An inside look at ‘Life of a Short Film’ at Bates Gallery

Category:  The Arts
Wednesday, February 28th, 2018 at 5:39 PM

Edinboro animation seniors Meg Schettler and Shellie Leibensperger held their exhibit, “Life of a Short Film,” in Bates Gallery from Feb. 19-23. This was both Schettler and Leibensperger’s first spotlight show.

The two met in their “Animation 3” class, developing a friendship and then deciding to do a show together after Schettler determined she needed a co-artist. 

“I had considered applying for an exhibit last semester, and I didn’t feel comfortable doing it on my own,” said Schettler. “I wanted to do it on animation, but at the time, I was really close with Shellie and I enjoyed her film a lot, so I asked if she wanted to do a show [together].”

Leibensperger added: “We were always concerned that you don’t see animation in Bates at all, so we weren’t sure how to do it or what the technology would be like at all. It was super stressful, but we figured it out!”

An animation show requires a bit more technology than a physical art show, along with a plan for setting up. In addition to printing their work, Schettler formatted the work on DVDs and Leibensperger collected the equipment. 

Leibensperger explained that the gestation process for the actual film was about six months. Their process went from storyboarding, to character design, to doing the animatic, animating and finally to coloring the entire film. 

 “We started the storyboards and the initial idea first. There’s a Pixar prompt (it’s like a Mad Lib where you fill in the blanks) so I just filled it in, and I got my ‘Peanut Butter and Jerry’ story.” 

The inspiration behind their work varies, but both have a desire to tell stories based on underlooked experiences. 

For Schettler, she uses her art as storytelling. “Many of my story themes veer towards the somber, darker parts of reality, with a large focus on loneliness and depression.” According to her artist statement, she puts “a lot of development into internal conflict and how to build and break relationships within the stories.”

Leibensperger expressed the importance of family in both her work and her desire to stay local after school. Her artist statement  reads, “I’ve since enjoyed telling stories about everyday life, and [I] like to emphasize the importance of kindness.”

Livia Homerski can be reached at

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