Students Take Tattoos to New Depths

Students Take Tattoos to New Depths

When the Providence studio The Story Hat (TSH) began to develop their concept for a feature-length animated horror film, they didn’t need to look far to find an abundance of talented young artists to start the production process. Fifteen Illustration students got in on the ground floor of Bloodlines, the shared creation of TSH execs Kevin Mowrer and Rob Travalino, and Michael Corrente of Eagle Beach Productions. It was a film the producers had hoped would become the first feature-length CGI-animated horror film produced for wide release in the US adult market.

The script for Bloodlines centers on a teenage tattoo artist whose tattoos come to life and turn on their bearers. Producer/director Corrente, whose credits include the live-action films Federal Hill, American Buffalo and Outside Providence, says that when he “heard the idea of making an animated horror film that would combine the elements of horror, animation and tattoos, I knew I had to make this film.” Illustration students in a studio taught by Shanth Enjeti RISD 98 IL worked with a mix of traditional and electronic media as they developed the overall look of the animation, including characters and locations. A collaborative process assisted by the team of directors and a roster of visiting professionals brought the artists quickly up to speed on the complexities of a real-world, large-scale commercial animation project.

Assistant Professor Nick Jainschigg RISD 83 IL says that students quickly rose to the challenge of producing professional work. The studio “has been very valuable, both in pushing the students to professional levels of production and in introducing them to collaborative ways of working,” he says. Enjeti adds: “When our students do fine work, I always say, ‘I am pleased, but not surprised’ – but seeing them mature throughout this process was truly rewarding.”

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