Home Deptford News GCIT alumna Darby Snyder wins awards for anime movie submission

GCIT alumna Darby Snyder wins awards for anime movie submission

An intense animation process paid off with her film ‘Symfaunic’

From Left to right: During the Symfaunic film premiere at the Orlando Science center, Darby Snyder gets in some much-needed family time with her mom Susan Snyder, brother Brady Snyder, and father Bob Snyder. Special to the Sun.

When she was 3 years old, Darby Snyder drew a picture of “Winnie the Pooh” characters Piglet, Tigger, Pooh and Eeyore. 

Fast forward more than 15 years later, when her portfolio submission was one of only 30 accepted into the character animation program at UCF’s School of Visual Arts and Design in Orlando, Florida.

“When I went to high school, I was in the digital communications program at GCIT (Gloucester County Institute of Technology) and I knew that I wanted to go into movie making after going through that,” Snyder recalled.

Out of every piece in her contest portfolio, Snyder’s most prized possession was her film, “Symfaunic,” which premiered on May 8 after Snyder lost sleep and spent countless nights at the animation lab.

“Working on the film with the team that I had, it was a very important experience to have, and I’m very happy that I was able to have it,” she explained. 

Snyder and 12 other students became a tight-knit group after spending hours together on the project. They overcame obstacles that included a relocation of the program from downtown Orlando to the main campus of UCF during their junior year. 

“Early facility issues related to that change and, most significantly, obstacles related to the pandemic, with the need to convert to remote operations and staggered lab availability,” said her father Rob Snyder. 

Snyder, who graduated from GCIT in 2016, mainly grew up watching Disney Pixar VHS tapes, specifically “The Lion King 2,” since she didn’t have part one.  

“You can imagine my reaction when I discovered that there was another “Lion King”  movie,” she enthused. 

Since the age of 9, Snyder has performed in school and summer theater and has also worked with kids ages 5 to 7 as a children’s musical theater director with West Deptford Center Stage Players. During her stay at UCF, Darby participated in a Disney College Program and worked in the entertainment costuming department at Disney’s Magic Kingdom. She was eventually furloughed due to COVID.

“Words cannot express how proud Susan and I are of Darby and her talent, hard work, and perseverance in this project and her graduating cum laude with a bachelor of Fine Arts in Emerging Media,” Rob Snyder noted.

“We are in awe of how she has embraced all of the nuance and complexity of this art form and is poised to make her mark in the world.”

Darby Snyder has added numerous awards to her resume, including best animation short at the June Independent Short Awards in Los Angeles.  

“I’m looking at applying for some of the trainee programs at Disney animation, as well as some of the internships at Pixar,” she said. “I’m really hoping that that is the direction I can go.” 

To watch “Symfaunic,” visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGeDbPeCZ-8.

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