Notes from the filmmaker:

The idea for creating more sci fi and fantasy films came from students in a class that I taught at Spelman College, which is my academic home. After a semester of showing films that featured Black women as protagonists (the lead in a story), I asked the class what kinds of stories they would like to create or see. Hands down, they said more science fiction and fantasy films that feature Black female protagonists.

Years ago I created a fantasy film called In the Rivers of Mercy Angst. However, my students’ comments reminded me of how much I enjoy the genres of science fiction, fantasy, speculative fiction and Black Girl magic (lots of names for realities and imagined realities bump up against each other.) I first created a production called HERadventure, an interactive sci fi film that is part film and part interactive game. You can see that project at The second film inspired by my students’ comments is Princess Zaya: The Bend in Origan

This film is made from a collection of still photographs that I reimagined. The first version of the film was made a couple of years ago, but I wasn’t pleased with it. You can find out why on my blog

The model for Princess Zaya is Lauren Brown Jarvis who at the time that I was making HERadventure served as my research assistant. Lauren was the stand-in for that project and I took several photos of her on mobile phone.

Here are a few before and after images that show how the images of Lauren were translated into the Princess Zaya character.

The software that I used was primarily from the Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Premiere, After Effects) and Auto Lip Synch, which was new to me and fun to play with.

A former student, Britny Horton, performs the voice of Princess Zaya. I perform the voice of the ancient scarab.

Most of the sounds that you hear are from GarageBand.