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Manual Cinema
The Telly Awards

John Pobojewski
Concept, Design Direction, Animation, Story

Zach Minnich
Design, 3D, Animation

Valeria Bernal
Design, 3D, Animation

Drew Dir, Manual Cinema
Story, Production Design, Performance

Sarah Fornace, Manual Cinema
Story, Production Design, Performance

Julia Miller, Manual Cinema
Story, Production Design, Performance, Costume Design

Ben Kauffman, Manual Cinema
Sound Design

Kyle Vegter, Manual Cinema
Sound Design

Liviu Pasare
Technical Assistance

Span and the Emmy Award-winning performance collective Manual Cinema co-created a short film and original theatrical work entitled “Countdown” that combines handmade shadow puppetry, live actors, music performance, and Span’s digital animation.

Countdown follows an un-named protagonist as she attempts to escape from numbers that frantically shift around her. Beginning with the handmade sets and projected cinematic techniques by Manual Cinema, the piece visually evolves into a 3D digital world created and animated by Span.

Countdown was conceived by partner John Pobojewski who led the art direction, design, and animation for Span’s digital landscapes together with Zach Minnich and Valeria Bernal. Manual Cinema’s Sarah Fornace, Drew Dir, and Julia Miller led the story development and puppetry performance. Music and sound was composed by Ben Kauffman and Kyle Vegter.

Manual Cinema use ”vintage overhead projectors, multiple screens, puppets, actors, live feed cameras, multi-channel sound design, and a live music ensemble to transform the experience of attending the cinema and imbue it with liveness, ingenuity, and theatricality.” They have received national recognition by the New York Times and were featured in the 2021 film remake of Candyman directed by Nia DaCosta and produced by Jordan Peele.

Countdown Stills 07
Countdown Stills 09 Countdown Stills 08
Countdown Stills 16 Countdown Stills 15
Countdown Stills 12
Countdown Stills 18