After countless work sessions and 800 drawings later, Alexandra Bloch finished her final student project. Her 90-second short film about a mysterious forest fire, titled Ember, reflects her passion for 2-D animation.
She was able to discover and cultivate her animation skills during her journey as a digital arts and sciences student.
“The program is really open, and it allows you to find what you want to do,” Bloch said. “You make what you want out of all the opportunity you are given.”
When Bloch moved from France to the United States in 2014, she simultaneously tackled the language barrier and explored what she wanted to be when she grew up.
The UF Digital Worlds Institute gave her the chance to experiment with a wide array of disciplines that eventually led her to 2-D animation. This medium handles the pre-production of everything that the viewer sees during an animation film. She said she loves the feeling of starting from scratch to create something out of nothing.
“Our major is not as specialized as what you can find in other places like France, but we have something that other places don’t: We understand the process of every single field,” she said. “This way we can communicate between the fields and understand the process of everyone who is working in the industry.”
Bloch believes the Digital Worlds Institute is a pioneer to an emerging industry and will continue to grow. But even as it grows, Bloch said she formed close connections with her peers and immersed herself in digital projects that went far beyond the classroom.
After graduation, she plans to head back to France to pursue visual development and hopes to create films that inspire the next generation of animators. She said she was influenced by animation films when she was younger, so now it’s her time to give back.
“I’m so grateful to all the people who created stories before me,” Bloch said. “Some people take that into their daily life, but I took that further and now I just want to create for others.”