This week, Bryn Mawr Film Institute welcomed the newest member of its staff: Kerri Grogan, our new Staff Assistant. An animator who customers at Merion Art and Repro already know and love for her sunny disposition and can-do attitude, she will be supporting BMFI’s education, outreach, programming, and public relations initiatives. You’ll also be hearing more from her here, on BMFInsights.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I'm an animator, artist, crafter, and blogger [MotionSavvy] from North Carolina. I went to college in Maryland and several years later moved to Delaware County, Pennsylvania. I love movies—not just animated ones—and storytelling is something I'm very passionate about. Also, I tend to be a huge nerd about many a thing.
You studied animation. Do you have a favorite animator or character?
There are a few. I really admire Tomm Moore (director, The Secret of Kells) and Glen Keane (character animator, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast) for their talent and their vision. I think every hand-drawn animator has to at least mention Miyazaki as well. But my absolute favorite animator is probably Don Bluth (director, The Secret of NIMH, Anastasia, others). Not specifically because I think his movies are the absolute best thing out there—although it's true that he can singlehandedly be blamed for my life-long love of dinosaurs, and I do think The Secret of NIMH, especially, is a truly great movie—but because he's so passionate about the medium.
What is your favorite film? Why do you love it?
Spirited Away. I think part of my love for it is personal and nostalgic, but it's also true that everything about this movie is beautiful and incredibly well paced and put together.
What is your all-time favorite cinema experience?
When I was in college, part of my final animation coursework was to complete my own short animated film. I worked on my project for the duration of the school year, from concept to completion, and when it was finally ready—after many long and sleepless nights—my class presented all of the work as a senior show in the large campus theater. The films were really incredible...my classmates were (and still are!) extremely talented. When I saw the title of my piece on the screen, I gasped. Seriously, my jaw dropped. I covered my mouth and watched in silence, my hands shaking. I think I might've teared up a bit when I saw my name in the credits. When you create something, you can look at it a million times during the process and be analytical about it. But even when you know it has problems, and you can see all of those problems while you watch the final cut, there's nothing quite like watching something you've slaved, anguished, and angsted over on the big screen. It's really powerful.If you see Kerri upon your next visit to BMFI, please welcome her!