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Results 26 - 50 of 806
26. Koji Morimoto Directs Sequence for Lexus-Sponsored Short Film

A little product placement can go a long way, as proven in Mitsuyo Miyazaki’s A Better Tomorrow, a short film about a pair of kidnapped orphans in a water-starved, not-so-distant future.

In the short’s third act, our young protagonists hop into a flying Lexus LF-LC (naturally) and escape their captors via an expressionist anime fantasy sequence directed by Koji Morimoto (Akira, Mmeories Animatrix) with music composed by Simon Webster. Produced by the Weinstein Company and sponsored by Lexus Short Films, the film premiered at Cannes earlier this year.

If you want to see the animated sequence by itself, here it is:

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27. “A Very Fuddles Christmas” Book Trailer by Frans Vischer

Veteran film animator Frans Vischer (Cats Don’t Dance, Curious George, Rover Dangerfield, The Princess and the Frog) has completed his second illustrated children’s book featuring the chubby cat Fuddles. The book is called A Very Fuddles Christmas and will be released on October 1st by Simon & Schuster’s Aladdin imprint. Like the earlier Fuddles book, this new story is accompanied by a charming and lovingly animated book trailer by Frans that gives life to his feline star.

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28. “Imitation of Life” Sneaks Animation Into the Venice Biennale

The Venice Biennale, the major biannual art festival that is currently ongoing in Venice, Italy, features an animation installation this year. Imitation of Life by Mathias Poledna is housed in the festival’s Austrian Pavilion. The three-minute 1930s-style short was produced by DUCK Studios in Los Angeles, and appears to be a fairly authentic throwback to the classical era, especially in regard to process: it was drawn on paper, inked onto cels and shot on 35mm. (Mark Kausler used similar vintage processes for his recent pair of shorts There Must Be Some Other Cat and It’s the Cat.)

Of course, simply making an animated film isn’t enough to qualify as Art with a capital ‘A’ and it certainly won’t gain a filmmaker admission into the Biennale. Animation has to be recontextualized into a more ‘meaningful’ endeavor, hence this impressively decadent official description for the piece:

A 35mm color film roughly three minutes in length, Imitation of Life was produced using the historic, labor-intensive technique of handmade animation and is built around a cartoon character performing a musical number. Its buoyant spirit and visual texture evoke the Golden Era of the American animation industry during the late 1930s and early 1940s. In the preceding years, the time of the Great Depression, the medium had evolved from a crude form of mass spectacle into a visual language of enormous richness and complexity that shaped and continues to resonate in our collective imaginary.

Imitation of Life appropriates and reassembles this language as it revisits the contradictions and ambiguities that accompanied the medium’s development. Advanced methods of production and visual ingenuity – indebted to the syntax of European modernism in its handling of surface, depth and color, and lauded by the avantgarde and critic intelligence of the time – coexisted with sentimental characterization and storytelling based on age-old fables and fairy tales.

Among the most pronounced features of the film is the extreme contrast between the conciseness of its scene, and the extraordinary amount of labor that went into its creation: more than 5,000 handmade sketches, layouts, animation drawings, watercolored backgrounds and ink-rendered animation cells, produced in close cooperation with acclaimed artists from the animation departments of film studios in Los Angeles, most notably Disney. Several small groups of these drawings are presented in the Austrian Pavilion.

The soundtrack, another key element of the production, was recorded with a full orchestra in the style of the period at the Warner Brothers scoring stage in Los Angeles. It combines new original music created specifically for this project with a re-arrangement of a popular song from the 1930s written by Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown.

Presented in Venice, Poledna’s installation allows for a complex cross-reading with other episodes from this period: the relationship between European art and American mass culture; European emigration to the United States and American export to Europe; the presentation of animated films produced by the Disney Studios at the first film festivals in Venice; the late modernism of the Austrian Pavilion, and the period from 1938 to 1942 during which the building remained empty while Austrian artists exhibited in the German Pavilion.

Beyond its engagement with animation, Imitation of Life incorporates into its fleeting narrative a number of other elements from the early history of entertainment, such as Vaudeville, silent comedy and film musicals, and form diverse artistic forms including film, music, painting and literature. But even while it subscribes to the synergistic logic of its medium, the film deliberately eschews a seamless whole, remaining at once alien and utterly recognizable.

(Thanks, @StephenPersing)

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29. “Wolf Within” by Alex Horan

The Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival is made possible by sponsor JibJab and their strong support for emerging filmmakers.


Alex Horan’s Wolf Within grabs the viewer with its opening line: “As a boy in Kansas I was afraid of three things: rattlesnakes, tornados, and my father.” The short doesn’t let up, hitting all the right emotional beats throughout its nine-and-a-half minute length and exhibiting maturity and ambition that are rare for a student filmmaker.

Horan’s film, the seventh film to debut in this year’s Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival, was produced at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Th film is a period piece and family history, based on the relationship between Horan’s father and grandfather, the latter whom Horan never met. Without giving away the story, Horan’s literary allusions to the Jack London novel The Call of the Wild give the viewer an entry point into the world of the film, while providing an engaging narrative framework.

Horan’s delivers the complete package: carefully considered cinematic compositions and camera movement, one the more lush monochromatic palettes you’ll see, evocative sound design, and understated but highly proficient animation that matches the tone of the story. It’s this attention to detai that gives resonance to the father-son relationship depicted in Wolf Within.

Continue reading for comments from the filmmaker Alex Horan—

THE IDEA

I tend to lean towards humor in most of my work because it lends itself so well to the medium and it’s something I feel I have a natural ability to produce. I was afraid of using comedy as a crutch, and thereby challenging myself as both storyteller and an animator. For my degree project I wanted to push myself to create a film that made the audience feel something deeper than laughter; a film where you could connect and empathize with the characters. I felt that in order to create a film that meant something to the audience I first had to make one that meant something to me. I looked at what was closest in my life and found my father standing at the forefront. When I was growing up, he recited parables of his youth that shaped his character which, in turn, shaped mine. By deciding to explore the relationship between my father and grandfather I provided myself with the source material necessary to create a compelling narrative. More importantly, I also ended up learning a lot more about myself and my own relationship with my father and a man I never knew.

