Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts


Mass Communication and Media Arts

First Advisor

Burns, David R.

Second Advisor

Lawrence, Novotny

Third Advisor

Martinez, Antonio


A group of war orphans entered my life in 2007 when I was in Liberia working as the sound recordist for a documentary crew. I spent five months with them at their home, a rural Liberian orphanage named Rainbow Town. The boys at the orphanage often told me stories. During free time, we sat under the canopy outside their dorm and talked. The stories, which ranged from horrific accounts of war to playful tales of spiders and goats, fascinated me. With each story the boys narrated, a new illustration formed in my imagination. By the time I left Liberia, I had a pocketbook full of magical characters and events (See Appendix A).
The boys' stories, which blend nonfiction with fantasy and folklore, are the inspiration for my 3D animation short, Dolo: Journey of the Lost Tapes. In this paper, I tell the stories behind the creation of the animation, share personal production experiences, and discuss the theoretical and historical influences that shaped my work. I conclude by discussing Dolo's significance and the work that I plan to do on the piece in the future.




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