Producing & Creative Team

The Producers

My Love Affair With Marriage

a Latvia / USA / Luxembourg Production

Roberts Vinovskis

Roberts Vinovskis

Studio Locomotive, Latvia

 

With funding from The National Film Center of Latvia Studio Locomotive's Team in Riga colors and composites the 50,000 digital files sent from the Brooklyn studio and turns them into finished movies. Roberts also produced the recordings of the 23 songs sung by the Mythology Sirens and is overseeing a Latvian language version of the film. Roberts was a co-producer of Rocks In My Pockets, Signe's first animated feature film, and was also the Latvian distributor.

Signe Baumane 

Sturgis Warner

The Marriage Project LLC, USA

 

Signe and Sturgis started working on My Love Affair With Marriage in late 2015. In January 2017 they ran a Kickstarter campaign to get production going. 1,562 backers responded and the long process began. They have been writing grants and fundraising ever since in the effort to keep this independent film moving forward with Signe's vision intact.

Signe Baumane, Sturgis Warner

Much of the work at Signe Baumane Studio in Brooklyn is practical, meaning non-digital. Signe draws most of the animation herself, pencil on paper, Sturgis builds sets out of wood and their Team of artists covers them in paper-mâché and paint. The sets are lit and photographed, the Team pencil shadows the drawings then scans and organizes them into digital files before passing them on to the Latvian Team.

Raoul Nadalet

Antevita Films, Luxembourg

As of June 2020, Raoul is the third producing partner for My Love Affair With Marriage. With funding from Film Fund Luxembourg he and his Team will be responsible for all things Audio: Foley work, sound design, recording musicians for the film score and the final 5.1 Cinema mix. He will also provide some funding for the Latvian digital team.

Raoul Nadalet

Executive Producers

Matthew Modine

Adam Rackoff

Cinco Dedos Peliculas, LLC

John Jencks

The Creative Team

Signe animates in the traditional method: pencil on paper

"My style is a blend of my Eastern European roots of metaphor and surreal imagery and a more literal, humor-oriented American sensibility. My Love Affair With Marriage will be a unique combination of both." - Signe Baumane

As a former philosophy student, Signe is not afraid to reach behind the surface in her stories. As a former performer she enjoys connecting with an audience through surprise and humor. 

Signe has written, directed and animated 16 shorts and one feature film, many of them with a strong female point of view. She believes passionately that animation is a perfect medium for adult storytelling. Her films collectively have screened at over 560 film festivals including Sundance, Berlin, Venice and Karlovy Vary.

Signe Baumane

Writer, Director, Designer, Animator

Signe Baumane was born and raised in Latvia when it was still part of the Soviet Union. At age 14, she began publishing short stories. At 16 she won poetry reciting competitions. At 18 she was singing and dancing with the folk group Skandenieki. Signe received a BA in Philosophy from Moscow State University. After graduating she started to work at Riga's Animated Film Studio as a cel painter and later as a writer, director and designer. Signe directed three animated shorts in Latvia before moving to New York. There she worked for independent animator Bill Plympton as art director and production manager. In 1998, Signe received her U.S. green card as an 'extraordinary ability alien' and began making films at her own studio. In 2005 she became a U.S. citizen.

Signe is a Guggenheim Fellow and a New York Foundation of the Arts Fellow in Film.

Signe, the project's camerawoman, is setting up background photography for a scene in a Soviet school hallway

Rocks In My Pockets (2014), Signe's first animated feature film, is based on true events involving five women of Signe's family, including herself, and their battles with suicide and depression. It played internationally at 150 film festivals, was distributed in the U.S. by Zeitgeist Films, and has been screened by many colleges and mental health organizations.

Rocks In My Pockets Website

Kristian Sensini

Composer of Songs and Soundtrack

Add another country: Italy. When Signe urgently had to replace her composer for the soundtrack of Rocks In My Pockets, Kristian Sensini's resume magically turned up. Suspicious of long distance collaborations, she gave him a trial assignment and he brilliantly came through. Kristian subsequently won a slew of music awards for his work on the film. Although we are deep into our second collaboration, we have yet to meet Kristian in person.

With My Love Affair With Marriage Kristian has composed 23 songs for the Mythology Sirens who persuade Zelma to conform to their standards of womanhood by singing in three-part harmony. Kristian will also score the soundtrack as the film nears completion.

Kristian Sensini composes for film and TV specializing in animation, drama, fantasy and documentaries. He is a piano and flute player with a classical and Jazz background. Kristian lives and works in Italy.

Sturgis building a truck

"What I love about building sets for animation - they don't vanish into thin air like so much of theater does."

- Sturgis Warner

Sturgis Warner

Script Advisor, Casting Director, Set Builder, Lighting Designer

Sturgis Warner has been part of the New York theater scene for many years as an actor, director and occasional producer. His specialty is new plays and new play development. 