TOOLBOX

Nothing fancy here: backgrounds in Photoshop, frame-by-frame animation in Flash, compositing in After Effects and edited using Premiere. I love Foley so I tried to do as much as possible, only downloading sound when completely necessary. My favorite was using a pad of Post-its for the moth’s wings, utterly satisfying. I had initially hoped to use my father for the narration but quickly learned he’s a doctor, not a voice actor. I lucked out with a really talented guy from California using a casting website, which was a great learning experience coaching somebody via telephone.

CHALLENGES

Over the course of the year I really struggled with the narrative structure of this film. Initially I had a rough animatic with a general outline, but nothing concrete. I wanted my father’s story to carry the same weight for the audience as it did for him, but finding a way to do this narratively proved to be difficult. How much narration was too much? When was there not enough? Should there be any at all? I felt there was a fine line between spoon-feeding the audience and leaving them totally clueless. Unfortunately, due to deadlines, I had to start animating immediately and hopefully iron out the kinks along the way. I met with my god sent teacher, Tammy Dudman, a couple times a week where we’d just workshop my story. During these meetings we explored the relationship between my father and grandfather which, in a way, became an inquisition of myself. Here, I finally realized I had to worry less about my audience and more about myself and the film I wanted to create. Regardless of how tight or loose a narrative structure is, ultimately it is the viewer who decides how to interpret the film.

INSPIRATIONS

Lone Wolf and Cub by Kazuo Koike was a huge inspiration to me as well as The Road by Cormac McCarthy, both works obviously dealing with similar themes as my film. Also, The Book Of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi naturally played a huge role throughout the filmmaking process. Daniel Sousa’s film, Mikkel Sommer, whose loose style really influenced a lot of my process work leading up to my film. Additionally, “A Boy Named Sue” by Johnny Cash actually influenced me quite a bit because of its Americana feel and the lyrics of Shel Silverstein which parallel my father’s upbringing in a way.

WHERE YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS

I’m sitting on a few short ideas right now that need some nurturing which I will continue developing and producing over the next five years. Ultimately I’d love to produce my own original content for television or film, but until then I feel there is still so much I need to learn about the industry. I’d be more than happy being a worker bee somewhere just to learn the ropes where I can develop my skills further as both an artist and an animator.

FILMMAKER WEBSITES

WEBSITE: AlHoran.com
TUMBLR: Phantomlobster.tumblr.com

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30. The Hunt is On in “Hound” by Olivia Blanc and Marion Delpech

Just who is being hunted in Hound, the Ecole des Métiers du Cinéma d’Animation graduate film from Olivia Blanc and Marion Delpech? While this singular question is central to the blissfully unencumbered storytelling of this short film, you are challenged to remember it as you become lost in the juxtaposition of monochromatic starkness and bursts of rich color.

CREDITS:
Directed by Olivia Blanc and Marion Delpech
Sound design by Florian Calmer

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31. Scott Benson Discusses The Premiere of “Ghost Stories” and Late Night Work Club

Today, the Late Night Work Club debuts their first project Ghost Stories, a 38-minute compilation of animated shorts by up-and-coming names in the animation world. The films and filmmakers are:
I Will Miss You by Dave Prosser
The Jump by Charles Huettner
The American Dream by Sean Buckelew
Mountain Ash by Jake Armstrong and Erin Kilkenny
Rat Trap by Caleb Wood
Loose Ends by Louise Bagnall
Phantom Limb by Alex Grigg
Asshole by Conor Finnegan
Ombilda by Ciaran Duffy
Post Personal by Eamonn O’Neill
Last Lives by Scott Benson

At a time when more animated shorts are being produced than ever before, it is increasingly difficult to get attention for individual short films. Late Night Work Club’s attempt to create a curated ‘mix-tape’ of animated shorts is an interesting attempt to draw more eyeballs to the work of independent filmmakers.

The project is ambitious in both scope and length, particularly considering that it was made with no commercial intent. The filmmakers self-funded the entire project with no crowdfunding or other forms of sponsorship. The filmmakers hope to recoup some of their costs by offering download packs and Uncanny Mystery Packs. Also unique, the film wasn’t kept offline for a festival run. It debuts on Vimeo today, just five days after its theatrical premiere in Los Angeles.

I interviewed filmmaker Scott Benson, one of Late Night Work Club’s founders, to find out more about LNWc and the unique creative and distribution strategies that they are exploring with Ghost Stories.

Cartoon Brew: Late Night Work Club began in 2012 as a collective for animation filmmakers who wanted to create non-commercial work. These type of collectives have existed before in one fashion or another, but most do not choose to release a single project around a specific theme, such as ghost stories. What made you decide to pursue this route?

Scott Benson: The themed anthology thing was a pretty direct inspiration from NoBrow I think. The general ideas for what would become Late Night Work Club had been kicking around between Charles Huettner, Eimhin McNamara, Eamonn O’Neil and I on Twitter for a few months. I was reading an issue of NoBrow at one point and was thinking, “The comics in here are like the animation I like and my friends make. Why isn’t there a place for us like this?” Something that wasn’t self-consciously highbrow or lowbrow, just a bunch of creators with strong individual voices all doing variations on a theme. That kind of thing appealed to me, and then we talked about it and the idea grew.

Cartoon Brew: How does creating a 38-minute film as opposed to a more standard short-film length increase your opportunities for visibility? Do you feel there are any downsides to this approach than if everyone had just released their films individually?

Scott Benson: Not sure, honestly. We’re making this up as we go. We didn’t want it to feel like a film festival, but more like a compilation. One album, a bunch of different bands. Go through, find someone whose work you love and seek them out individually. If we released them all separately there’d be one or two films that would get a lot of buzz here or there, and a lot of the others that might not have been picked up on this or that blog would get passed over. Doing it together binds us all into one noncompeting group. We all rise or fall together. We’re all colleagues and a lot of new friendships have developed over this project, and so it makes sense to do this all together. It’s one group project with a lot of defined voices, and that’s pretty cool. I do personally hope that doing it this way also makes it more of an event as opposed to just a curated list of affiliated shorts. We’ll see how it goes.

Cartoon Brew: I was surprised to see that you didn’t run a crowdfunding campaign. How did you convince nearly a dozen artists to create projects on a specific schedule with no financial incentive?

