As an animation major, this was an experience I wouldn’t trade for the world.

By Scott Wood, Staff Writer/Artist

On Nov. 29, 2018, the world was introduced to one of the most bizarre film projects ever conceived. The premise was simple: a shot-for-shot retelling of the 2001 animated feature film Shrek, comprised of roughly 230 outsider artists, each one recreating the film in their own signature style. This film was comprised of every conceivable medium imaginable–from live-action to 2D animation, even to puppetry. 

Needless to say, this film was a surreal sight to behold, and I had the honor of making roughly %0.00001 of it. When the film was 3 weeks away from being finished, 3GI industries (the geniuses spearheading the project) tweeted out a call to action, asking if anyone would be willing to fill in the miscellaneous shots which were still empty. I answered and made a super rushed 3-second animation. 

Fast forward to two weeks ago, when it was announced that there would be a screening of Shrek Retold at the Milwaukee Oriental theater, signaling it’s silver screen premiere. Needless to say, I was intrigued, and so I headed off to Milwaukee with my family to see my %0.00001 of a movie on the big screen. 

As I sat in my seat in the theater, among the other moviegoers, I could not help but sense a surreal dreamlike feeling in the air. “Was this really happening?” Suddenly I saw a familiar face. Grant Duffrin, the chief editor and executive producer of Shrek Retold got up in front of the stage for a brief Q&A. I was especially excited for this part, finally seeing him in person for the first time to gain insight into the development process. 

And then, it happened. 

Grant called for everyone in the audience who worked on the film to come up to the stage. There were about 4 of us in total. We were all asked various questions about what our entries were, when we decided to join the project, and what our inspirations were. After about 7 minutes of questions or so, we all went back to our seats and watched the film we worked on. The feeling of having the audience react in real-time to something I helped make was truly indescribable. It was incredibly humbling to be put alongside artists who were, to put it bluntly, objectively more talented than I was. I felt honored to be alongside them and it was an experience I wouldn’t trade for the world.