The story is about a girl who achieves her mythological destiny through her metamorphosis from a human form to that of a sea turtle which symbolizes universal love, fertility and desire. During preproduction the original concept (see Thesis Proposal in Appendix A) took a dramatic shift, becoming less of a traditional narrative work and evolving more into a visual lyrical form. Ancient Promises begins with the female lead character appearing restless during her strangely frantic investigations on a beach. She hears voices which surprise and intrigue her. Her discovery of a turtle and the loss of her ring increases the tension of the story. Ultimately, the girl will discover the meaning of the turtle's appearance and swim into the sea to become a turtle herself. I wanted to evoke a mysterious transformation, as if a spiritual transformation of an individual to her true and natural self. I especially wanted the audience to be active (not passive) participants to discover the meaning of the story.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Motion pictures--Production and direction; Motion picture authorship; Digital video--Technique; Digital video--Themes, motives; Sea turtles in art; Shapeshifting; Metamorphosis in art

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Film and Animation (MFA)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Film and Animation (CIAS)


Stephanie Maxwell

Advisor/Committee Member

Duane Palyka

Advisor/Committee Member

Tereza Flaxman


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at PN1995.5.P7 M64 2004


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