Scott Benson: No one needed any convincing. It was just “Hey you! You want to join up?” Never anything beyond that. Everyone immediately got it, and many seemed eager for something like this to come along (including me). We never got any outright refusals to our invites, just a few people who had to drop out because of life or couldn’t join this time but wanted in on the next one. No one even said the word Kickstarter, it just wasn’t a thought. Maybe in the future, who knows. We’d want to do this anyway, so we just did it. And hey, there is indeed a financial incentive—if we make enough from donations and sales of downloads/ mystery packs, we’ll have enough to split up fourteen ways and then we can each buy a pizza and have an international pizza party over Google Hangout.

Cartoon Brew: How much interaction was there between the collective? For example, does everybody have to pitch their idea to the group and get it approved? Or were there limits on lengths, style, content?

Scott Benson: There was a rule from the beginning that each member set their own level of involvement. If they wanted to just make their short in peace with minimal chatter, that was fine. If they wanted to get all involved with each other or the project in a broader sense, that was cool too. There are some epic-length email chains as we looked at one another’s work, gave reactions and encouragement, or just chatted about the project or our lives or whatever. There was also some cross-short help. I did the snow in the first shot of Alex [Grigg]‘s short, and he made some Photoshop brushes that I know several of us used. There were a couple of times where we all delivered our general ideas, mostly to make sure they didn’t sound like total crap to other people. The suggested length was ~2 minutes or longer. Other than that we didn’t really have a lot of guidelines and for the most part there were no discussions about content. In part that was because the group was a bunch of adults who wanted to make something personal or fun, or to stretch creatively, so with very few exceptions the content discussion didn’t need to come up. We weren’t trying to be all, “Look how ka-razy this R-rated animation is! These ain’t your DAD’S cartoons!” That kind of thing is so tired, silly and small. We just made what we liked.

Cartoon Brew: I guess one reason I wondered about that is that nearly all the shorts that were in color used a no-outline style which is a trendy look nowadays in digital animation. Was that a conscious aesthetic choice or coincidental?

Scott Benson: Stylewise, everyone also just did what they wanted to do. Much of it follows on from the styles of the work we did before Late Night Work Club. If you watch the first three shorts, for example, those are three distinct voices whose work very much flows from what they do elsewhere. My short is almost embarrassingly within my wheelhouse, I think. If there are similarities, it’s just how we roll individually, and we each got there in our own way on the road to wherever we’ll be artistically in the future. And if that’s trendy, maybe we’ll all finally have dates to the prom this year. Fingers crossed.

Cartoon Brew: Another unconventional part of this is your distribution plan in which you’re premiering the film online before a festival run. What is your release strategy and what do you hope to accomplish with it?

Scott Benson: As much as we’d love to, both Charles Huettner and I have never been able to attend a festival, though our work has played at them. We both live in Pennsylvania and probably make up about 50% of the people in that state making their own animated work. A lot of other LNWC members are out there at Annecy, Ottawa, Pictoplasma, etc. every year and they’re like, “I just watched some really cool thing after the two-hour program on sand animation or whatever, but you’ll have to wait until it goes online.” And the years go by, and I’m still waiting to see a lot of things I got super excited about when I saw the trailer years back. Now imagine you’re a teen. Those years are forever. Animation will never be as diverse, as interesting or as inspiring as it can be if the best work is only available for years at a time on specific weekends in faraway cities, accessible mostly to people with the means and ability to fly there, book hotels, and pay for passes.

Having it up on the Internet from day one was set in stone for us right from the start. We’d love to do fests and will be at them over the next year if they are good enough to have us, but our audience are the people with an Internet connection, but no ready access to the very tiny world of animation film fests. I’m one of them. Most people are. And getting this in front of them will expose them to our work and hopefully inspire others to say, “I can make things. I can say things. I want to get into this. I want to support this scene.” And that is something I feel really good about. Personally, I want people other than fellow animators and hardcore fans to see my work, longshot though that is. And a lot of the festival crowd already follows animation news, so there’s an excellent chance they’ll see it online anyway.

Cartoon Brew: What does Late Night Work Club plan to do next, and if anything, will it be the same crew of filmmakers?

Scott Benson: We’ll all probably sleep for a while. Ghost Stories will be screened in various places throughout the fall and hopefully we’ll do some fests with it for the next year or so. There are already plans and conversations happening about the next thing we’ll do together. For our big projects the idea right now is that all participants from the last one have right of first refusal. But as we’re all busy and living our lives, there will be spaces open, and we already have a pretty nice looking list of other potential members. So we’ll see. Like I said, we’re making this up as we go along. But that’s pretty exciting in and of itself.

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32. Chris Burns’ “Coin” Is the Videogame Satire to End All Videogame Satires

Coin, an animated short directed and animated by Chris Burns, premiered at the Midsummer Night Toons a couple months ago and was recently posted online. The short, about a guy who loses a coin and then recovers it through a virtuous combination of diligence and perseverance, was produced by the young Long Island animation studio Exit 73 Studios, co-founded by Burns and Bob Fox, who did the film’s music, sound effects and compositing.

Typically, I’m not an advocate of the ‘action-for-action’s-sake’ variety of animated shorts, but it’s easy to make an exception when it’s done to such a high level of craft. Burns was a key artist at Augenblick Studios before leaving to start Exit 73, and he has an uncanny ability to keep numerous elements in constant motion without confusing or disorienting the viewer. In this film, he managed to add something fresh to the threadbare videogame satire genre, but hopefully, he will apply his unique abilities to more substantial projects in the future.

CREDITS
Chris Burns (animation and bgs)
Bob Fox (music/sfx/composite)

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33. Steve Moore’s “Chief, Your Butt’s On Fire” Combines Hot Jazz with Hot Ass

Steve Moore, the director of Disney’s rarely seen Oscar-nominated short Redux Riding Hood as well as The Indescribable Nth, has completed a new short called Chief, Your Butt’s On Fire.

The fifteen-second trailer posted online put a smile on my face. Maybe that’s because Steve used Ward Kimball’s Firehouse Five Plus Two as his soundtrack. He wrote a lengthy blogpost about the production of his film on the FLIP Animation blog that he co-authors. Moore is planning to screen the film on the festival circuit.

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34. VICE Creates Animated Kung Fu Lessons To Promote Wong Kar-wai’s “The Grandmaster”

VICE has produced three short animated pieces as a promotional supplement for the release of Wong Kar-wai’s The Grandmaster, a fictionalized account of the life of Chinese martial artist (and Bruce Lee trainer) Ip Man. Each of the shorts, animated in a limited moving-comic style, explains a specific martial arts style: Wing Chun, Hung Gar and Ba Gua. The design and animation was handled by Erie, Pennsylvania-based MoreFrames.

