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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Mapping Disney

When Deborah Berk ’12, an enthusiastic Disney fan, considered what to do for her Mentored Advanced Project, she was struck with the idea of discovering what makes Disney movies so special.

“Ever since I was a senior in high school, I’ve been really interested in Disney movies and the way they are almost universal,” Berk said. “Everyone remembers watching Disney movies; there are a lot of memories tied to them. My MAP was trying to figure out why Disney movies are so much more successful than the other movies out there, and I found that they are really excellent high quality films that stand the test of time.”

In addition to looking at what makes Disney movies unique, Berk also created two original scenes of her own that reflect the key elements she observed in Disney movies.

“The idea is that you do the research and then you apply the research,” she said.

As part of her creative process, Berk held a storyboarding workshop last Wednesday in which students analyzed and critiqued one of the scenes that she created.

“Storyboarding is a staple in part of the Disney movie making process and I wanted my MAP to reflect that,” Berk said.

The scene centers on the story of Lewis and Clark, in an instance in which their boat tips over in a storm, and all of their journals documenting their trip fall into the water. Sacagawea saves the day by jumping into the water and retrieving their materials.

“I wanted to create a scene that presents the image of a strong woman. The implication of many Disney movies is that once you’ve found your life partner, that’s it, the adventure is over. I really wanted to take it one step further. Sacagawea is a both a mother and a worker.”

After presenting the scene, Berk posed questions such as “Is the plot clear?“ and “Are the characters well-developed?” and then students gave their opinions and brainstormed new ideas for the scene.

“Overall, I think the workshop went really well. I’m pleased with the feedback and I’m excited to incorporate it into my final product.”

Berk’s MAP presentation will be held on Saturday, May 12 at 4:15 in Bucksbaum 152.

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