Motionographer® Mission Breakdown for Between Strains

Between Strains is a ardour mission made potential by its 40+ feminine creatives contributing from all around the world. The story of high-school bullying instructed in poetry-fueled animation struck a chord with the Motionographer viewers on its launch in January 2023.

We requested creator Sarah Beth Morgan, together with Animation Director Taylor Yontz and Producer Rebekah Hamilton, to interrupt down the mission.

We hear about a few of the challenges they confronted, the concepts that didn’t make it and the processes behind the scenes, all whereas gaining an perception into what it’s like going through your childhood trauma with trustworthy conversations and the ability of creativity.

Give us a quick introduction to yourselves and what led you into Movement Design.

Hello! We’re three buddies who determined to work on a brief movie collectively.

SARAH BETH MORGAN: Director on Between Strains | Cleveland, OH 

I’m a contract animation director and illustrator primarily based in Cleveland, OH. Though I’m initially from the US, I grew up in Saudi Arabia, the place I used to be in a position to broaden my perspective in a brand new setting (which allowed a ton of free time for making artwork). As a child, I used to be at all times particularly drawn to storytelling and drawing. After finding out movement media on the Savannah Faculty of Artwork and Design, I started working within the business animation business at Scholar in 2014. From there, I moved to Portland, OR, to turn into workers at Oddfellows. Lastly, in 2018, I launched into my freelance profession and am now a director represented worldwide by Hornet.

TAYLOR YONTZ: Animation Director on Between Strains | Nashville, TN 

I’m a contract animation director + animator primarily based in Nashville, TN. I noticed the movie “Discovering Nemo” after I was 13, and it made me fall in love with storytelling woven with 3D character animation. I used to be at all times drawing, writing quick tales and comics, and I began animating in highschool. I went on to review character animation on the Savannah Faculty of Artwork and Design, graduating in 2013 and leaping into the world {of professional} animation. Since college, I’ve been privileged to work with many studios as a freelancer and a staffer. In 2021, after working for 4 years at IV in Nashville as an animator after which Inventive Director, I made the soar to full-time freelance.

REBEKAH HAMILTON: Producer on Between Strains | Nashville, TN 

I’m a senior producer primarily based in Nashville, TN. I studied audio engineering in school, however after commencement, I began educating myself learn how to edit and animate. After main a group of designers and animators within the broadcasting world, I discovered myself drawn to the manufacturing facet of our business and jumped right into a full-time job as a producer and ultimately head of manufacturing at IV in Nashville. After freelancing for a short time, I’ve put down roots with the great of us at Golden Wolf as a senior producer.

(Left) Rebekah Hamilton (Center) Taylor Yontz (Proper) Sarah Beth Morgan

How would you introduce your movie to somebody waiting for the primary time?

Gosh, there are such a lot of methods I might go along with this! However let’s simply say: Between Strains is a 3-minute animated quick movie centered round an expertise I had with bullying in 2005.

Nonetheless, anybody could be bullied – no matter race, gender, ethnicity, class or worldly location. By means of this movie, I would like others to know they don’t seem to be alone and to see their story validated by way of concrete visuals. I need to pierce the viewers of this movie with deep-rooted, gut-wrenching empathy. And I would like individuals who have skilled this to know they don’t seem to be alone.

Inform us in regards to the crew behind your mission.

Our group is made up of virtually 40 extremely proficient ladies in animation, design, writing, and audio/music manufacturing. Working with such a big worldwide group allowed us to solid a large internet when it comes to what everybody delivered to the desk. We had cel animators, After Results compositors, 3D look growth artists and animators, designers, a poet, a music composer, an audio engineer, and even a strings group that recorded a customized rating for the movie. The collected expertise completely bewilders us each time we discuss it.

I nonetheless can’t imagine how stacked the Between Strains crew is. We’re so fortunate to have them on the mission and now as buddies. Taylor, Sarah, and I all reached out to our rapid networks, and people ladies reached out to different ladies of their community, creating the Avengers of girls within the business animation area.