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35. “Passer Passer” by Louis Morton

The Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival is made possible by sponsor JibJab and their strong support for emerging filmmakers.


Slap on a pair of headphones before you watch Louis Morton’s Passer Passer, a graduation film produced at the Univeristy of Southern California. The film uses the atmospheric sounds of urban settings—recorded in both Los Angeles and Tokyo—to create a dense and exciting soundscape that evokes the organized cacophony of city life. From the smallest sounds, like the tinkle of a fork in a restaurant, to the brashest car alarms, everything is mixed into one well-simmered city stew.

Morton matches the audio with a fresh visual style that mixes the abstract and the cartoon. His loose, fleshy animation loops and vivid sense of color add the right quality of whimsy. There is a clear visual journey, from day to night, and we are whisked from scene to scene at the frantic pace of city life. The camera moves diagonally across the space in a way that further elicits the stress of city life. By the end of the film, we’re ready to go home and get a good night’s rest, before it starts all over again the next morning.

Continue reading for comments from the filmmaker Louis Morton:

THE IDEA

One initial spark came from a podcast, in which a musician explained how he categorized several escalators in his city by sound. It got me thinking about the huge array of sounds that I encounter every day in Los Angeles and if I could develop a way to categorize the most common sounds through animation. Oftentimes I’m about to fall asleep and a car alarm goes off, and I imagine a little guy spazzing out to the rhythm of the alarm, and it makes it less annoying. I wanted to take all these city sounds like the alarm, give them personalities and organize them into a system. My plan was to walk around recording audio for a few months and then listen and animate what I heard.

TOOLBOX

All audio was recorded on a handheld Zoom H2 that was usually in my pocket to avoid looking like a nosy creep. I did a rough sound edit in Adobe Audition before handing it off to the super-talented Katie Gately, who used Ableton Live for the sound design and mix. I animated everything in Flash on a Cintiq. Most of the cleanup and shading was done in Photoshop. Compositing was done in After Effects.

CHALLENGES AND LESSONS LEARNED

The animation was mostly driven by the audio, so it was difficult to know if a scene was working until I had watched it with sound. Katie and I developed an interesting work method. I would give her small sections of the audio, and she would alter it in such an interesting way that it would often give me new ideas for the animation. Especially in the second half of the film, the animation developed organically with her sound design work. It was definitely a collaborative process, which was very rewarding, but more challenging than a traditional approach would have been. Technique-wise, I wanted to experiment with how many frames it would take to make an action or character readable, and as a result I think I learned a lot about the craft of 2D animation.

INSPIRATIONS

Living in L.A. and (briefly) in Tokyo and soaking in the sounds of each city. In Tokyo: zoning out in a train station. In Los Angeles: merging with highway traffic and walking down Hollywood Boulevard at night. The blogs 99% Invisible (the escalator episode), Radiolab, and Adventures in Audio helped me form the initial ideas for the film. I was also influenced by the “city symphony” films of the 1920s and the work of Norman McLaren, especially Spook Sport. Also inspiring were: Jules Engels’s background designs for UPA, the Disney “Silly Symphonies,” the awesome work of my classmates and the support of the faculty at USC.

WHERE YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS

I hope to be in a position at a studio where I can be designing, animating or directing short-format work, commercials and ideally title sequences or educational type work. I love working in the super-short format, and I like using animation to explain things. And no matter what, I plan to continue making short films!

FILMMAKER WEBSITES

WEBSITE: LouisJMorton.com
BLOG: LouisJMorton.blogspot.com

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36. Aardman Animates Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon”

Director Darren Dubicki of Aardman Animations created this strikingly elegant mixed-media piece to celebrate Pink Floyd’s legendary album The Dark Side of the Moon.

The three-minute piece serves as a trailer/supplement to an original radio drama based on the album, written by playwright Sir Tom Stoppard, premiering on BBC Radio 2 on August 26th. Dubicki also created an extended film loop that will complement the audio experience online.

More details about the production from the official Aardman release:

Aardman director, Darren Dubicki saw the piece working as a film trailer and the team spent time absorbing the rich detail from both Pink Floyd’s music and Sir Tom Stoppard’s play. In doing so they developed a striking visual concept where images juxtapose with carefully considered lyrics and dialogue from the play encompassing the underlying themes of greed, conflict, consumption, humanity and the descent into madness…

Dubicki says, “What was fundamentally important to us was that we retained a consistent visual tone that echoed the imagery created over the years for the band. The intensely surreal and powerful artwork created by Storm Thorgerson and Hipgnosis has always had a strong distortion on reality. Their sense of space and twisted context make for some uncomfortably beautiful art. This tone has been consistent for decades and we wanted to honor this with our contemporary digital (and analogue) slant on the style.”

Created using a collage of digital imaging, CGI, studio-based effects and hand crafted elements the films were produced with depth and richness that reflects the classic tone of Pink Floyd’s art.

CREDITS
Client/Agency: BBC Radio 2
Producers: Rhian Roberts/ Rowan Collinson

Aardman Animations
Director: Darren Dubicki
Executive Producer: Heather Wright
Producer: Helen Argo
Production Assistant: Danny Gallagher
Production Co-ordinator: Louise Johnson

DOP: Mark Chamberlain
Camera Assistant: Joe Maxwell
Gaffer: Nat Sale
CG Modeling: Olly Skillman-Wilson
CG Modeling: David Klein
CG Modeling: Saul Freed
CG Animation: Mathew Rees
CG Animation: Rich Spence
CG Lighter: Andrew Lavery
Supervising Senior Compositor: Jim Lewis
Compositor: Spencer Cross
Compositor: Paule Quinton
After Effects Artist: Tom Readdy
Editor: Dan Hembury

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37. Carlo Vogele Makes His “Wurst” Film Ever

Carlo Vogele has unveiled the trailer for his new stop motion short Wurst. He has made the natural progression to sausages and poultry after animating fish in his last short.

Vogele’s witty and playful animated treatment of real-world objects (lamps, socks, meat) compels the viewer to see familiar everyday objects in a new light. The trailer for Wurst would suggest that he has another winner on his hands. He has posted some behind-the-scenes photos on his blog.

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38. Witness The Secret Life of Ice Cream Vans in “Gelato Go Home”


In their new short film, Gelato Go Home, animation directors Alasdair Brotherston & Jock Mooney shine some light on the lesser known subject of the seasonal migratory behavior of ice cream vans.

