Let’s gather ’round for a sit-down with Richmond, Virginia’s own Renaissance man, Adam Rosenberg. He’s part-time backflip aficionado, full-time connoisseur of toilet jokes, and midnight quesadilla whisperer. Oh, and in his spare time, he’s also a filmmaker, director, editor, and animator. His trophy cabinet is spilling over with awards, including Best of Show, Best Comedy, Best Director, Most Original Concept, and Audience Choice. His films have got critics at HuffPost, Slate, and Esquire cracking up, screaming headlines like “Hilarious and Alarming” or “Just Try Not to Laugh”. The latter seems to have become the unofficial tagline for his work. And we got to send him a few questions to get the quick rundown on his how and why.
Adam has focused his creative energies on developing an array of short films. Initially involved in live-action, he has recently shifted his focus towards animation, particularly a style known as pixilation which incorporates live actors. His films typically encapsulate a variety of themes from humor and absurdity to eeriness and the down right weird.
His interest in animation sparked during his time at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Initially intending to pursue graphic design, a video and animation class in his freshman year led him to alter his path. This switch directed him towards the Kinetic Imaging program, where he further explored and honed his animation skills, thus embarking on a journey of expressing his creativity in an entirely new medium.
We asked Adam on his animation role models and he mentioned some heavy hitters working today. For those of us not familiar, there is a gentleman who goes by the singular name of Cyriak, a Brighton-based Jack-of-all-trades, dabbling in animation, art, composing, and authoring. He’s the guy behind those weirdly captivating short animations that make you feel like you’re in a surrealist Droste effect-induced fever dream. Then there’s Alexander Unger, better known as Guldies, a Swede who’s an absolute wizard with clay. And the dynamic duo, Becky and Joe. They’ve made a name for themselves with the show ‘Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared,’ a series that takes your perception of reality, twists it into a pretzel, and serves it back to you with a side of existential dread.
You can see a mix of all of these people and ideas in Adam’s work.
In terms of creating impactful short films, Adam gave us this nugget “Good shorts should tell a story, or at least have an arc that feels complete. Other than that the only criteria I can think of is to make the viewer feel something. The worst thing you can be is boring.”
Last thing, when we asked about his next project, he mentioned something called ‘Alphabetical Athleticalz’, which he states is an exploration of various sports, represented from A to Z, through the medium of animation. This ambitious project is made possible by the use of pixilation, involving real actors in the animation process. Currently, he has completed 21 out of the planned 26 scenes, primarily in Colorado. Now, back in Virginia, he is seeking collaboration from local film professionals to help conclude this project. Adam encourages those interested in being a part of another of his crazy ideas, from actors and producers to graphic designers and sound designers, to get in touch with him HERE!
Give Adam Rosenberg a follow at @mr.adam.rosenberg