Not solely are they proficient, however they’re additionally beneficiant and genuinely sort folks, so PLEASE take time to take a look at the work of every fantastic particular person on the group. Now there’s no excuse to not rent a various group of girls on any of your tasks 😉

Check out the team here.

Did any of the group wrestle with (or relate to) the subject material? In that case, how did you deal with these moments?

I began engaged on the thought for this movie after going to remedy for my very own expertise. From time to time, I shared my bullying story with my grownup buddies and was usually stunned to listen to that lots of them had been by way of one thing comparable.

This was after I started to understand that bullying at school – particularly by way of gossip, isolation and exclusion – is extraordinarily widespread. However why doesn’t anybody discuss it? It at all times gave the impression to be buried up to now. I felt drawn to create one thing that might join our collective tales, and after I started reaching out to of us within the business for artistic assist, I discovered that the script & concept actually resonated with them on account of their very own traumas.

Whereas it saddened me that many had skilled bullying, it was extraordinarily refreshing to have the ability to join on a deeper degree and start to heal outdated wounds.

Why have been you interested by having so many individuals (notably ladies) contributing to the piece?

It’s at all times been a dream of mine to collaborate with a big group of girls; to create a protected, therapeutic area the place everybody feels open and cozy. To not point out, the movie’s material was an enormous contributing issue.

As a director within the business animation business, I’ve discovered that I personally are likely to fall again on the identical designers and animators for assist after I’m in a pinch. Lots of these folks are usually males (who I really take pleasure in working with!). Nonetheless, this doesn’t grant me many alternatives to satisfy new proficient ladies and folk exterior of my bubble that I wouldn’t usually join with.

Since Between Strains is a ardour mission and it had no specific deadline, I used to be actually set on deliberately discovering ladies (in addition to trans/nonbinary of us) to collaborate with. To offer new buddies a window of alternative – and to develop our connections to different ladies within the business.

Among the group connecting over Zoom in 2020.

How difficult was it working with so many individuals in numerous areas? Are you able to give us an perception into the hurdles you confronted?


The trickier half was ensuring we honored folks’s time. Since this was a really low-budget ardour mission, we have been delicate about ensuring everybody felt revered and thought of within the work we have been asking them to do, understanding that they had full-time jobs and private lives to juggle. We managed that by giving of us pictures and duties that actually excited them over an extended timeline. We’d solely verify in with them month-to-month, so we weren’t pestering them an excessive amount of. If anybody wanted to step again, we’d reassign that job to a different particular person. If time and assets appeared tight, we’d begin seeking to develop the group a bit extra.

The aim was to create a low-pressure setting whereas nonetheless shifting the mission ahead, so we pulled out all of the manufacturing methods we might consider to perform that. 


We stayed related by way of semi-regular digital hangouts and a group slack channel the place we talked in regards to the mission and life normally. It was nice for camaraderie and allowed us to work throughout time zones and turn into long-distance buddies as effectively! Manufacturing occurred throughout peak Covid which, in fact, gave us an enormous hurdle. 

Sarah Beth and I attempted to present everybody suggestions inside a couple of days of artists sending updates, and Rebekah did a terrific job of retaining us all on monitor with free and really stretched-out deadlines. 

Take us by way of your course of. How lengthy did it take? What methods did you employ? What applications are you utilizing? 



Between Strains kicked off in 2019 with a small group of 1 (guess who!) that rapidly grew into over 30. Earlier than bringing anybody on, I needed to create an inviting written & visible presentation to attach with potential group members, so I started by making a Google Slides presentation that included the poetic script (written by Nirrimi Firebrace), a tough storyboard, and a styleframe or two. I even had the unbelievable Jennifer Pague create an preliminary musical composition primarily based on a Spotify playlist I collected to current the movie’s total temper. I might go on for days in regards to the course of, however I’ll let Taylor take over from right here. 

If you’re interested, check out what that presentation looked like here. 