Featuring a score by James Orman and sound design by Fonic’s Barnaby Templer, the short was produced for Random Acts, the arts initiative of Channel 4, which commissions short-form creative works from both established artists and emerging talent. Gelato Go Home finds its inspiration from nature documentaries, Japanese animation and homages to animation classics like The Snowman.

“Although the film is based on a fairly absurd notion,” says Brotherston, “we really worked hard to give the film a proper sense of geography and logic to help make the ice cream vans and their journey more believable. We hope that grounding makes the film more engaging and ultimately uplifting.”

CREDITS
Directors: Alasdair Brotherston & Jock Mooney
Producer: Richard Barnett
Production Company: Trunk
3D Animation: Luca Paulli
2D Animation: Francisco Puerto Esteban, Layla Atkinson
Composer: James Orman
Sound Design & Mix: Barnaby Templer @ Fonic
Commissioner: Trunk animation in association with Lupus Films for Channel 4

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39. “Dumb Day” by Kevin Eskew

The Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival is made possible by sponsor JibJab and their strong support for emerging filmmakers.


A nine-and-a-half-minute piece of experimental student animation is a daunting proposal on most days, but that’s not the case with Dumb Day by Kevin Eskew. The short, made at DePaul University’s fledgling animation program, is the most experimental film we’ve ever featured in Cartoon Brew’s Student Animation Festival, and it also might just be one of the most enjoyable.

Dumb Day is difficult to describe. The film uses a man’s everyday activities as its launchpad, just as Robert Breer’s classic A Man and His Dog Out for Air used a familiar activity as its starting point, but Dumb Day deconstructs and reconstucts daily trifles into a comically cosmic journey.

Its humor is even more difficult to address, but there are laugh-out loud moments throughout. One of my personal favorites appears at the 2:20 mark when a mysterious bulbous object drops down onto the screen. A second bulbous form promptly drops down, each with its own custom creaking sound. Then, a nose with two ridiculously oversized nostrils springs out between the bulbous objects, which we now recognize as cheeks. The nose sniffs the flower on a vase and promptly deflates like a balloon losing its air. The simple act of sniffing a flower has never been presented in such a transcendent manner in animation.

Eskew’s drawing style is fresh and different. It falls somewhere between the chunky comic late-Philip Guston style and certain schools of contemporary indie comics. His sound design is as surprising as the visuals, and the music and sound effects enhance every moment of this unique animated piece.

Continue reading for comments from the filmmaker Kevin Eskew:

THE IDEA

The film came together around the drawings. Originally, it had a more ambitious storyline that was part sci-fi part HGTV, something about a man who ate furniture and reassembled it inside himself. But as I started figuring out the drawings, what really worked well was the almost plotless stuff of simple domestic routines, drawn into a fury. That opened it up for me, but I think the feeling of the original story is still there.

TOOLBOX

Mostly BIC #2 mechanical pencils. It’s all hand-drawn, pencil on paper, scanned, and edited & composited in After Effects.

LESSONS LEARNED

Get the drawings in the computer sooner and into a rough timeline. I think I underestimated how much of any movie comes together in the process of editing. I didn’t use storyboards in any strict sense and instead let the details dictate the pacing—half straight-ahead, half pose-to-pose—which is kind of like building a house from the top down. Some my favorite images came up that way, unexpectedly, but it isn’t until you put these pieces together that you see the larger shape of the film emerge, as well as connections and ideas that you may have missed initially.

INSPIRATIONS

Some favorites are James Duesing, Jim Trainor, Atsushi Wada, Suzan Pitt and Sally Cruikshank. When I was first starting on the project, I had just bought a book of Pascal Doury’s comics that I was carrying around everywhere. Along the way, I listened to a couple Raymond Chandler audiobooks and a bunch of Joe Frank radio shows.

WHERE YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS

Hopefully hunched over a lightbox somewhere, smoking a cigar. Tough to say, but I’d like to find a way to keep making short animations, preferably in collaboration with some likeminded ne’er-do-wells.

FILMMAKER WEBSITES

KevinEskew.org

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40. The Smurfs Return to Their 2D Roots in “The Legend of Smurfy Hollow”

Had enough of those new-fangled, three dimensional, CGI Smurfs? Well, Sony Pictures Animation probably had you in mind when they made a new Smurf “mini-movie” that mixes a few minutes of CG with a whole bunch of hand-drawn animation.

The Smurfs: The Legend of Smurfy Hollow is a Halloween tale directed by Stephan Franck (Iron Giant, Despicable Me) and produced by Mary Ellen Bauder (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Hotel Transylvania).

Selected into official competition this year at the Annecy Film Festival, the story centers around Gutsy and Brainy Smurf:

When Brainy Smurf is favored to win the annual Smurfberry Hunt for the ninth year in a row, Gutsy Smurf sets out to discover how Brainy wins every year. Gutsy’s investigation takes him into spooky Smurfy Hollow-and right into Gargamel’s trap! Can Brainy and Gutsy, with the help of Smurfette, put aside their rivalry before Gargamel captures them-or worse, they come face-to-face with the legendary ghost, the Headless Horseman?

The Smurfs: The Legend of Smurfy Hollow, will feature the voice talents of Alan Cumming, Fred Armisen, Anton Yelchin and Hank Azaria, all of whom reprise their roles from The Smurfs 2. It will be available on DVD on September 10.

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41. “Sun of a Beach” by Natan Moura

The Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival is made possible by JibJab and their strong support for emerging filmmakers.


Clocking in at a brisk eighty seconds, Sun of a Beach by Natan Moura is the shortest film debut in Cartoon Brew’s 2013 Student Animation Festival. Moura made the film as a graduation project at Sheridan College in Oakville, Canada.

Every year, we receive numerous student film entries that are under two minutes long, but few of these micro-shorts exhibit the storytelling and filmmaking discipline that accompanies Moura’s film. Moura understands the value of not just every second, but every frame in his film, and uses it to his advantage. He uses his precious amount of screentime to put together a complete film with a character who has an arc and a story that has a beginning, middle and end. Moura communicates his ideas with a fun, bold visual style that seamlessly combines computer animation and hand drawn techniques.

