selected stills from the film Academia by Mia Hernandez

Check out the full animation here.

Asymmetric Magazine: Tell us about your submission.
Mia Hernandez: These are some stills from my recent film that explores mental health and academic success in teens. I decided to interview different teens and create different animated shorts to go along with their interview responses. I then went on to projecting the correlating animated short onto the physical interviewee and filmed that.

AM: How does this film compare to your other works?
MH: This piece is much more experimental than my previous films. Having utilized not only computer animation but also projection and live actors, the difficulty level went up and required a lot more focus to detail. I have always done the average stop motion animated films, so this film was a huge leap towards mastering the variety of programs required to create a computer animated film while also dabbling in projection mapping type work.

AM: What do you hope to achieve with your animated pieces?
MH: Every one of my films thus far is influenced by my environment. Whether it's a social issue or just documenting or highlighting a location, I hope to convey my thoughts and opinions to an audience through my films. I hope to shed light to those issues or just bring forth awareness to a certain topic.

AM: What's your biggest inspiration?
MH: My biggest inspiration has to be my environment. What I witness and experience tends to always tie back into my work. Living in LA has exposed me to so much and has led me to explore so much more in my art.

AM: Tell us more about the role LA plays in your work.
MH: LA, as cheesy as it may sound, is my heart and soul. It's so eclectic, and it's easy to find inspiration everywhere you go. My work has been inspired by various theatre productions I have seen and places I have been to in LA. My environment has always impacted my art, and I have LA to thank for all of that.

AM: What music is currently inspiring you?
MH: MF Doom has greatly inspired me and opened me up to many interesting people who also share my appreciation of his work.

AM: What separates you from other animators?
MH: I always try to utilize different mediums with my films and tend not to be very linear with my storytelling.

AM: What can we expect to see from you next?
MH: More experimental films that cover different topics that are relevant to the times and maybe a few short films geared towards younger audiences.

Mia Hernandez is a 17-year-old animator based in LA. She has been animating since the age of nine, and her latest film was premiered at Cal Arts.

Posted on July 9, 2016 .