“Persephone:” a Live-action, CGI-infused Short Film

The Cast of "Persephone"

During the turn of the 19th century, in a tiny town nestled somewhere in the Netherlands, a husband and wife had once run a very unsuccessful candy shop. Desperate, broke and starving they had decided to trade their souls to a demon in exchange for a recipe that would teach them how to make the most delicious chocolate in the world. Much to their dismay, the next morning a basket was discovered on their doorstep, and inside – a young, living child made of chocolate.

And so, begins the tale of “Persephone”, a live-action, CGI-infused short film written by Mark Roush and currently being animated and designed by the talented people at Animation Dynamics.

Animation Dynamics, or ADi, is a Portland-based animation company that was founded in 1996 and is currently owned Kate Ertmann. ADi excels in visual communication for business-to-business marketing, consumer advertising, direct response television, education and entertainment. Their clients range from Fortune 500 high-tech firms to independent film producers.

Over the course of the past few months, Mark has been working alongside Kate’s talented and creative team to create the atmosphere that Persephone exists in. Imagining the world initially fell upon Mark’s hands to research photos of period architecture, wood patterns, designs and so forth. However, once production of the shoot was complete and the footage was handed over to the team at ADi, they took it leaps and bounds beyond Mark’s initial inquiries into art, architecture, and design… diving deeper into the history and time-period of which the story takes place.

The world that encompasses the “living” actors of the Persephone story is made of mist and clouds, which continually flows and shifts in order to create a more ethereal, impressionistic atmosphere. The basis of this choice in aesthetics exists in accordance to the fluid dynamic of earlier discussions between Mark and the team at ADi regarding the flow and pace of the project; as a non-cutting, morph- based edit. If you have ever listened to someone tell a story… you imagine the characters and descriptive elements visually in your head, flowing and fading in and out… constantly changing.

This style is also meant to juxtapose the underlying message in the story.

“People with an interest in social problems and subject matters that young adults encounter during different stages of their lives, such as struggling with ones personal identity and dealing with issues revolving around acceptance of ones inner and outer appearance, will hopefully find the innovative approach this story takes to be fresh and entertaining. Teens and young adults may not be able to relate with the black-and-white fairy tales of old because modern life is more complex, chaotic and random due to the advent of mass communication. This story must move as dynamically and flow as complexly as the life of a young adult does… not in black and white but in various shades of every color in the spectrum.” Says Mark.

Animation is scheduled for completion, April 2012. Mark has just begun the social media campaign, which will soon include chocolate giveaways, contests and drawings. Be sure to visit and “Like” our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/persephonefilm and “Follow” the Twitter page at www.twitter.com/PersephoneFilm to be included in these special offerings and events!

Mark Roush
Writer, Director & Editor
New Adjustment Productions

Kate ErtmannPresident & Executive Producer
Animation Dynamics

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