Independent movie uses animation to promote creativity
THE SANTA CLARA
November 7, 2013
Alongside well-known actors like Dakota Fanning and Emile Hirsch, one of Santa Clara’s own is hitting the big screen.
On Monday night, approximately 70 people gathered in the Recital Hall in the Music and Dance Building for a preview screening of “The Motel Life,” an 85-minute independent film co-produced by 2008 graduate Liam Satre-Meloy.
The film’s message, according to communication professor Michael Whalen, is “Open up because without that human companionship, you are nowhere.”
The film is based upon the 2006 novel by Willy Vlautin. Two brothers from Reno, Nev., flee their town after a fatal hit-and-run accident. This film explores the tragic relationship between the brothers.
“Great independent film is all about getting into the mind and the character of somebody,” said Whalen.
Satre-Meloy worked with the brother-director duo Alan and Gabe Polsky to produce the film. This was the Polsky brothers’ fourth film together. The team began to adapt the source material for “The Motel Life” about five years ago.
It took less than two years to make the film, from writing the first draft of the script to the first day of production. It was shot in 24 days, and edited in about one year.
The low-budget film was produced using under $5 million and was first previewed in December 2012 at the Rome International Film Festival. Animator Mike Smith from Portland, Ore., and an animation studio in Korea embellished the overall dark film.
“The use of the animation was a brilliant way to bring the creative mind to the storytelling,” said Whalen.
Whalen also explained Satre-Meloy’s transformation as an artist.
“He didn’t come to Santa Clara thinking film. He came to Santa Clara and found film,” said Whalen.
Satre-Meloy produces film for a greater purpose.
“I’m not there yet, but hopefully at some point, it will serve as a really big microphone. You can reach a lot of people,” said Satre-Meloy.
He wants this film to reach audiences going through hardships.
“Sometimes turning inward or turning to someone else can be really fulfilling and rejuvenating,” said Satre-Meloy.
The film will be officially released on Friday, Nov. 8.
Contact Eryn Olson at firstname.lastname@example.org of call (408) 554-4852.