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Film Notes: Animator Hosts a Screening to Help Fund New Work

  • White River Junction filmmaker Bona Bones is working on a short stop-motion animated film about her father's boyhood in Alameda, Calif. A screening of animated films on Thursday at the Main Street Museum of Art in White River Junction will help raise funds to produce the short film, titled "The 3rd of July."



Valley News Staff Writer
Friday, February 03, 2017

Between animation projects for other filmmakers during the summer of 2016, Bona Bones was planning her strategy for pre-producing and shooting her labor-of-love short, The 3rd of July, around her native San Francisco Bay.

Then an email from Dartmouth College film professor and film innovator Jodie Mack appeared in the 28-year-old animator’s inbox.

“She’d seen the preview on my Kickstarter page and contacted me about a fellowship they had in the film program here,” Bones, a.k.a. Danielle M. Bonadona, said during a telephone interview this week. “It was a chance to assist with animation classes here, and gave me access to a lot of resources, especially production space and shooting space, to do this film.”

In those spaces during March and April, Bones aims to shoot an 8-minute, stop-motion picture based on her father’s boyhood in Alameda, Calif., in the 1970s. It will include four puppets of adolescent boys moving among some 20 houses and other buildings that Bones and Upper Valley friends have been fabricating since the fall. Stop-motion involves adjusting characters and model scenery in tiny increments of position before each shot, to achieve the illusion of motion.

“It takes one hour of animating to get one second of animation,” Bones said. “I’m sure there’ll be a lot of sleepless nights ahead.”

To raise money to cover some of the expenses of shooting the picture and doing post-production, Bones will screen an array of her and other animators’ short films at the Main Street Museum in White River Junction on Thursday night, with a suggested admission of $5. Pledges to Bones’ Kickstarter campaign on Thursday stood near $3,700 toward the goal of $7,500.

“This is the largest scale production I’ve ever done,” Bones said. “Usually I work with puppets 5 to 8 inches tall. Now they’re more like a foot tall. And it’s a small city we’re building. That also means that the fabrication time is taking longer than it generally would, but it’s been worth it.”

Dartmouth’s film department has been a source of support, she said. Mack’s promotional advice and connections have been “a godsend to me. She has so much great advice.” Mack’s invitation has also led Bones to discover another resource: the landscape and flora of the Upper Valley.

“I’ve always been a West Coast person, so it’s been a change of pace for sure,” Bones said. “The film is still set in California, but some of the aesthetics of Alameda, where I grew up, are very similar to the aesthetics around here, There’s an American-Victorian, American-colonial vibe, and I’ve been meshing those aesthetics.

“Also, I got here in September, so I got to watch the foliage change. It was amazing.”

Filmmaker Bona Bones screens an array of animated shorts at the Main Street Museum in White River Junction on Thursday night at 7. Proceeds from the suggested donation of at least $5 will go toward production of her new film,The 3rd of July. To learn more about the project or to make a donation online, visit kickstarter.com/projects/bonadona/the-3rd-of-july.

Coming Attractions

If you’ve seen Patriots Day, the dramatization of the terrorist bombing at the 2013 Boston Marathon that Mark Wahlberg starred in and produced, the Dartmouth Film Society is offering another perspective on those events.

Tonight, the documentary Marathon: The Patriots Day Bombing screens at Dartmouth College. Co-directors and Dartmouth alumnae Ricki Stern (class of 1987) and Annie Sundberg (1990) weave the recoveries of four wounded survivors of the attacks with news clips and surveillance footage at the scene, interviews with first responders, investigators and reporters, and the progress of the trial of bombing co-conspirator Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Stern, who also co-wrote the movie with Sundberg, will host a discussion after the film, at Loew Auditorium of the Black Family Visual Arts Center in Hanover. For tickets ($5 to $10) and more information about the film, which starts at 7, visit hop.dartmouth.edu or call 603-646-2422.

The Upper Valley Jewish Community screens the 2004 Israeli film To Take a Wife next Wednesday night at 7 in room 13 of Dartmouth College’s Carpenter Hall in Hanover. The movie follows the struggles of a mother of three children in an Orthodox marriage to maintain her identity against her husband’s efforts to exert his authority. Admission is free. To learn more about the community’s series, which runs through Feb. 22, visit uvjc.org.

Dartmouth College art professor Viktor Witkowski hosts a screening of his experimental short film Refuge on Thursday afternoon at 5, in Loew Auditorium at the college’s Black Family Visual Arts Center in Hanover. The 23-minute movie, accompanied by a live band, is based on Witkowski’s 2016 visit to Germany, where he documented the plight of some of the 1.1 million refugees, mostly Syrian, who had the country over the previous year . Admission is free, and a discussion will follow.

In the next installment of the Woodstock Vermont Film Series on Feb. 11, Billings Farm and Museum screens Sherpa, the 2015 Australian documentary about the efforts of the guides and heavy-lifters on expeditions to Mount Everest to assert their rights. To reserve tickets ($6 for museum members, $11 for others) for afternoon shows at 3 and 5, call 802-457-2355.

They Want Your MTV

Community Access Television (CATV) in White River Junction is inviting aspiring musicians and filmmakers to enter its third annual music-video contest. Cash prizes go to the winners in three age divisions: junior high school, high school and college/adult. Contestants will have three weeks to write, shoot and edit video of their own original music or that of a local musician or band.

CATV’s next workshop for entrants, an introduction to editing with Final Cut ProX) is scheduled for Tuesday night at the studio, in suite 142 of the Tip Top Media and Arts Building. There will also be a workshop covering advanced editing for rhythm, continuity and color on Feb. 14. Registration costs $25 per team; workshops cost $7 each for drop-ins, and $15 for those who sign up for the full series. To learn more, call 802-295-6688 or email info@catv.org.

Flashbacks

Colby-Sawyer College cultural historian Patrick D. Anderson shares movie clips and slides of works of Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Mack Sennett at Claremont Opera House tonight at 7, during a retrospective look at the era of silent movies. While admission is free, donations are welcome. To learn more, visit claremontoperahouse.org or call 603-542-4433.

After an early winter break, the “Cine Salon at 20” celebration resumes at Hanover’s Howe Library on Feb. 27 at 7 p.m., with curator Bruce Posner sharing clips from film noir classics shot between 1948 and 1959. To learn more about the spring series, visit thehowe.org.

David Corriveau can be reached at dcorriveau@vnews.com and at 603-727-3304.