Continue reading for comments from the filmmaker:

THE IDEA

During the making of my film I came to think of it as a kind of tribute to my childhood. I moved from Brazil to Canada at a young age and being on a beach has always been a magical place for me. Over the years, playing with my two very young brothers has brought me back to my own childhood and shifted my focus to more playful and whimsical stories. Like most of my ideas, it came to me at three in the morning while doodling. The the final story eventually came together when I was able to spend time observing people on the beach while living in Los Angeles the following summer.

TOOLBOX

My film was a 2D and 3D hybrid done in Flash and Maya and composited in After Effects. I was interested in experimenting with a more graphic 3D aesthetic. I felt like a flatter environment made the story more playful by bringing the sun closer to the people on the beach. This was mostly achieved by using an almost orthographic perspective in Maya and eliminating 3D lighting all together. The lighting effects were done in After Effects where they wouldn’t ruin the flatness I was going for. I also animated the smaller characters in Flash to more easily control their design. The entire film came together as a single After Effects file with over 300 layers! How the program didn’t crash is beyond me.

LESSONS LEARNED

The most important thing I learned is how to edit a story into only the essentials. It’s not something I believe needs to be done for every story but it’s a worthy exercise. Some of the best structured stories I’ve seen are commercials, simply because they have to hold your attention and have no time for anything but the basics. When I completed my first animatic at three minutes it was clear that my idea only needed a minute and that every second had to be justified. I think it’s important to not only ask yourself how long a story needs to work effectively, but also how much of someone’s time your idea is really worth.

INSPIRATIONS

In the earlier stages of story development I rewatched the film Before Sunrise and was reminded how effective a sustained shot can be in bringing the viewer into a story. Many people I talked to discouraged me from this limitation but I thought it would add a sense of realism to my film and also help maintain a flat aesthetic. I really believe that picking limitations is the most liberating thing you can do creatively and it couldn’t have helped me more in this case. I later decided to add a single cut to emphasize the tipping point of the story.

WHERE YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS

I enjoy animating first and foremost but this early in my career I still feel there is much exploring to be done. While filmmaking was originally what attracted me to animation I see a lot of potential in new alternate forms of storytelling. I’ve recently become interested in the interactive possibilities of stories primarily in games and apps. Working at JibJab over the past couple of months brought me closer to programmers for the first time which has inspired me to think of stories from a different perspective. Being able to experiment and problem solve is what keeps things exciting for me and I hope to always have that kind of flexibility. [EDITOR'S NOTE: When Moura's film was selected for inclusion in the festival, we were not aware that he had recently been hired by the festival's sponsor JibJab.]

FILMMAKER WEBSITES

Portfolio Website
Blog

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42. “Parametric Expression” by Mike Pelletier

Amsterdam-based digital artist Mike Pelletier describes his experimental piece Parametric Expression as “a series of ambient video loops exploring quantified emotion.” It might also be seen as the contemporary (and somewhat creepier) CGI equivalent of Bill Plympton’s Your Face. However you see the piece, it’s hard to look away from the jarring facial contortions on display.

(via Boing Boing)

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43. “Lady with Long Hair” by Barbara Bakos

Lady with Long Hair by Barbara Bakos is our third debut in Cartoon Brew’s 2013 Student Animation Festival. The graduation film was produced at the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design in Budapest, Hungary.

The film tells the story of an old woman who relives memories of her life contained within her hair. Bakos tackles the challenging concept using hand-drawn animation to create a sweet, memorable personality for her protagonist. The character is depicted as both frail with age and full of life and strength, which comes through especially when she bakes.

The film moves into expressionist territory with a visual analogy that ties together the flow of water with the woman’s long wavy hair. It builds to a particularly poignant ending that uses the hair to merge the character’s current reality with her memories.

Technically, the film is impeccable, with an eye for detail in every aspect of the art direction. Bakos applies color elegantly to distinguish between her characters’ present and past. She also unveils the story with cinematic language and uses the hair as a striking compositional element in numerous scenes.

Continue reading for comments from the filmmaker:

THE IDEA

The idea of the film came from my family and from my own grandma. When I was a child, I spent most of the time with my grandparents because I never wanted to go to the kindergarten. So I had a lot of lovely memories and adventures with them. We would sit in the backyard playing with little fingerpuppets, painting, and baking cherry pies together, and I was always amazed at how much my grandparents loved each other. Since my grandpa passed away, my grandma lives alone. Her personality, her feelings, memories and her point of view inspired me to make this short film about her lifelong love, and about that state of mind where you just can’t let go of the most important person in your life.

I have also a strange obsession with the hair. A few years ago it became my obsession to draw skyhigh hair and create little worlds in them depending on the characters it belonged to. I always think that hair is one of the most characteristic things about a person. How she/he styles it, or what colour it is. So when I started to develop this short film, I felt that I had to connect these two things.

TOOLBOX

It’s a traditionally hand-drawn animated film. I chose this technique because of the tactile nature of the medium, and I thought this was the best way to create a connection with the audience. During the whole film we are focusing on one granny. She has to tell us her past and her memories through her facial expressions rather than dialogue. Also I was using traditionally painted backgrounds and props. I then put together the final picture in After Effects.

CHALLENGES

It was the first time that I had to inspire and lead a lot of people at the same time—animators, editor, music composer, actress, 3D artist. It was also very useful to learn how to convince them that your idea is good, unique and worth the hard work! But the biggest challenge was to present the idea to my family and my grandma. It was an amazing moment when I saw my grandma’s face while she was watching the film.

INSPIRATIONS

Storywise and also visually, I was inspired by a lot of short films. I was most impressed by The Man with Beautiful Eyes from Jonathan Hodgson and Charles Bukowski, Father and Daughter from Michael Dudok de Wit, Sunday from Patrick Doyon and La Maison en Petits Cubes from Kunio Katō. I love stories that are based on childhood, and not just childhood, but how we remember those times—how memories are working if for instance, you go back to the same place where you grew up or spent summers. What kind of thoughts appear in your mind when you sense a familiar smell or the light is exactly the same as on an autumn afternoon decades ago.

WHERE YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS

Right now, I am a freelancer art director and illustrator, which I really love. At the same time I would love to work in a big team where people can inspire each other. Also I am developing a new short at the moment so I really hope that five years from now it will be finished ☺

FILMMAKER WEBSITES

Personal website: BarbaraBakos.com




The Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival is made possible by the generosity of our presenting sponsor JibJab.

