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Student Profile: Flavia Romani, Motion Design

December 14, 2022

Continuing and Professional Education student Flavia Romani, who recently completed our Motion Design and Animation Certificate, shares with us her experience working on her final project for Motion Design I. Deeply inspired by the 2019 Climate Strike NYC, she created an animation that focuses on the struggles of being a climate change activist in Latin America, especially as a young person. Read more about Flavia below!

Flavia's final project: Francisco Vera, Climate Activist, 11 years old from ViceVersa Magazine on Vimeo.

What inspired you to create the animation about climate change for your final project? What are some concepts you used from your motion design course when making it? Can you provide any more background information on this project?

The seed of this project was planted in 2019, at the Climate Strike NYC. I was energized by seeing tens of thousands of demonstrators, mostly children, teens, and young people, rallying for action to fight climate change. Their commitment, awareness, and urgency were infectious. In 2021, I started developing a project about activist children in Latin America, for ViceVersa Magazine and Timeline Digital. We wanted to focus the spotlight on Latin America, where being an activist often comes with added strains. For example, Colombia is among the deadliest countries for Environmental and Land Defenders (Global Witness). And yet there are kids like Francisco Vera Manzanares who are committed to these causes. 

When we interviewed Francisco, he had already spoken at the Colombian Congress, had founded the organization “Guardianes por la vida” (Guardians for Life), and had made headlines due to explicit threatening messages received on social media. He was 11-years-old when we met him. 

At the time we were producing the interview, I was taking Motion Design 1 with Miranda Javid. Throughout the class, she had encouraged students to bring personal or work projects to develop in class. Thanks to that, I was able to develop this short animation as my final project. Receiving feedback from Miranda, workshopping it with my classmates, and having deadlines and deliverables, were vital to finish the piece. 

I was awarded with the Fellowship “Still I Rise Films” to further develop Francisco’s story and create a short animated documentary which I’m working on right now and hoping to finish by next year. 

The main techniques I used were lip-synching and hand-drawn animation in Adobe Photoshop.

What experience did you have with motion design and animation before you started the course?

I had tried to learn Adobe After Effects on my own, experimenting with templates. However, I was only scratching the surface and was having a hard time understanding the software and creating animations from scratch.

What motivated you to enroll in the motion design course?

I was interested in having a structured environment in which to learn After Effects and motion design. I also wanted a class that integrated theory as well as technical aspects.

Did you earn the full certificate or do you plan to continue to pursue it?

I did! I just finished the certificate.

Are there any memorable lessons or interactions you had with your instructor that you’d like to share?

I particularly appreciated Miranda Javid and Alisa Evdokimov’s commitment to the class and to the needs and interests of each individual student. They are extremely responsive, give detailed and thought-out feedback, and will go out of their way to find resources to help answer questions.

If you are currently employed, what industry do you work in and what is your title?

I’m a freelance graphic designer and video editor. I’m also creative director of the Spanish-language online publications ViceVersa Magazine, which I co-founded.

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