 

Sturgis started working with Signe in 2010 bringing theater principles and skills to her animation filmmaking. For Rocks In My Pockets, her first feature film, he was Co-Producer, Script Advisor and directed her 88-minute voiceover.

Sturgis lighting the Bus set

Yajun Shi

Animator for Biology Sections

In April 2020 Signe hired Yajun Shi to animate the Biology sections of the film, about 12 minutes of animation in total. Signe was looking for a creative, imaginative animator who had a different style than her own. Yajun's animated short film Parasite convinced her that Yajun was just that.

Yajun is a 2D animator, motion designer, and illustrator living and working in Brooklyn, NY. She graduated from Pratt Institute with a master's degree after getting a degree in animation from Hubei Institute of Fine Arts in China. 

Yajun Shi

Core Artists - Brooklyn Team

Yasemin Orhan

Sets

Yasemin on top of the work table with Signe and

Intern Shalayah Smith in the background

Yasemin is a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design

Sofiya Lypka

Sets, Color Choices, Digital Prep

Sofiya making one of 20 trees out of paper-mâché

Sofiya's Forest

John Koerner

Pencil Shading 

John took over pencil shading from Signe after 3/5ths of the film had been completed, freeing up Signe's time to animate and oversee all the departments.

Britt Sodersjerna

Coloring, Color Choices, Digital Prep

Britt is a recent graduate from Pratt Institute

Yupu Ding

Maps, Digital Prep

There are eleven scenes in the film that feature Maps, which are almost characters in themselves. Yupu figured out how to manipulate them and became Map Master. 

Other Artists and Interns who have worked on

My Love Affair With Marriage

at Signe Baumane Studio in Brooklyn:

Erin O'Malley

Joon Young Park

Maria Yukhananov

Chenxue Lu

Angie Jiménez

Shalayah Smith

Karyna Wilson

Tsz Ching Liu

Elizabeth Van Verth

Alyssa Contreras

Monica Flores Sanchez

John Vargas

Max Tunney

Frankelly Plata

Margarita Kotsoni

Michael Ribeiro

Yaik Kar Chow

Nayana Sturzeneker

Kelly Schiesswohl

Connor Jacob Bushoven

Alishia Yoon

Artists who contributed work

for background sets:

Sandra Osip, Douglas Fitch, Lasse Persson

Core Artists - Latvian Team

Anete Matvejeva

Latvian Production Manager

Coloring Department

Anete Matvejeva is a graduate in computer animation from the University of Bradford in West Yorkshire, England. She has been part of the Latvian team from the beginning and now coordinates and supervises the coloring team.

Georgs Harijs Āva

Latvian Production Manager

Compositing Department

Georgs Harijs Āva has been a member of the Latvian compositing team from the beginning. He is now supervisor and coordinator of the compositing process.

Past and Present Latvian Artists who have worked on My Love Affair With Marriage at

Studio Locomotive in Riga:

Andreta Strade

Klinta Lapina

Baiba Jegorova

Lea Kronpuša

Dace Liepa

Ilze Martinsone

Madara Dūka

Ieva Treija

Digne Briģe

Darya Vetrova

Vendija Rozenblate

Vidaga Grīnberga

Inta Silanža

Artūrs Lācis

Anita Rupeika

Sabīne Moore

Terēze Talita Rozenblate

Elīza Muzikante

Ilma Maculevica

Technical Expertise:

Pēteris Sudakovs, Rūta Sudakova, Raimonds Luzinskis

Producer's Assistant: Elīna Reinholde

The Audio Artists

Arjun G. Sheth

Chief Recording Engineer 

Dialogue Editor and Mixer

Arjun G. Sheth is an award-winning Sound Designer and Re-Recording Engineer who has been working in New York since 2007. His work has been shown around the world at festivals including Sundance, Tribeca, SXSW and Cannes; “God of Love”, a film he helped design, won an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short in 2011. Projects he has worked on have been shown on platforms like HBO, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Fox, ABC, TLC, ID, OWN, Bravo and ABC Family, among others.

Arjun brings to the recording studio lots of enthusiasm, a great sense of humor and a keen ear for storytelling. 

Signe and Arjun at Final Frame Studios in New York.

Editing the actors' voices together into a single dialogue track 

is often thrilling, rarely boring.

 

Other Sound Engineers who recorded actors for

My Love Affair With Marriage:

Dennis Hu

Final Frame, New York

Jeffery Roy

3rd Street ADR, Santa Monica, CA

Dicken Berglund

Blue Room Post, Manhattan Beach, CA

Elita, the perfect 8-year old girl, keeps a sharp eye on

 Arjun and Signe editing her voice. Don't mess it up!