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44. “Altneuland” by Sariel Keslasi

Altneuland (Old New Land) is a 2012 graduation film directed by Sariel Keslasi at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. In the film, Keslasi re-interprets Theodor Herzl’s 110-year-old utopian novel Altneuland through contemporary eyes. He writes:

By using a surrealist allegory, the film tries to deal with the collapse of Herzl’s dream and seeks to emphasize the sense of absurdity and instability of my personal experience as an individual in the Israeli society.

I met the thoughtful Keslasi a few months ago at the Anifilm festival in the Czech Republic, where his film was in competition. Altneuland also was in competition at Annecy last month. Keslasi’s strong art direction and his cinematic eye for staging and cutting has already landed him work in the Israeli animation scene, where he recently worked on Ari Folman’s feature The Congress.

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45. “Brain Divided” by Josiah Haworth, Joon Shik Song & Joon Soo Song

Welcome to the fourth annual Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival. Every Monday morning for the next eight weeks we’ll be debuting one of these remarkable student animated shorts selected from among hundreds of submissions.

We begin the festival today with our Grand Prize winner, Brain Divided, a film directed by Josiah Haworth, Joon Shik Song and Joon Soo Song at Ringling College of Art and Design. The film, which will receive a cash prize of $1,000(US), was selected for the top award by this year’s guest judge Evan Spiridellis of JibJab. Cartoon Brew would also like to thank JibJab for their sponsorship of this festival. Their strong support for student filmmakers makes this event possible.

Brain Divided succeeds on every level as an animated short. The filmmmakers’ command of both animation and technology is flawless. But the value of their film lies in how they apply their technical skills toward making an entertaining and funny film. They take advantage of every opportunity for visual humor and delight us with sharply timed gags. The personalities in the film are especially well defined: the two human characters strike just the right balance of comedy and believability, while the two sides of the brain have a satisfying evolution as characters within the span of the film.

Continue reading for comments from the filmmakers:

THE IDEA

The dating game is one of the most nerve wracking experiences that anyone can go through. So we thought that this would be a great story to pursue. The original concept started off as two guys attempting to impress a beautiful Disney Princess-esque girl, but it lacked character, fun, and a more dynamic relationship between the two main characters. One day while surfing the web and brainstorming we were inspired after seeing an animation clip of the classic angel vs. devil on the shoulder complex. we instantly thought of Kronk in The Emperor’s New Groove. Watching the interactions of his shoulder angel and devil was always hilarious and we wanted to try and recreate that comedy in our own film. However, we knew that the this concept has been done a lot in the past so we wanted to put our own spin on it. This led us to come up with the idea that the “Angel” and “Demon” were actually the “Left” and “Right” side of the brain fighting for control. We thought it would be great to literally go inside the head and see the physical battle that ensues within the mind and its effect on our main character. This gave us everything we wanted, a fun and simple story, with a broad range of character animation that we could play with.

TOOLBOX

All animation and lighting was done in Autodesk Maya 2013 using the Renderman plugin using linear workflow. All four of our characters were rigged using The Setup Machine (TSM) with some modifications, thanks to Jeremy Cantor, that allowed us to get a bit more versatility. Post processing, compositing, and effects were done in NukeX and edited together using Adobe Premiere. Adobe Photoshop allowed us to tweak individual frames as well as test lighting ideas. All of the software and powerful HP workstations that we used were provided by Ringling, as was use of the school’s powerful render farm.

CHALLENGES

One of the biggest challenges was writing and creating good comedy while making the story flow and work seamlessly. Because our piece was strongly dialogue driven, we needed to write a script that was witty, charming and real. It was very difficult because we had no prior experience in screenplay at all. It was a lot of trial and error while simultaneously coming up with fun slapstick comedy, and juggling the variety of characters that we had. It really pushed our storytelling abilities and writing capabilities to another level. Also, our film was one of the longest to come out of Ringling and keeping it all organized and on time was a huge undertaking. We had approximately 90+ shots to animate and light, split up between the three of us. But to make the films visuals work better we had to learn how to use Nuke, and before the final semester of school we had never used it. Juggling thirty shots each while learning new software gave us our fair share of sleepless nights.

LESSONS LEARNED

The most important things we learned from our film was how to streamline story and to trust in your team. Often times shots ran too long or were too complicated and we found that they read much better when they were simplified. This may mean taking out an unnecessary pose or changing the acting entirely. But making these changes helped create a well paced film that had all the entertainment and character we wanted. Even though we had never worked on a team at Ringling before, we entered this film with the confidence we could get it done and hopefully make it funny. Although creating the film was extremely difficult and stressful, through trust, constant communication, and with the help of a 24 hour Denny’s we learned how vital teamwork is to completing a film.

INSPIRATIONS

We drew a huge inspiration from actors such as Jim Carrey from The Mask and Eddie Murphy from Doctor Dolittle as well as animated characters like Pepe Le Pew and Kronk from The Emperor’s New Groove. All of them had elements that we loved to watch and wished to emulate in our film. A lot of inspiration also came from the students around us and the incredible work they were doing on their films. It was a real driving force that motivated us to make our film the best it could be. Our faculty was equally inspiring and provided us with an enormous amount of feedback and great advice.

WHERE YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS

Josiah Haworth: My goal is to be doing character animation for a major studio or an up and coming studio. Of course Disney, ReelFX, and Bluesky are high on that list! Just give me a mouse, Maya, and a project and I’m good to go!

Joon Soo Song: I want to be animating. I’d love to work at Disney, Dreamworks, Pixar, Blue Sky, Blizzard, Blur, Laika, ReelFX, Insomniac, and the list goes on. As long as I’m animating I’ll be happy.

Joon Shik Song: I want to be at Disney working my way towards directing or animation supervisor. If I’m lucky I’ll be hanging out with Mickey Mouse talking about our next feature film. It’ll be just like the good old days at Ringling, late nights and coffee breaks :)

FILMMAKER WEBSITES

Josiah Haworth: Personal website and Animation Reel

Joon Soo Song: Animation Reel

Joon Shik Song: Animation Reel

Brain Divided Facebook Page




The Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival is made possible by the generosity of our presenting sponsor JibJab.

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46. “Back In The Day” by Rok Predin

Rok Predin‘s Back in the Day is a nostalgic ode to childhood based on his memories of growing up in 1980s Slovenia. The project was funded by Predin’s employer, London-based Trunk Animation, who allowed him two months of studio time to work exclusively on the film.

