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Department Of Design

Q&A: Grendel Cooks Up Success

On a picturesque seaside knoll, a peaceful dragon is mowing his lawn when Vikings arrive in the bay below. Eager to greet them, the monster brings homemade cookies. But his new neighbors aren’t having it. So begins the 8-minute BYU student animation Grendel, which won gold at the 46th Annual Student Academy Awards. Here student director Kalee S. McCollaum (BA ’18) shares the backstory. How did the story of Grendel get chosen? Grendel, a twist on the Beowulf legend, was originally pitched in storyboard form by animation student Erik K. Hansen (BA ’18). As he went through the slides and added explanations to the visuals, we were all laughing and felt the idea had a good amount of heart and potential. Read the entire Q&A in BYU Magazine's Winter 2020 issue.