For my capstone, I created an animated music video for the opening score in the musical, "Little Shop of Horrors." Here's how it all started.
I’m a huge fan of musicals in general. In 2017, I spent my lax sophomore summer evenings mostly doodling and listening to Spotify’s 37hour-long playlist of musicals/Broadway/Disney soundtracks. Out of the 698 songs I played on repeat, the “Little Shop of Horrors” soundtrack stood out to me in a way that brought out my cult-fan tendencies: I started drawing what I imagined to to be the characters behind the voices in the soundtrack. I heard there’s a term called “fan-art” to describe such scrimmages. (On that note, a quick shoutout to the vocalists of the soundtrack album, since their poignant delivery of the songs was what inspired me to bring the characters to life.) As a sucker for anything related to the mid-century Americana, this rock musical set in the 1960s New York City hit all of my sweet spots. The most thrilling part of this exercise, though, was that I had never seen the musical, meaning I had full reign over how I was to visualize the audio. I was curious about my own creative take, a curiosity strong enough, to my own surprise, to hold me back from watching the movie version of the musical made in 1986.
As I found myself visualizing one character after another, I quickly came to a realization that the visual development of this musical had an immense potential to advance into a much bigger project - an entire animated production of the musical. As much as I had just started teaching myself how to use AfterEffects that same summer, I remember feeling the exact frustration that what I was capable of producing at the time, whether that was image-making or animating, was simply not enough to realize this vision. And I remember promising myself that, one day, when I have all the time and resources in the world, I would make this personal project happen. One day.
Fast forward to 2019, I was a senior entering my senior capstone semester. “Senior Capstone” in my undergrad program is basically a fancy way of saying that seniors get an entire semester to just make whatever their heart desires.
So that’s what I did.