A snippet of the unique storyboard with my notes.


As a result of this was an enormous ardour mission for everybody, we needed to be sure that every artist started working on pictures in a approach that motivated them and performed to their artistic strengths. The one actual rule for each shot was that it needed to find yourself trying like the ultimate styleframe. This meant that we had animators working in so many softwares to finalize animations. We used After Results, Cinema 4D, Concord, TVPaint, Adobe Animate, Photoshop, and even Procreate.

No matter labored for the artists labored for us. 

This collaborative, wide-net method allowed us to expedite each shot’s development as a result of we might stack a number of folks on single pictures. For instance, the beneath was roughed by Camille Vincent, Cleaned up by Sarah Beth, with a 3D image body by Antoinie Eugene, 3D fish by Collin Leix, and a compositing elevate in After Results by Antoinie Eugene, Yahira Hernandez, Rocio Cogno, and myself. Whew!

 Are you able to clarify how the script happened? What was the method? Was it at all times the thought for it to be poetic? 



I had a very particular concept about what I needed primarily based alone story, however I couldn’t totally articulate its last poetic type. I knew from the beginning that I needed it to be a voiceover in order that viewers might join with the emotion within the narrator’s voice. So perfecting the script grew to become extraordinarily vital.

I reached out to my author good friend, Nirrimi, and we did a artistic change – she helped me write my script, and I helped her with some brand/illustration work. We went backwards and forwards a couple of rounds to get the whole lot excellent. Then Jennifer Pague captured the emotion superbly in her voiceover, and it was magic! Every thing simply clicked. 

Did you face any difficulties alongside the way in which? In that case, how did you overcome them?


As soon as Sarah reached out to me to leap into the movie course of, we solely had a group of 4 animators. This was made up of Rachel Reid, Collin Leix, Yino Haun, and myself. 

It was… extremely optimistic. 

The movie’s type itself introduced an enormous artistic problem to execute the movement to the excessive bar that Sarah’s nonetheless frames deserved. Enter Covid in 2020 to shake up everybody’s private {and professional} lives. 

We realized we have been going to should beef up our group and get much more versatile in our method to animation as an alternative of relying closely on a tiny group’s in depth dedication. We ended up including over 20 animators and some extra designers to make the thought of a “last movie” even a distant chance. This allowed us to have total teams engaged on one shot collectively utilizing no matter instruments they needed to handle the elevate fairly than piecing off sections of the movie to people. Having a number of minds on the execution of a shot gave us a lot room to play and bounce concepts off one another. Increasing our group was top-of-the-line issues we did for the movie journey.

Did you will have every other concepts you favored that you just didn’t go along with? What have been they, and why did you flip away from them?


I actually struggled with the design type at first. I needed to get it JUST proper. As soon as I had the moodboard and storyboard down, I began to mess around by simply making an Instagram-style illustration. That approach if I didn’t need to use it for my movie, I might nonetheless put it someplace. I actually loved enjoying round with the shadows and texture right here.

I made a decision to discover utilizing this underwater storyboard second to seize that “sinking” and gut-punch feeling you get when somebody emotionally hurts you. That is the underwater “nervousness world” of the movie.

And right here’s the place that second exploration netted out, utilizing the type of the primary. There have been quite a lot of issues I favored about this exploration. (One in all them NOT being the ridiculously creepy jellyfish that’s wrapping round our hero’s physique!) 

What I did like have been the wonderful traces, the bubbles, and the character design. I favored the lighting and texture, too. However her pose didn’t work for that crushing nervousness feeling. She feels too peaceable right here like she’s floating. And because the fish round her have large, curious eyes, it feels extra cartoony. They’re detracting from the general temper of the scene, pulling the eye away from our hero.

So I saved my course of free and gave it one other go. I favored that this felt extra surreal and epic like she was plunging into the scary depths of this darkish world. I used to be tremendous pleased with it, and it felt actually completely different from the kind of work I usually do. This was the primary body I completed utterly, and it continued to function a roadmap for the remainder of the movie’s type.

