BYU Animation’s Latest Success: Jacob Wyatt and Metro

 In Animation, BYU Center for Animation, College of Fine Arts and Communications, Department of Visual Arts, Recognition and Awards

This past summer, Jacob Wyatt’s short animated film Metro became the latest product of the BYU animation program to win significant critical praise.

To date, Metro has been screened and won awards at 10 film festivals, including receiving Best Short Film from 2012 Nantucket Film Festival, a Student Award from the 2012 Blue Plum Animation Festival, and the Audience Choice Award from BYU’s Final Cut Film Festival.

Metro relates the adventures of a little girl as she tries to ride the subway but gets lost, as Wyatt put it, in the “dream-world at the edges of the metro station.”

Wyatt created the film with funding from KBYU and with the help of his friends at BYU. The camaraderie of working on the film was his favorite part of the project.

“I either was or became friends with everyone who worked on the film,” Wyatt related. “I really enjoyed getting help and input from those guys and seeing people send amazing work back.”

Wyatt’s collaborators enjoyed working with him as well.

The film’s composer, Michael Wyatt, related, “It was an absolute joy to work so closely with my brother, who, turns out, is a great director. We had so much respect for what the other was doing, and we had great communication despite both of us not really knowing much at all about the other’s field.”

According to Michael, not only managerial instincts but also artistic ones contributed to the success of the final product.

“It’s all about the emotions,” he said. “Jake could communicate so much with such simple things like posture and timing.”

Kelly Loolsi, one of Jacob Wyatt’s mentors, attributed the success of the film to several more factors: “It is successful because it is different, well articulated and visually beautiful.”

“It is one of my favorite films we have ever made,” added Loosli. “Attending the Nantucket Film Festival with Jacob this summer was quite fun and seeing him win his award was very rewarding.”

For Wyatt, completing the film was a personal victory.

“I’d been involved in making these two other movies that just sort of fell apart because of a variety of reasons, and I had come to fear that I just couldn’t make a movie,” he said. “So making Metro, finishing it, sending it out, broke a bit of a bad streak for me, ended this line of unfinished projects and unrealized hopes.”

After his time at BYU, Wyatt has since moved to Los Angeles where he works doing storyboards for film and animation while developing his own creative ideas on the side.

Watch Metro by Jacob Wyatt.

Metro: Honors and screenings to date

  • 2011 Final Cut Film Festival – Audience Choice
  • 2011 Epiphany Children’s Film Festival (NYC)
  • 2011 Animation Block Party – Best Student Film
  • 2012 New York Int’l Children’s Film Festival
  • 2012 Love Your Shorts Film Festival
  • 2012 Blue Plum Animation Festival – Student Award
  • 2012 Nantucket Film Festival – Best Short Film
  • 2012 Seattle International Film Festival
  • 2012 Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival
  • 2012 Milwaukee International Film Festival Short List Film Festival
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