Short Film Showcase: A Rock’s Fantastic, Imaginary Journey Through Time and Space

Animator Seth Boyden imagines one rock’s evolutionary adventure through the ages and the role humans play in its journey on Earth—and beyond. I spoke to Seth about his film An Object at Rest.

When did you first start animating?

I first started animating when I was in sixth grade. My friends and I started making short films in my family’s basement with a cheap stop-motion camera and clay. We had a blast animating monsters and car chases, and I’ve kept at it ever since!

What’s your favorite part of the process?

My favorite part of the animation process is the very beginning, where I establish the character and the story for the film. This is done by hundreds of different drawings that show what the film could look like. The story itself goes through a number of iterations and is constantly changing and moving in different directions. I have the most fun drawing all kinds of different story concepts to shape the story of the film, and determine how each part of the movie fits together.

Who are some of the animators who inspire you?

The most influential artist for me is Bill Peet, who was a famous Disney story artist and children’s book writer and illustrator. He worked on films like Pinocchio, Dumbo, and 101 Dalmatians. Bill Peet also made extremely dynamic and charming stories, and his storytelling aesthetic deeply influences my own sensibilities, especially in this short film.

Hayao Miyazaki’s films and watercolor paintings are also extremely beautiful and influential. His eye for natural detail in movement, character, and design are unparalleled.

Where did the idea for this project come from?

I came up with the story for the film while I was at home and my dad and I were walking down a gravel road beside some farm fields. We started talking about how the —> Read More