Bringing Animation to Film: Interview with Pollyzoom Illustrator and Artist Paula Allen from
Written by Catherine Stewart | Posted by: NewEnglandFilm.com
This series of articles will feature interviews with established and emerging female filmmakers living and working in New England, as well as prominent industry figures from our region. Filmmaker Catherine Stewart discusses distribution, finding work, making connections, and handling collaborations, along with whatever else comes along. We encourage you to join the conversation here on NewEnglandFilm.com or on Twitter using #femalesinfilm.
Paula Allen is the illustrator behind the educational and artistic company Pollyzoom. Originally from Upstate New York and currently residing in St. Petersburg, Florida, Allen is currently pursuing an MFA in Film at the Vermont College of Fine Arts in order to expand her creative practice. ‘My work as an artist has been in visual and performing arts before coming to VCFA. I am known for teaching and working with children a great deal and giving them opportunities to step into the art world beyond the normal experience.’
Allen is currently working on an animated film for children and their families. ‘My main character is from a series of drawings I created over 10 years ago. Vermont College of Fine Art is wonderful place to collaborate with faculty, and to bring your ideas together.’ Although Allen was initially apprehensive about studying at a school so far away from home the program has offered her a great deal.
‘When you get us all together for one week it is an experience I can only describe as high energy, transformational, and inspiring. Working from home with my mentor T. Marie this semester has been like having her come to my house for private tutoring. Our face to face online time with our laptops in hand are experiences that I value so much. I never had that when I went to regular graduate school for Theatre Arts. We were lucky to get a few meetings a semester with teachers. So the format really works very well.’
Allen credits her mother for her knowledge and love of classic films. ‘My mother was a film fan and taught me who everyone was, including those in silent films when I was a child. My favorite film actress was Lillian Gish because of her beautiful expressions and simplicity. Chaplin’s tramp, Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast, and early cartoons really influenced my desire to tell stories with my drawings.’
Currently Allen is working alone on her animation but looks forward to learning more, progressing her practice and working with collaborators in the future. ‘With 1000’s of drawings, characters and stories already written through the years I find that my animated movies will evolve over time bringing to life all the things I want to say in all the ways I want to say it.’
I certainly look forward to seeing more from this colourful, creative and experienced artist and following her developments in film.
You can see more about Allen’s work at her website, http://www.pollyzoom.com/. For more information about the MFA in Film program at Vermont College of Fine Arts, visit the web at vcfa.edu/film.