In late 2010, a group of USC grad students and I were comissioned through our professors -- Michael Patterson and Candace Reckinger -- by Michael Tilson Thomas to produce a series of fantasia-esque animated shorts for the opening ceremony of the brand-new New World Symphony building in Miami. Each of us was assigned a piece from Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition to animate, with the intent that the animation play in tandem with Michael Tilson Thomas' conducting of the live orchestra. I was assigned the character-heavy Goldenberg and Schmuyle number.
We were also presented with the unique challenge of animating over 5 different Imax-sized screens, as the new theater was designed with multimedia in mind. Not only that, but the screens were different sizes and shapes. We were given a mask to act as a borderline, and then we were free to animate.
Here is a picture of the screen setup above the orchestra pit, which was too big to fit all 5 screens:
I spent the next few months animating furiously with wonderful direction from my professors and MTT. Everyone's piece had a unique theme and style, and mine was ink and paper. The characters were animated in Flash, but the background was all a Ketubah (Jewish Marriage Contract) scanned at high-res, and ink splatters that I filmed myself. This project was particularly compositing-heavy, and there were some bumps along the way, but I was quite pleased with the result. Here's an example of how the original film looked, format-wise:
It was tremendous fun to work on, and a great opportunity. The opening night gala was fantastic and the presentation was amazing -- especially to a classical music fan like myself! I hope to work on more symphony projects like these in the future.