The Magic Motley

A fantastical bag brings a group of friends together

The Magic Motley is a short animated film created by Honors Photo III and AP Photo students at Clover Hill High School and details the short adventure of a magic bag bringing a class together as friends. The film was created by rotoscoping, a type of animation. Video footage was imported and transferred into single image frames at 12 frames per second. Each individual frame underwent two animated filters and then selectively hand colored/drawn to exemplify and bring attention to the joy that each object brings. The Magic Motley is a compilation of thousands of layers and could not have been accomplished without the extensive, ten-hour work time done for each students debut. Each classmate’s object visualizes an interest, hobby, or passion for the corresponding clip. Between the beach and boxing, it is easy to understand a piece of each actor’s personality. As one student, Sammy, finds the magic bag and brings it to lunch, her Photo III classmates get to find their objects first. When another classmate, Haley, finds there is nothing left for her, she throws the magic bag to her AP Photo friends. Each student finds their own object, leaving Haley as the only classmate without a new find. To create an experience that the entire class can enjoy, each student’s object is thrown and shaken up inside the magic bag. Haley then finds an old Polaroid camera inside, and the class comes together to photograph themselves alongside their incredible friends. The Magic Motley depicts a class with varying interests coming together as one, a true motley in itself.

  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    6 minutes 37 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 24, 2016
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography

Maddie is currently a junior at Clover Hill High School in Midlothian, VA. This is her first animated film she has worked on and directed.

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Director Statement

The Magic Motley will always stick with me, knowing it is the first video I got to collaborate on with such wonderful partners. Visual arts have always been my biggest and most prominent passion, and to venture into the film world has been an incredibly rewarding experience. As a current Photo III student at Clover Hill High School, working on my photographic abilities all the way until my current year as a junior will always be my favorite memory. To continue photography and perhaps more video making into my future is a dream of mine and I can’t wait to watch my abilities and knowledge grow throughout my future. It is impossible for me to imagine a world without the arts influencing everything that I do and I have found my identity within it. My photo teacher, Mrs. Berneche, has taught me so many things and has opened so many doors that I would have never otherwise experienced. I take her ideas and her creativity to heart and use her advice in every piece, as she is the most incredible teacher. My classmates have grown into dear friends of mine and I am so thankful that I had them as my team to create this wonderful video. We have shared so many laughs and grown unfathomably close. There is no way this video could have been done without every last one of them and it has been so much fun seeing their passions visualized in their own short portions of our creation. I thank them immensely for hours upon hours of dedication and for their patience. They are the artists that continue to inspire me alongside Mrs. Berneche and it is an honor to get to create art with my amazing friends.