The LoFi PANDEMIC Series ep#17 Amara Grantz

Join us for the last podcast in our ‘LoFi Pandemic Series’ before we return to the recording studio for fresh new projects. In this final podcast, our resident legend Joel Imber chats to an incredibly inspiring, rising star Amara Grantz, who is taking the arts-animation world by storm!

19 Year old Tasmanian animator Amara Grantz has been turning her dreams into reality through winning film competitions and receiving an internship to work on the upcoming Pinocchio film in the US. Joel catches up with Amara to talk via Zoom to learn about her journey and what’s happening on and off the set!

When did it really feel like art was something you connected with?

Ever since I’ve been drawing like since I was a kid it was a given I wanted to be an animator or an artist. It was about when I was 14 I entered my first animation into the MyState Film Festival.

How did you get into in to animation?

It was a lot of teaching myself. I gravitated towards to a lot of films like Ghibli films and Pixar, I guess a lot films that had storytelling, as my favourite type art telling stories through art. I would say a lot of my childhood films influence in what I create now and what drives me to create more.

What was your go to favourite film as a child?

Oooh! So many I would to say three films. Nausicaä and Spirited Away from Studio Ghibli and The Incredibles by Pixar.

So right now you are in America helping out working on the upcoming Pinocchio film. How did you get opportunity and how’s it all going right now?

Well I’m not actually working on 2d animation as such I’m working on stop motion. It kinda has the same principles but it’s sort of its own thing. You’re actually holding the puppets and you’re moving them around.

In regards to getting here I actually owe it to a family friend of mine as my mum’s friend found the application and sent it to me. The whole thing is through Screen Australia, so basically I’m getting sent by Screen Australia to learn so I can take my learning back to them.

I immediately made a pitch video and got accepted… and here I am! It was really by chance honestly!

What was your first day like being on the set?

Well… I can’t say too much about the production as its TOP SECRET (haha). But it was just amazing I was pinching myself the whole time. Working with people who love and understand animation so much was just mind-blowing to me. To be in a place with people who made the films I watched growing up… it was just crazy!

How has it been working during COVID?

I’ve been in the US since January so COVID happened during my internship which meant I had to work from home. I wasn’t learning as much as I probably could been in the studio – but it was really interesting to see how the way a production handles that kinda thing – like handling a pandemic! All the team persevered to keep it all going, there was a lot of creative support through it too. I’m working from home but there’s talks about going back to the studio and hopefully that works out.

What are some tips and tricks you’d share to anyone getting into animation?

You don’t need lots of fancy equipment to make something good. A tablet is always great but it’s not particularly needed as well. I’d say watch a lot of tutorials, follow a lot of people’s journeys and ask other artists how they create their work and try and connect with artists your age and older too.
That would be my main advice.

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