Tahlequah Daily Press

Features

April 2, 2013

Cypert makes performance art a family affair

TAHLEQUAH — Art and imagination can blossom when nurtured, and that’s what Steve Cypert is doing with his grandchildren through film-making.

Computer art and animation combine with performance art for Cypert to create short films with Ashlyn, 5, and her brother, 6-year-old Hunter Ford.

The children have supplied voices for characters in two completed short film, and  a feature film is still in progress. In a third short film, “Use Your Imagination,” the children played themselves.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Cypert said. “It’s a family thing.”

For the past three summers, the trio has produced the short films, later showing them to classmates at Grand View School.

Hunter’s first-grade classmates enjoyed the shows and applauded.

“The girls thought it was better, because the girl won in the end,” said Hunter.

Friends in Ashlyn’s kindergarten class liked the movie, too.

“It made me feel happy, and want to make more movies,” she said.

The films have also been entered in the Bare Bones Film Festival and won awards.

They filmed “Use Your Imagination” last summer, and were inspired when their grandmother, Connie Cypert, told them to go use their imagination.

“We acted like we were sad because nobody was at the park,” Hunter said. “Then I pretended there was a dinosaur and Ashlyn ran away. When Grandpa tells us to use expression, we have to yell loud.”

This art form gives a whole new aspect to playing.

“I really like our acting,” Ashlyn said, “It’s really fun to pretend to play.”

While many children use their imagination to play, not many have a grandpa who turns it into a film, or uses the experience to help them develop stage presence, confidence or an interest in a hobby or career like film-making.

“They’ve grown up in Grandpa’s playhouse,” Cypert said of his recording studio, now also a film production studio.

Along with producing and animating the short films, Cypert also composes and performs the music for all their films.

Hunter is learning to use the computers, and plays the instruments in the studio.

“What’s fun is doing stuff with him,” Hunter said. “And I’m learning to listen.”

Ashlyn likes doing the voices, along with acting.

“Our voices kind of change, when I hear them it doesn’t sound like us,” Ashlyn said. “But it’s really fun; Grandpa makes it fun.”

“Dragon Thumper Chronicles” was the first film, compiled from video shot during the summers when Hunter was 2-4.

The second, “Nothing To Do,” is about bored kids looking for something to do, who get chased by robots. It was accepted last summer for “Angry Baby Monkey Showcase,” a Time-Warner series that began in New York City this past Friday. If it’s picked up for syndication it will air locally, Cypert said.

Cypert met the producer Ford Austin, and his wife, Laurie Dash, producer of the daytime show, “The Doctors” at Bare Bones.

“He posted on Facebook asking for short films, and his wife liked mine,” Cypert said. “He’s from Oklahoma City, and he’s been around the movie business a long time.”

The full-length feature Cypert is completing, “The Mighty Behemoth,” will be released on the Internet in segments, and three seasons and will be shown in the Bare Bones Film Festival in 2015 as a full movie.

It won Best Feature Script last year at the festival.

“You can enter the script one year and the film the following year,” Cypert said.

One of the best parts of the experience for Hunter is when the films win awards.

“It’s really exciting to win medals,” Hunter said.

Cypert also looks forward to the festival.

“We make these great connections at the festival. It’s kind of like a small family. We go to other festivals, too,” Cypert said.

He met Anita Cordell and Meagan Flynn at the festival and helped Cordell with a film project. He did the music and animation for, “The Reverse Angle Jonah,” which won best animation for a short film at a film festival in San Diego last November.

Both, “The Reverse Angle Jonah” and “Use Your Imagination” will be playing at the Bare Bones Film Festival next Saturday as part of the kids festival, Cypert said.

“These are movies made by kids and for kids,” he said. “One 12-year-old girl has done her own animation. That’s really impressive.”

Some refer to the Bare Bones Film Festival as the friendliest film festival, and Cypert agrees. This year, people from Israel, France, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia will be participating in the film festival, Cypert said. Last year, he met people from Russia.

“It is an international film festival,” he said, “for movies that cost $1 million or less to make.”

And he likes that the grandkids get to meet other children who are making movies.

 

To see the complete version of this article, subscribe to the Daily Press e-edition by following the link below.

Click here to get the entire Tahlequah Daily Press delivered every day to your home or office.

Click here to get a free trial or to subscribe to the Tahlequah Daily Press electronic edition. It's the ENTIRE newspaper (without the paper) for your computer, iPad or e-reader.

