Setting animation in motion

Artist uses talent to promote school production


Molly Murch, In-Depth Editor

Every child spends their kindergarten days scribbling in and out of the lines, in hopes of plastering their entire refrigerator with their masterpieces. For sophomore Sebastian Mazzini though, his work has reached a much larger audience than the dinner table.

Art has been a part of Mazzini’s life since he can remember. As a young child, he doodled and drew, but later found that his passion extended past a single page.  

In 2011 he downloaded Flipnote Studio, a Nintendo DS app, and began experimenting. The program allows him to individually sketch images, which he then compounds and adds sound to in order to make animations.

Mazzini has taken his talents to school, working with the drama department to advertise school productions. So far he has created the commercial for the winter play Our Town, made promos for the one-act Ben Hur, and helped out with the musical Tarzan commercial.

He often looks to the production’s actors for voice-overs of their characters. One such actor is senior Austin Fleck, who has helped acquaint Mazzini with the drama department and supported him from the very beginning.

“When I saw them [for the first time] it looked like something pulled straight out of Nickelodeon. I’d never seen anything like it from anybody I knew, so I knew that there was something really special coming out of his work,” Fleck said.  

Every animation is made up of hundreds of sketches, each one hand drawn by Mazzini. To mimic motion, his images must be ever so slightly different than the ones that came before. Too drastic of a change and his work will come out sloppy. However, this level of precision only manifests with extensive dedication.

“Sometimes it does get time consuming. I made the Our Town commercial in two days, but others can take months,” Mazzini said.

Animations act as an artistic outlet for Mazzini and set his creations in motion, literally. However, for Mazzini, his work is about more than just personal expression. He also finds satisfaction in being able to unveil his commercials to fellow students through the daily news.

“[The most rewarding part] is the appreciation I get from others when they’re aired,” Mazzini said.

Mazzini’s passion for animation has only grown since the day he first picked up his Nintendo, and while he still has a couple years of high school left, he’s already planning for his future.

“I might major in something related to animation. Hopefully, someone notices the work I do and hires me,” Mazzini said.

His work at MN has illustrated that his passion and perseverance will catapult him wherever he desires, and his work may soon appear on TV’s for all to see.