(Carlos Douglas Jr
Carlos Douglas Jr is an animator & director/producer of Kenya’s Symphony. He is a spring 2020 graduate of Columbia College Chicago under the Interactive Arts and Media program, earning his Bachelor of Arts in Traditional Animation. He acted as the president of the Columbia College Chicago Animation Association (CCCAA), a prominent student organization at the college intended to expand curriculum beyond the classroom experience, preparing and opening opportunities for animation students in the industry. In addition to directing and producing Kenya’s Symphony, he is the producer on the upcoming 2020 animated short, Buster and Jamson as part of the Animation Production Studio course at Columbia.
Born and raised in Chicagoland, Carlos began creating art at a very young age and continued his study of the arts into adulthood. Carlos studied for years under the teachings of Nikki Kutansky, a long-time arts instructor at the Center for Visual & Performing Arts in Munster, Indiana before enrolling at Columbia College Chicago. During his tenure in Nikki’s class, his interest in animation and motion picture arts was realized. Some of his past accolades include creating the character design of “Little Rocky” on musician Rocky Kramer’s music video, Rock Star, storyboarding for live-action films produced at Columbia College Chicago, and organizing the 2020 digital Storyreel Showcase at Columbia.
Kenya’s Symphony is a 2-D animated short produced and directed by Carlos, with music composed by Michael Van Bodegom Smith (“Beyond The Door”, “Me and Myself”, “Teacher of the Year”). This project was inspired by Carlos’ employment as an usher for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and his passion for film and orchestral music. This film was completed over the course of three semesters with no budget. His plan was to produce a film primarily driven by visuals and music. The score was recorded by a 60-piece orchestra and combined with a sound mix for a sonic experience without dialogue. Kenya’s Symphony had its premiere screening at the Big Teeth Small Shorts Festival in Chicago, Illinois, winning the “People’s Choice” Award in the Small Shorts category.
Carlos has a goal of producing and directing animated content with narrative. Television and film provide a great outlet for stories to be shared. Post-graduation, he plans to find his place among the animation community and continue to create animated content for the screen.
Kenya’s Symphony was completed with no budget, only with the resources that were available at my disposal, along with my collaborators. Kenya’s Symphony tells the story of a young girl coming to appreciate an art form less traveled by a modern generation. Diving even deeper, this is the story of a person being placed in an unfamiliar situation and being changed by the experience; this change happens not by force, but by chance. By giving the symphony a chance, she finds enchantment in the unfamiliar.
Despite everything and everyone looking different, Kenya becomes one of the insiders in this fantastic turn of events. I hope that this film can be viewed by people both young and old so that they can have some fun watching Kenya’s chaotic energy be transformed into something positive. I also hope that they take away this valuable piece of wisdom with them. Give things a try and experience a whole new side of yourself!