Brenden Bannon calls for the student animators to introduce themselves in the audience on Dec 12, 2023. (Photo by Diego Esquivel)

Mesa Community College host screening of student short films

Mesa Community College held its fourth movie night event on Tuesday Dec. 12 where student short films were showcased to celebrate the creators behind these projects.

Students and faculty gathered at “Movie Night 4” in the MCC theater as the semester came to a conclusion. 

The night started when Brenden Bannon, residential animation instructor for MCC, got on stage to thank the crowd for coming.

Bannon then asked for students in the audience to stand and introduce themselves. Students gave a quick preview of what they can expect from their short film and expressed all the hard work that went into their creation. 

“Our biggest objective and goal is to have students present their work and to have them experience it and have their peers experience it together and for them to see the reactions that their work has that comes from others by seeing their work,” said Bannon.

Bannon also acknowledged how this could be a crucial learning experience for students and how it can inspire them to take their careers to new heights.

“Our secondary goal would be for them to learn from the experience and to go further with it, for this to lead for them to get out there and have the courage to put their stuff out there. So often our students are afraid to do that, they’re afraid of failure. So that is what we’re trying to teach them, to overcome that fear,” said Bannon.

The night was filled with laughter and applause as students showed love and support for their fellow classmates’ short films.

When the night was over, students gathered in the lounge with pure smiles and went on to compliment each other on their finished products.

Monet Russo and L Walsh are both student animators that had their work displayed on the big screen. The two collaborated for an animated film called “Euphoria” which followed the story of a stalker who was obsessed with the concept of beauty. 

Russo and Walsh discussed enjoying this night of celebration and recognition, while also acknowledging the importance of exposure in the animation industry. 

“If you’re an artist, throw it out anywhere, recognition is our payment, it’s how we get through the door. Animation and art in general is unfortunately an industry where there isn’t just a ladder you can climb. It’s just a lot of waiting for an opportunity to jump, so just jump at everything, show your work to everybody,” said Russo.

Walsh, who also had a separate animated short featuring characters she designed for Dungeons and Dragons, showed appreciation for the college’s animation program and the students who make it special.

“I’d say submit your art wherever you can, getting your foot in the door can be hard but once you have it in the door, it can be really awesome. I really enjoy our animation program at MCC. It was cool getting to meet people in the animation program here that I might not have met otherwise, even people in my class who I hadn’t talked to previously, and getting to see each other’s work and talk,” said Walsh.

The event was just the fourth movie night by the animation program to celebrate the creators behind the many animations and short films. The fifth night is yet to be announced; however, guests can expect another showcase of talented student work in the future.

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