TMProjects: Tell us a little bit about your background:
MME: I’ve always wanted to make movies, be a director, but I ended up studying journalism in College. While working the daily grind of TV news, there was an opening in the commercial department of the station. I applied for the job because I knew they used programs like After Effects which would allow me to make magical things. It was a long road of learning and I ended up learning about 3D animation programs as well. Currently I work in teaching/mentorship positions . These jobs gave me more free time than I had in the past, so I can do much more personal projects.
TMProjects: What was your process like in creating Music Nightlight PONYO?
MME: The music box series has been fun because the process involves choosing what I think is the iconic moment from a film. In Ponyo, I felt the biggest moment was when Ponyo is free and running on a giant wave to reach the boy, Sosuke. That’s sort of the easy part. The hard part is figuring out how to condense the action into a simple loop. In this case it is a Ponyo run cycle as the car weaves left in right. There really is no start and end, so in theory the sequence can play indefinitely.
TMProjects: What do you care most about right now?
MME: I think I have chosen to focus on Miyazaki because I still want to make films. I feel his films fulfill something that most Disney films neglect. They deal with real human nature and conflict. Disney often focuses on pure good and evil, scary scenes, people dying and magically being revived, etc. Stuff we don’t encounter hardly at all or never. Miyazaki, adds magic to his films, but the main characters are dealing with such challenges as a parent in the hospital (Totoro), being forced into a new place (Spirited Away). I think it’s important to show real challenges (it’s okay to add magic to the world) because this helps people learn to strive to be better, I think.
TMProjects: The work you make is experienced in the digital realm. In what ways are you interacting with audiences?
MME: It’s been such a pleasure to see people enjoying these music box series. I feel like the music gives an emotional weight and really rounds out the videos. After my Kiki one was finished, it even made me teary eyed, so it’s interesting when people say that, too. I must give a shout out to the person who makes the songs sound like music boxes. I found him on Fiverr and he does these songs for me for $15 (amazing!). His name is Kazantsev and if you want your own music box sounds, look him up on Fiverr