1
Text Only
Features
  • wherearethey.jpg Padilla enjoys reconnecting with childhood

    As a child spending time at her grandparents’ house, with all her aunts, uncles, and cousins around her, Kerrie (Bosley) Padilla spent endless hours outside playing chase, catching fireflies, or writing and acting out plays.
    In 1987, after her dad got out of the Navy, the family moved here from Georgia to be closer to that family: matriarch Dorothy Monzingo, and maternal grandparents Dorothy and Dwight Allen. Her parents, DeAnna and Steve Edwards – as well as a couple of siblings and some aunts, uncles and cousins – still live here.
    Eventually, Padilla graduated from Northeastern State University, and then its College of Optometry.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-Dream1.jpg Dream Theatre spotlights songwriters

    Dreams can come true for local aspiring songwriters who seek to gain performance experience.
    For one young musician, Thursday night was an unexpected dream of discovery, as well.
    Two opportunities are available to musicians at the Dream Theatre each month, the new Songwriters’ Showcase which opened Thursday night and Premier Night for musicians who have a few songs or a set, but not a whole show.
    In search of the groove that works for The Dream, Manager Larry Clark is partnering with Blake Turner, Lakes Country operation manager.
    The Songwriters’ Showcase, which will continue the third Thursday of the month in conjunction with Tahlequah Main Street Association’s Third Thursday Art Walk downtown, features seasoned performers who can share some of their personal insights into the how, when and why of their songwriting experiences.

    April 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Dream, Brewdog’s to host music festivals

    One sign of spring’s arrival is the scheduling of music festivals, and 10 bands will visit a Tahlequah venue May 24, the Saturday before Memorial Day.

    April 17, 2014

  • rf-Zoe-thing.jpg Conference attendees get words of encouragement

    Words of encouragement and door prizes were bountiful Saturday morning at the annual Zoë Institute’s Women’s Conference.
    Ten women shared words of wisdom in areas from happiness to health, and 100 gifts were given out, including the grand prize of gasoline for a year.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • sp-symposium-art-panel.jpg Panelists discuss impact of Southeastern art

    Until recently, most people had a certain expectation of American Indian art – and it didn’t include images familiar to people in and around Cherokee County.
    “A lot of times, when people think about Native art, they immediately think of Plains art or Southwestern art,” said Roy Boney (Cherokee), Tahlequah artist and moderator of the panel discussion “Southeastern Indian Art: Building Community and Raising Awareness,” held Friday, April 11, at the NSU Symposium on the American Indian.
    Boney and the other panelists are frustrated by the divide between mainstream expectations of Native American art and their need for genuine self-expression.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-Teacher.jpg Dickerson believes in putting the student first

    As a child growing up in Elk City, Cherokee Elementary teacher Debra Dickerson lined up the neighborhood children and animals to play school.
    “I’ve been a teacher ever since I could talk. My mother always said she knew where I was because she could hear me bossing everyone,” she said.
    The classroom then was a blanket tossed over limbs of her big cherry tree on Eisenhower Street. Recess was spent tree-climbing, running, riding in the bus (her red wagon) and being creative.
    “Those were the days before video games and TV,” she said.
    Dickerson, 2013-’14 Cherokee Elementary Teacher of the Year, believes a classroom should be a safe haven for children, because school is often the best part of their day.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • kh-trash-pickup.jpg Cleaning things up

    Lowrey was part of the Cherokee Nation’s Career Service Center contingency of 11 volunteers. Other volunteers cleaned up trash along the roadway from the Cherokee Casino to the NSU campus.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • SR-NinthAmendment.jpg Right to privacy leans partly on Article 9

    While the other articles of the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights are straightforward – at least, enough for Americans to bicker over in court – the Ninth Amendment might cause a bit of confusion.
    It reads: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
    There are no rights enumerated, and it might be difficult to argue one’s Ninth Amendment rights in court, though it has been done successfully.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • stickball-2.jpg Stickball

    The American Indian Science and Engineering Society and Native American Student Associationat Northeastern State University hosted a traditional stickball game as part of closing cultural activities during the 42nd annual Symposium on the American Indian Friday. Participants included, from left: Nathan Wolf, Disosdi Elk and Chris Smith.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • green-bldng.jpg City council to discuss ‘green building’

    Tahlequah City Council will hold a special meeting Friday, April 11, at 5:30 p.m. to discuss, among other items, applying grant money to renovate the city’s “green building” at the corner of Water and Morgan, near Norris Park.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

How confident are you that the immunizations for infants and children are reasonably safe?

Not at all confident.
Somewhat confident.
Relatively confident.
Extremely confident.
undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security
Stocks