Inform us about your audio course of and the folks concerned.


Jen Pague guidelines. She’s our unbelievable composer and sound designer. Her capability to evoke emotion with music conjures up us, and her mission Vita and the Woolf made followers fast followers of Sarah, Taylor, and me. So Jen coming in to be the brains and coronary heart of the music and sound design was a no brainer. Audio can are usually handled as an afterthought within the business animation world, however figuring out the poem and music would drive a lot of the storytelling, we concerned Jen very early on within the storyboarding course of. 

She got here up with demos we used within the animatic section to determine pacing and tone. Then, as soon as we have been farther together with a locked edit, we let her free on the entire rating. That’s her pretty voice because the narrator as effectively, a lady of many skills! So as to add the ever-important particulars, Jen did sound design on the movie and introduced in producer Sophie Coran who organized all of the string preparations and stay periods, together with Hope Brush, an audio engineer who did the ultimate combine. 


What was your favourite second or most enjoyable a part of the mission? 


Actually, creating this movie has been way more about connecting with the group and creating real, therapeutic friendships than making an “award-winning” movie. The collaborative course of and the group itself was my absolute favourite half. I attempted to prepare group Zooms as usually as potential, by which we simply goofed round. I notably loved one second when Collin Leix unintentionally confirmed as much as our hangout with a cloud filter on and couldn’t work out learn how to flip it off!

I bear in mind being blown away each single time we acquired updates from animators. For a number of years we have been dwelling in our personal secret nook of the animation world, constructing one thing collectively and continuously being impressed by everybody round us on the group. It was extremely refreshing to really feel impressed and in awe throughout such a heavy time. After manufacturing, two of my favourite moments have been our first few screenings. I visited Sarah Beth in Portland in 2022, and we had the chance to check our movie on an enormous display screen for the primary time at a neighborhood theater. It was a fully surreal second collectively that I’ll always remember. Not lengthy after, we premiered on the Brooklyn Movie Competition in NYC and acquired to satisfy up with a number of crew members in particular person for the very first time and see our movie stay collectively. 

Between Strains Crew | Brooklyn Movie Fest



I’ll gladly be a damaged report right here and say the group! The friendships we’ve solid are priceless, and it felt so particular to have a good time our collaboration with a few of the group in particular person on the Brooklyn Movie Competition and at Pictoplasma in Berlin. I’m continuously floored by the positivity and eagerness to attach in our business. The bonds with these ladies transcend our jobs, and it makes me really feel so happy with what we do and who this business attracts. I’m gushing now. I ain’t one bit sorry.


What recommendation would you give to somebody going by way of bullying in school?


I’d like to have our unbelievable non-profit associate, Bloom Foundation, reply this query! 

“The very first thing I might say to somebody going by way of bullying in school is: I’m so sorry that is taking place to you. Nobody deserves to be handled badly and unfairly. However I additionally imagine you’ll be able to develop from this and are available out stronger. And you’ll even create one thing stunning from the expertise like Sarah Beth and her group did with Between Strains when you’re prepared.

I might additionally share extra about our Bloom core values: perception, perspective, function, habits, self-worth, empathy, progress to assist shift their perspective and encourage them to develop by way of this difficult time.”

Andi Lengthy, Bloom’s founder.

What’s subsequent for you and your group?

As typical, we’re all striving for brand spanking new and thrilling issues. We’re retaining tabs on our buddies from the Between Strains crew and staying in contact as a lot as potential! For us three, although, we might have some “ear snacks” within the works for you..

Keep tuned!


Instagram: @wonderfall
Twitter: @SarahBeefMorgan 
TikTok: @wonderfallll
Web site:


Instagram: @tay_blay
Twitter: @tay_blay 
Web site:
Linkedin: Taylor Yontz


Instagram: @rebekahahamilton
Twitter: @rebekah_hami
LinkedIn: Rebekah Hamilton