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Parallels at Hand

SVA Thesis Film

Parallels at Hand is an experimental animated short film covering themes of diversity, race, and inclusion in the New York Metropolitan area. It's limited view of commonplace actions creates a unifying element and a level of anonymity between different lifestyles, situations, and the every day experiences of common New Yorkers. 

Parallels at Hand was rated #1 amongst the School of Visual Arts Graduating Class of 2022 and went on to be screened in both Hollywood California and Manhattan New York as apart of SVA's Best of 2022 Showcase. The film was also selected to be apart of SVA's Exhibition "Enduring Heritage" showcased in the Saint Paul de Mausole Monastery in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France.

Starting Concepts
Baby Holding Hand
Hijab Pin

Parallels at Hand started off a quick thought that grew into a larger concept. How can we otherwise present emotion in film without drawing a full character? How can we focus the camera directly on the action of the individual? And how can we present every-day in the most anonymous format? Hands as a motif and a symbol of humanity lended a lot towards this project. Their expressive nature lends a nuanced, delicate and intimate way of eliciting emotion.

Holding Hands
Grocery Shopping
Holding Hands
Grocery Shopping

With the film set in modern day it was simple to draw comparisons between real life experiences. Pulling from personal conversations, impactful moments, and every day perspectives were what built up the majority of the storytelling. Parallels at Hand also presents a multitude of situations that reveal their own level of subtext beckoning that even the smallest stories is being told within each shot.


It its final moments the camera was pulled away to present a larger picture of humanity. A single mother who cares for her son even in the late hours of the night. A fast food worker coming home to an empty apartment. A dad taking the time to help his son with his homework knowing the value of education. And a daughter staying up late to make her mark on the world. 

In these shots there was a more distinct push to display the individualized situation of different archetypes of people. What their homes look like, how they spend their time in the evenings, and how they are all unified by a single window. Therein lies the major thread within Parallels at Hand, that the film is a metaphorical window onto itself, a poetic look at the detailed lives of everyday individuals. 

Discoveries in Rotoscoping

The animation for Parallels at Hand was as individually experimental as the story it depicts. It's movement is constructed with a technique that combines traditional frame-by-frame drawn animation, and rotoscoping off of reference footage. The result is sleek studio-quality animation that retains a balanced level of realism and stylization. This method allowed for faster production turnovers and stretch goals for the project without reducing its overall quality.

Polish Breakfast
Record Shop
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