With all of the great features and documentaries screening at the Wisconsin Film Festival, it can be easy to forget about the short films. But sometimes, the shorts programs can be some of the most entertaining events the festival has to offer. The Daily Cardinal spoke with Eric J. Nelson, director of the stop-motion animated short ""Power Trio"" and head of local cinematography studio Heavy Visuals, about his own entry in the festival's shorts lineup.
Q: How would you describe ""Power Trio"" in your own words?
A: It's a simple stop-motion animated film. On a whim, I had some Legos and I wanted to make a test, more or less. I wanted to put animation into some music, and it just ended up that they looked like a band. So there was not a lot of forethought other than a whimsical little piece.
Q: How was the band ViBRATiONLAND involved in the project?
A: It's just a band of myself and a couple buddies, so it was a pretty easy collaboration. I mentioned it to my friends to see if they were down with the idea and they were, so I just got down to work and they liked the end result of it. It was all done in some spare time without a lot of forethought, I would just pound away at it.
Q: You've shown films at the Wisconsin Film Festival before, such as ""Fishin' For Tradition: The Lutefisk Saga."" What do you like best about showing your work at WFF?
A: I like the opportunity for a lot of feedback. It's a wonderful easy-going crowd that just wants to watch a lot of movies. They are always enthusiastic and always appreciative of whatever they get to watch. It's a fun place to get a little bit of feedback for a project a person may have spent a long time working on. It's a great opportunity.
Q: Now that you have finished ""Power Trio,"" what other projects are you working on?
A: My day job is as a cinematographer and a gaffer, so I own a grip and lighting truck, and I do a lot of shooting also. This is kind of an off-shoot of my occupation. For Heavy Visuals I [work on] a lot of commercials, movies, music videos. That's always changing depending on what I can shoot or light. In terms of personal projects, I'm working right now on another animated stop-motion film about snails, and I'm working on a short documentary about a young gentleman who works at a car wash.
""Power Trio"" screens at the Monona Terrace Friday night at 7 p.m. as part of the shorts program. Tickets can be purchased at the Memorial Union WFF box office for $8 ($5 for students) or at the door if still available.