Sweet awkwardness & blood in animated short “Steak to the Heart”

Kelsey Canaga, a fourth-year student at DigiPen, recently posted her senior short film “Steak to the Heart“. It’s beautiful, funny, romantic, bloody, and it made my extremely short list “vampires who are okay” grow by one.

Presenting… Steak to the Heart! A senior short film concerning Olive the werewolf and Trevor the vampire dealing with their quirks on a first date. Created by some stupendous monsters at DigiPen Institute of Technology. BONE APPETIT!

Art Producer/Character Artist/Animator: canagadoodles
Art Director/Concept Artist/Animator: dadoism
Lead Animator/Rigger: nemonemiroff
Environment Artist/Lighter/Lead Compositor: stupah

For a look at the film’s development, check out the ‘steak to the heart‘ tag on Kelsey’s Tumblr. One post I found especially interesting dates from September, and concerns the evolution of Olive’s design.

She started out very monstrous, shifted to more of a toy dog, lengthened and bulked out, slimmed and softened, and finally she’s shaping up as a fluffy and friendly gal who comes on a bit strong. I’m much more pleased with her now so I’m excited to see where she goes.

Olive Concepts Olive the Werewolf

Important reminder to self: your first draft is not perfect so don’t get attached to it

I thought I was hot shit because in 2001 I spent four months making a two-minute stop-motion short with five other people (Group Six forever!), but Kelsey and her crew spent almost a year on Steak to the Heart. That dedication shows, and while I’m no film judge or animation expert, I award Kelsey full marks, especially for the great character design and making me like a vampire.