Anete Vanaga

Latvian casting director

Latvian recording engineer

Latvian dialogue editor and mixer

 

Anete Vanaga obtained a bachelor’s degree in Music Technology from the University of West London where she was one of only four women in a class of 100. We don't know about her classmates, but Anete is a dream to work with. She was a critical component for the Latvian language version of Rocks In My Pockets. She recorded Signe's voiceover in Latvian for that film and mixed the complete soundtrack.

Anete also has a master’s degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology from the University of Latvia. Anete has worked in the film industry as a sound engineer with a focus on documentaries. 

Anete and Signe recording actors at BBsound, Riga, Latvia

Arnis Račinskis

Musical Director

Song Recording Engineer

For the recording of the 23 songs Arnis Račinskis was musical director and recording engineer. Working with both Trio Limonāde and Linda Leen, he recorded the songs in Latvian and English. 

Arnis is a singer, guitarist, songwriter, producer and the owner of MUTE Studios. He has played in a number of bands, most recently with Laika Suns. If you fly Baltic Air, you will hear him give the pre-flight safety instructions.

Arnis recording Trio Limonāde at MUTE Studios in Riga.

One in the booth, two on the couch. We recorded Trio Limonāde separately for more control when mixing the songs.

Kārlis Auzāns

Recording Engineer: Instruments

Sound Mixer of Songs

 

Kārlis Auzāns recorded the musicians at M-Park Studio in Riga, playing cello and guitar himself. He also mixed the songs in both languages. 

 

Kārlis is a producer, composer, arranger and a spectacular cellist. He composes and plays in the cello trio Melo-M. He's a member of several other bands including Kārlis Auzāns & Future Folk Orchestra.

Kārlis in M-Park Studio, a creative heaven

Musicians

Kārlis Auzāns - Cello, Guitar

Ieva Šablovska - Harp

Andris Grunte - Bass

Andis Klučnieks - Flute

Oskars Ozoliņš - Trumpet

Laura Rozenberga - Trombone

Kristaps Lubovs - Saxophone

Artis Orubs - Drums

Other Important Collaborators

Lolita Tomsone

Latvian Translator

Latvian Social Media Manager

 

It all starts with the script. The gifted writer and translator Lolita Tomsone turned 95 pages of My Love Affair With Marriage into 95 pages of Mans laulību projekts . Mans laulību projekts means

My Marriage Project in English. We had to come up with a different title because My Love Affair With Marriage does not translate well into Latvian. Lolita is also managing the social media strategy for Mans laulību projekts.

In addition to her writing, Lolita is the director of the Žanis Lipke Memorial Museum in Riga, which tells the story of Žanis Lipke and his network of 25 people who created an underground railroad to save Jews from the Nazis during the German occupation of Latvia in World War II.

Lolita and Signe, script intimates

Pēteris, a wizard with words

Pēteris Draguns

Latvian Lyric Translator

Pēteris Draguns is a well-known Latvian poet, singer and performer living in Riga. 

 

Pēteris had a challenging task because Latvian words tend to have more syllables than their English counterparts. But being a poet he kept finding inventive ways of honoring Signe's intent and fitting the words into Kristian's musical structure.  

Pascal Wallisch, PhD

Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychology

New York University

Principal Science Advisor

 

After researching neuroscience on her own for a year, Signe knew she had to find a scientist who could point out any science mistakes she made in the script. 

Signe found and contacted Pascal Wallisch, PhD through Twitter. His Twitter feed gave her the impression that he was one cool scientist, perhaps the type who might be sympathetic to the Arts.

In person, Dr. Wallisch turned out to be just that - one really cool scientist, open-minded, with a flair for intellectual flamboyance. Their three long sessions were intense and intellectually stimulating. The Biology sections of the script were corrected, improved and honed. The challenge now for Signe is visualizing the science in a correct and compelling fashion. 

Dr. Pascal Wallisch is a psychology professor, neuroscientist, author, science educator, who in his own words is "living the life of the mind and Arete. That said, how you perceive me is largely up to you."

Dr. Wallisch has a large following on Twitter

 

Additional Science Advisors:

Martin Klapheke, MD

Assistant Dean and Professor of Psychiatry

University of Central Florida College of Medicine

Adrija Kalviša, PhD Fellow

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Southern Denmark

John Holderried

Studio Manager

Signe Baumane Studio

John Holderried was our Studio Manager from 2015 to 2020. He is also the long-time Studio Manager for Bill Plympton Studios, splitting the week between us.

 

No one is more knowledgeable about the business of Independent Animation than John. We miss him in the studio.

John is a graduate of NYU Film School and an avid connoisseur of the movies.

Business Consultants for The Marriage Project LLC

Marty Rosen

Kickstarter Guru, Financial Advisor

Susan Godfrey

Tax Credit Consultant

Reginald C. Foster

Fundraising Consultant

Laura Azevedo

Filmmakers Collaborative

David Gitel

CPA, EA