Penn Freshman’s Entry in Nickelodeon Animation Festival Is a Finalist; Voting Continues through Nov. 29

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Media Contact:Julie McWilliams | | 215-898-1422November 16, 2009

PHILADELPHIA –- Jason Merrin, a freshman in the Digital Media Design program at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, is a finalist in the 2009 Nickelodeon Animation Festival.

His experimental film, “The History of an Animation,” takes the audience through the process of how an animator learns to animate, from doodles all the way through computer animation. He made the movie by combining live footage with animation done in Adobe Flash. He used music by Eno Freedman Brodmann.

“I've always been interested in filmmaking and animation, which was why I joined the Digital Media Design program at Penn,” Merrin said. “I found out about the contest through Amy Calhoun at the DMD, who encouraged me to enter.”

Merrin, a resident of New York City, created the two-minute, 36-second animated short in 2008 and after he arrived on campus this fall worked with Penn Design professor Ellen Reynolds to match the specifications needed for on-air and online play.

“Jason, who had just begun one of our production classes, came to our lab for some help formatting the work to meet Nick's technical specifications,” Reynolds said. “There is a lot of new terminology and fine print about formats today, so we're happy to help sort out these types of issues.”

Merrin’s entry is available for viewing online at, where viewers can cast their ballots for the “Viewers’ Choice Award.”

The work is also scheduled to be screened on the Nicktoons Network around 4:37 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, as part of “Festival Week,” during which time viewers can vote for their favorite short. Voting is open through Nov. 29. The short with the most votes wins $5,000.