symbol.
Theorin founded the company with his mom, Amy Theorin, and brother, Kurtis Theorin ’15, in 2014. In 2016, Something's Awry created an animated video for Lego ahead of the Danish toy maker's release of a set commemorating The Beatles' Yellow Submarine.
Kurtis also helped Kris adapt the story to the screen, which involved reworking Moreno’s script.
“They allow you to do rewrites and things like that, so my brother would take what the kid gave us and adapted it to make it more suited for animations,” Theorin said. “The first thing in that was cutting out most of the dialogue.”
He said the biggest challenge was the time crunch.
“It was right as the semester started,” Theorin said. “It was still balancing that between doing homework and doing other things.”
However, Theorin said his favorite part of the process was post-production. This involved adding music, sound effects, and final visual elements.
“The most pleasing part of the process was finishing it up and putting all the final touches on it,” he said.
The Ultimate Yintegration can be viewed on Disney’s website.