Lock the Gate, directed by Sarah Galasso, is a short, animated film about the miraculous recovery of Lila Kate, an extremely premature newborn.
The storyboard was created back in 2011, however it was not until 2021, that the timing and funding were right for Sarah to begin production on this film.
After a routine sonogram at Sisters Hospital in Buffalo, New York, Sarah was rushed in to emergency surgery on 06/06/06. After seven weeks and many challenges, her daughter, Lila Kate, was born 3.5 months early, and with an e-coli infection. Because she was so frail and only weighed 2lb, doctors were not sure she would make it through the night. She not only made it through the night, but also survived the next 11 weeks in a neonatal intensive care unit.
In October of 2006, Lila was scheduled to come home. It was Friday the 13th. However, on the same day, Buffalo, New York, was hit with the October “Surprise” Storm, with the earliest recorded snowfall in the history of the city.
This short, 2D animation, is an expression of the true events that happened during those months. It was important to the artist to portray the confusion, shock, isolation, fragmented memories, and intense emotions that take place during a complicated pregnancy and premature birth. Each frame was individually hand-painted in Adobe Photoshop and then composited together in After Effects. Additional work was done in Premiere and Autodesk Maya.