Claymation Abounds in Film Created By Northeast Bradford Students

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‘Park Problems’ was recently awarded the ‘Best 6-8’ award in the 2016 Rod Serling Film Festival. John Pilvelis, Art/Gifted Program Teacher at Northeast Bradford School District, served as mentor to the students that created this film. He took some time to gather feedback from his students regarding their experience on this project:


What is your film about?  Can you summarize it in a few sentences?
Our film involves a boy who tries to practice his clarinet in the park. Various animals get involved and complicate matters.

How did you come up with the idea for your film?
At first we sat around and brainstormed ideas. We decided to do a story about a girl practicing the flute in her room. As we sculpted our character’s head, we realized that she wasn’t very pretty so we solved that problem by turning her into a boy. As we developed our story we kept adding more and more animals and thought it would make more sense if we set it in a park rather than a room.

Can you talk about your approach to the script and technical elements you used?
We started doing storyboards for our film but soon realized it would work better if we filmed ourselves acting the story out. We watched this short film of us several times which helped us see where the script needed more work. Watching online tutorials also helped regarding the basics of claymation. A lot of trial and error took place as we spent time creating the characters, building props, painting the backdrop and making crazy sounds to use for various sound effects.

Thank you for sharing your film with WSKG! How did you hear about the Rod Serling Film Festival?
Mr. Pilvelis, our art teacher, told us about the Rod Serling Film Festival and talked to us about entering.

Which part of this filmmaking experience did you enjoy the most?
Even though we worked as a team on this film, we each liked different aspects of the filmmaking process.

Kate | I loved doing the audio effects. I liked the challenge of figuring out how to make the different sounds that went into the finished film.

Samantha | I really enjoyed filming the transitions whenever a clay object morphed into something. It was so cool to actually see the finished effects.

Jace | My favorite part was also working on the audio tracks. You never knew how things would sound when mixed into the film. If you had an idea you could try it very quickly and then play it back to see if it worked.

Emily | Everything! I can honestly say that I enjoyed every part of the process while making this film.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?
We would like to give a big thanks to Mr. Pilvelis, our art teacher, who worked with us throughout this entire process. He helped us think through the many problems that we faced while making this movie. We would also like to thank everyone else who encouraged us along the way. Claymation takes a long time and requires a lot of patience, but we think it was worth the effort. We’re very proud of our film and hope that people will enjoy it!


SamanthaBurnettSamantha Burnett was in 5th grade at the Northeast Bradford School District in Pennsylvania when she along with 3 other students worked on the film, “Park Problems”. When her teacher, Mr. Pilvelis, suggested making a claymation film, Samantha loved the idea. She always enjoyed watching animated movies with her family and had wanted to make animated films ever since she was a little girl. This was a chance to make a dream come true. Despite all of the work that goes into making an animated movie Samantha is still very enthusiastic about animation. She has a newfound respect for movie makers and hopes to someday become one. Samantha hopes that this is the first of many films that she will get to work on.

JaceNicholsJace Nichols was in the 6th grade at the Northeast Bradford School District when he along with a small group of classmates (Samantha, Kate and Emily) worked on the short claymation film, “Park Problems”. He is very proud that the film was awarded “Best 6-8th” film in the Rod Serling Film Festival in 2016. This is the first film that Jace has ever been involved with. He was inspired by watching other films that he loves and hopes that someday this film will inspire others in the same way.

KateOConnorKate O’Connor was in 5th grade when she worked on the film, “Park Problems” as part of her gifted/enrichment class at the Northeast Bradford Elementary School in Pa. Kate loves Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone, was thrilled when the film won in the “Best 6-8” category at the Rod Serling Film Festival in 2016. She has always enjoyed watching claymation films and is excited to have worked on a team that actually made one. Kate also enjoys basketball, practicing her flute and horse-back riding in her spare time.

Emily Susanj was EmilySusanja 6th grader at the Northeast Bradford School District when she was part of making the 2016 award winning film, “Park Problems”. She never really understood the process of claymation until making this film. Emily loved how important teamwork was in the creation of this movie. The group faced many problems while making “Park Problems” but she feels that by working together they created a film that they are really proud of.  When she’s not making films, Emily enjoys playing sports and solving math problems.


The 2016 Rod Serling Film Festival will be held at the Art Mission & Theater on October 16, 2016 and all winning selections can be found here.

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