Three-minute award-winning animation, Brother, is about a humanoid robot who can’t build anything that works correctly, so he must find it within himself to make his creations come to life. This film is one of our favorite shorts on IndieFlix, and we’re not alone – just look at the long string of adoring comments below the film. This short is a big, big hit.
We were lucky enough to interview the creative talent behind Brother, Sari Rodrig, who conceived of this crowd-pleasing short for her thesis while receiving a BFA in Computer Art at the School of Visual Arts in 2012.
Who or what was your motivation for getting into animation?
Honestly, getting into animation was a completely spontaneous decision. I started college as an illustration major and a week into it, I was being to get bored. I wasn’t passionate and it definitely wasn’t something I could see myself doing for very long. I had been considering switching majors, and there was some sort of ad in a magazine I happened to read. The title read “Make Art that Moves”. And for me that made so much sense. The next day I spoke with an adviser from the computer art department at my school, SVA. The rest is history.
What was your inspiration for Brother?
The idea and style behind Brother came from a number of things. The story line was inspired by my father, Steven Rodrig who builds mechanical sculptures from PCB boards. I spoke with my dad a lot about Brother‘s concept, and it was very inspiring to bounce ideas off of someone I admired so much. From there, Brother became this heartfelt robot who was just looking to create something that had life. I think many artists go through that struggle, bringing their work to life in a way. The style behind Brother came from a number of sources such as ‘Coraline’ and ‘Harry Potter’ (Part 6). My good friend Zach Brunner, who is a very talented illustrator, was able to take inspiration from those types of styles to create the designs of our characters. From there, I was then able to use Zach’s concepts to build characters and the set in 3D.
What’s your motto?
Big things come in small packages!
If you weren’t in the business of making movies, what would you do?
This is a tough question. Somehow I feel as though I would end up the industry no matter what path I chose. But if I absolutely had to choose, I would be an entomologist.
What is your evil twin like?
My evil twin’s number one quality is spontaneity. That’s something I wish I had more of. She is also the type of person to break into some giant factory farm in order to free the animals there. I’m not sure if that’s evil in her world, but probably evil to the owner of the farm.
What is your favorite thing that you own?
My favorite (inanimate) thing I own is my desktop PC. When it comes to VFX and creating animation, it gets the job done. If I was able to choose a living thing, that would be my cat Penny.
What’s your favorite hobby?
At this point in my career, I still love doing exactly what I do at work everyday, which is creating visual effects. I also love to write and I definitely enjoy a good game of softball.
What’s your favorite movie?
I have two favorites movies which are Girl, Interrupted and Million Dollar Baby.
What gives you confidence?
I know it’s cliche, but I get confident when a supervisor or fellow industry member tells me I’m doing a good job. A lot of times in VFX, things don’t always go as planned when tackling a project. When I’ve solved a problem or made something look really nice, that gives me confidence too.
What’s your favorite book?
My favorite book is definitely Bridge to Terabithia.
Who’s your biggest role model?
Both of my parents are great role models to me. They each have qualities which I admire and can only hope I inherit some of those traits.
What’s the most important thing for new filmmakers to keep in mind?
Stay passionate and be yourself.