HOW THE AMAZING JOHN MORENA MADE 52 SHORTS IN 52 WEEKS! // ANIMATION MAGAZINE, U.S.
“I think the United States is really far behind the rest of the world in educating the public that other kinds of animation exist. You go to other countries and you realize they have a rich history and tradition of making animation as a serious art and they’re proud of it. It’s not always made as some product that can be parlayed into toys, dolls, games, clothes, oven mitts, aprons, bed sheets, pajamas, baby diapers, bibs, shot glasses, coffee mugs, birthday party napkins… I mean, the list goes on and on."
INTERVIEW: JOHN MORENA EXPLAINS HOW - AND WHY - HE MADE 52 FILMS IN A YEAR // CARTOON BREW, U.S.
“A year later, Area 52 — as the project came to be known — was complete. Not only had the challenge given him a new sense of fulfillment, Morena found that the films were interesting in their own right. He started submitting his favorite ones to festivals, successfully: they were picked to play at Annecy, Hiroshima, Ottawa, and Anima Mundi, among others. Morena may be the only filmmaker ever to have had six films playing simultaneously in competition at Annecy."
JOHN MORENA RELEASES 25 CHOICE CUTS ON YOUTUBE AS THE "A-SIDES" // DIRECTORS NOTES, U.K.
“Festivals are great for many reasons but the lifespan of a film on the circuit is a short-lived one. Beyond the festival circuit, there is more to gain from the success of a live-action short film since you can use it as a calling card to attract investors to fund your feature film. Without going into gory detail, that’s just simply not the case in animation."
Lo-Fi Perfection: The Incredible Year of Animator John Morena // ANIMAtiON WORLD NETWORK, U.S.
"It turns out there wasn’t a dud among this gaggle of submissions that came courtesy of American animator John Morena, who is self-taught and has worked in New York since 2000 doing an assortment of commissioned work including music videos, network promos, commercials and visual effects. Oh, and it also turns out that these 26 submissions were a mere pittance, as he actually made 52 films (yes, one for every week of the year) in 2017."
Inside the ‘Evil Genius’ of Animator and Title Designer John Morena // POND5 OFFICIAL BLOG, U.S.
"In a way, the conceptual inspiration for the Evil Genius titles didn’t come from Morena’s head, but those of the show’s subjects. “I wanted to make it as if the bomb maker was making the graphics,” he explains. Therein came the natural opportunity to go analog, because the bomb maker was a hoarder and DIY tinkerer. Morena channeled that. “I wanted to approach it as if a non-professional was making it, or someone who was using clumsy technology."
I Made One Short Film Per Week for a Year. Here's What I Learned. // FILMMAKER FREEDOM, U.S.
"My family didn’t quite understand what the fuck I was doing. They also didn’t understand why someone would do all that work with no financial reward attached. “Oh ok… well that’s good. What else are you doing?” they said. Even some industry colleagues asked, “How did you broker the deal?” I laughed. “What deal?” They laughed too, then lost interest."
John Morena Reflects on His Epic Instagram Animation Project ‘Area 52’ // DIRECTORS NOTES, U.K.
"Choosing an atypical platform also helped make Area 52 a unique project. People don’t release films on Instagram. I only know of one other show that was produced in 30-60 second bits just for Instagram. Everyone else gives you a sample size of a larger project and then directs you the link in their bio to watch the rest. I figured, folks are already in the feed and are going to watch your film if they know it’s convenient and a small time investment."
EXPLORING the Vast Disconnect Between the Mind & Soul in Enchanting Music Video ‘The Drought’ // DIRECTORS NOTES, U.K.
"We first featured talented animator John Morena on DN back in April with his year-long experimental Instagram project Area 52, John now rejoins us to talk about his new spellbinding music video The Drought for Ryan Chernin. I caught up with John to discover how he seduced and manipulated the essence of the song into a video which pulls your heartstrings, becoming increasingly addictive and enticing with every watch."
130 SHORTS FOR ANNECY 2018 // ZIPPY FRAMES, EUROPE
And the most peculiar surprise, and possibly sets a record for all festival participations: Experimental US artist John Morena (US) competes with 5 (!) films in the official short film competition: Best Laid Plans, Dicks, Freedom from Fear, Slurred, String of Sound. Morena has another film ( Home: A Portrait of New York City) in the off-limits competition, making his total Annecy participation to 6 films overall. Most of them are films from the collection of 52 films he made during 2017.