Who are you and what’s your filmmaking background?
My name is Tiffanie Mang, and I graduated from the University of Southern California last May with a major in Animation and Digital Arts. The film competing in the LA Shorts Fest Showcase is actually my thesis film which I had the pleasure of working on during my senior year in college. My hope is to eventually work in the animation and games industry as a concept artist and illustrate books on the side. I would say that is my main passion right now.
What are you working on right now?
I am working full-time as an Art Director/lead concept artist on an interactive experience called Thralled, which is about a runaway slave in 1700s Brazil who escapes from the sugarcane plantations to search for her baby son that was taken away from her. The game is coming out this fall 2015 on OUYA, so be on the lookout! It is my first full-time job, and as the only artist on the game, it is very exciting because I am solely responsible for designing the environments and creating the look and feel of the game.
What are you promoting?
I wouldn’t say I’m really promoting anything in particular, I am just very honored to be a part of this competition, and I want to share the passions and little stories that inspire me, and that will hopefully inspire other people as well.
What do you want the audience to take away from your films?
For my film Emile, I was personally inspired by my study abroad experience in Italy, during which I had the amazing opportunity to study in Florence for four months. During that time, there was one guitarist who would brave the cold and sit in the Piazza della Signoria almost every night and render the most beautiful tunes on his guitar. The way the music would float through the air and drift through the alleyways, streets, windows, and into my apartment was so captivating. I started going out at night to just sit and listen to him play. It was the most magical experience of my life just feeling the music literally lift my soul.
If you asked me what I remember Italy by, it would be Piotr Tomaszewski, the guitarist who would come to the Piazza every night to play. It would be the music that he created so passionately; the music that stays with me even to this day. This experience is the main inspiration for my film, Emile. I knew I wanted to create a film that incorporated the relationship of music and art, but I wasn’t sure how to, until I heard Piotr and other street performers enlivening the streets of Florence with their passion and skill. I wanted to recreate the sentiment I felt when I first heard the notes in the air, that tingle, that tantalizing pinch of shock that stuns you for the first initial seconds. Often times, I listened to the music closing my eyes, which led me to center the film around a blind boy who is drawn to the mysterious guitar music drifting in the streets, and uses the music as a guide to bring him to the guitarist. I hope that through Emile, the audience can not only step in his shoes but my shoes as well, and feel what I got to experience listening to Piotr’s music refresh my body and soul.
What are your wildest dreams for your filmmaking career?
I want to make another 2-D animated short one day. I also want to backpack across Europe for a couple months, paint everyday, and create some sort of animation with my collection of paintings.
What is something bizarre about you?
I had a birthmark on the back of my head and they had to shave it off when I was really young or else it could have become hazardous! So now I have an ugly bald spot right in the middle, thankfully covered (sometimes) by hair.
What currently inspires you?
Right now I’m going through a transition where I am soaking in everything, and I want to try something new everyday. I love experimenting and discovering new ways of expressing myself through drawing. I am currently getting back into the fine arts and am painting everyday. I am inspired by artists such as Joaquín Sorolla, Richard Schmid and Edgar Payne. I have been watching a lot of classics as well, such as Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Annie Hall, Sleepless in Seattle, and Amélie; the simple but heartfelt stories told with brilliant cinematography and engaging scripts have been very inspiring and make me want to work on the set of a live-action film one day.
What’s your best advice for an aspiring filmmaker?
I am young myself, but I would say if anything to take the time and notice the little things in life, because that is where inspiration will come from. It’s not always the big, momentous events that you can create a story from, it’s the little nuances in everyday life, such as the way someone’s hair is lit in a particular manner, or the curious way two people are interacting in a certain setting. Take the time to observe and appreciate everything around you, because I believe you can find beauty and the spark of an idea in the unexpected.
Follow Tiffanie’s career at The Audience Awards.
For more information on Tiffanie Mang, visit:
and on Etsy, at https://www.etsy.com/shop/TiffanieMangArt?ref=l2-shopheader-name.
The Audience Awards is film’s social network connecting audiences to films, filmmakers, film schools and film festivals. The Audience Awards hosts short film competitions where the audience chooses the best films.