“It was wonderful to just dive into this project with no constraints and expectations and just enjoy exploring and playing with the software,” said Predin. “As the animatic had already set the rhythm, flow and pace for the film, the two months I had were spent like a painter enjoying the creative process, and like a ‘one man band’ I loved exploring all the various aspects of the films production, from modelling to compositing and editing the final shots together.”

The making-of video below shows Predin’s shot breakdowns, which required up to eight passes for a single shot. To achieve the quirky movement of his characters, Predin ignored standard rigging and instead coded custom slider-driven puppet controls for the characters using Cinema 4D’s Xpresso language.

CREDITS
Film: Rok Predin
Producer: Richard Barnett
Music: Ivan Arnold
Guitars and bass: Zvonimir Domazet
Sound : @Fonic
Foley editor: Christopher Swaine
Sound editor: Marty O’Brien
Mixed by: Jim Finch

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47. Michel Gagné Speaks About His New Short “The Saga of Rex”

Michel Gagné’s

(An American Tail, The Iron Giant, Osmosis Jones, Ratatouille) short film The Saga of Rex was released on YouTube this week, adapted from his graphic novel of the same name, the film follows the daring cosmic adventure of a clever fox that has been abducted to the arcane planet of Edernia.

Originally published as a serialized story in volumes 2 through 7 of the comic anthology Flight, it was then repackaged as a trade paperback by Image Comics in 2010. The 4-minute short was funded by raising over $57,000 on Kickstarter last year and is to be the first installment of a classically drawn independent animated feature film that Gagné is planning. “I would like to believe that there are still some people out there who want to see good old 2D classical animation being done,” Gagné told Cartoon Brew. “I know that my big donors love this type of animation and want to see it continue. We can’t rely on the big studios to keep the art of 2D full-animation going, so it’s up to us.”

His 1995 film Prelude to Eden was created using the now defunct 2D animation software Animo, which had remained his “go-to” production software up until 2012 when he began looking for an update. He gave Toon Boom a try and was pleased with the results. “I quickly realized that I’d just upgraded my old Model T Ford for a car of the year.” So, with Toon Boom in hand, along with Photoshop, After Affects and Premiere, Gagné set out to see just how much progress could be made adapting The Saga of Rex for the screen. “I wanted to test my limits and see what I could do single-handedly in a set period of time. What you see here is about six and a half months of work.”

The short, which is subtitled The Animated Film Project Pt. 1 – Abduction is animated in pantomime, which is Gagné’s intention for the entire film. “I’ve toyed with the idea of adding narration to the film, but then again, I realized it would take away some of the mystery,” he said. “In a way, I’m not sure I want people to fully understand what is going on. I want them to ask questions and create their own meaning.”

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48. “Van Gogh Shadow” by Luca Agnani

This curious experiment by Luca Agnani adds movement and lighting effects to thirteen paintings by Vincent van Gogh. You can judge for yourself whether it’s an improvement on van Gogh’s originals.

(via Laughing Squid)

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49. LOST FILMS: “Sailor and the Devil” by Errol Le Cain

I’ve wanted to watch Errol Le Cain’s Sailor and the Devil ever since I saw these stills on Hans Bacher’s website a few years ago. Animation research Garrett Gilchrist recently unearthed a copy, which although incomplete and poor quality, offers a tantalizing glimpse of this masterful short.

Le Cain made Sailor and the Devil in 1966 while working at Richard Williams’ studio in London. He had been working there for only a year when Williams invited him to direct the film under his supervision. Williams explained the idea behind the project in a documentary: “[Le Cain is] doing everything so he’s getting ten years’ experience in one, and we get a film.”

The results are refreshingly original. Le Cain invents an idiosyncratic style of movement that combines jittery bursts of motion with pleasing dance cycles. When the storm arrives in the film or the skeleton wave threatens to overwhelm the sailor, we encounter a world of pure graphic art. Le Cain uses the full range of color, movement, design, and cinematic devices to create an exciting universe that could exist nowhere but in an animated film.

Le Cain made significant contributions to the production design of The Thief and the Cobbler, and afterward became a well known children’s book illustator. He died in 1989 at the age of 47.

Among the many projects he did with Richard Williams, Le Cain designed these titles for The Liquidator (1965):

There’s a clip of Le Cain and Williams working on Sailor in this documentary from 1966:

(via Michael Sporn)

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50. “Our Son” by Eric Ko

This morning we continue Cartoon Brew’s Student Animation Festival with the online debut of Eric Ko’s Our Son (우리 아들) which is a graduation short produced at the Rhode Island School of Design.

Notably, Eric’s short marks the second time he’s been selected for our festival; his junior year film Troubleshooting was featured in last year’s festival. Our Son is an evolution of his distinctively spare geometric language while reaching new heights of filmmaking ambition and confidence.

Ko is fascinated with the idea of speed in this film, and he skillfully manipulates the cinematic space to create a fast-paced and exciting animation thrill ride. The driving percussion-oriented soundtrack lends to the sense of urgency. The film flirts with abstraction, but remains grounded in a narrative universe that is both resistant to (and demanding of) interpretation by the viewer.

Continue reading for comments from the filmmaker:

THE IDEA

The transition from carefree irresponsibility to reality is often instantaneous. Based off of a few precious memories of growing up with a best friend in a place that offered very little and the relationship I have with my heritage, I wanted to work on a film that took me on an adventure during its creation, with hopes that it would take the viewer on one as well.

TOOLBOX

I used Flash and a tablet to animate. For the music and sound design I worked in Ableton Live.

CHALLENGES & LESSONS LEARNED

I wanted to make a film that embodied impulsive, frantic adventures; with that said, having a storyboard seemed to be an ill limitation. At first I had plenty of boards drawn up and ideas down on paper, but after the first few seconds of animating I threw it all out. All I had left were the bigger ideas that I kept in the back of my head as I worked. At a certain point I was simply putting one image in front of the other without knowing what came next, which was fun for me. Once something stopped being fun, I stopped and changed it. I think realizing to make sure I had fun was the most important thing.

INSPIRATIONS

I looked up to independent animators such as Lei Lei and Misaki Uwabo. I did some really basic research on Korean culture; I think my vague understanding of my own heritage and the disjointed humor I get from it particularly inspired me. Also, retro side-scrolling spaceship games such as Gradius interests me a lot, where a lot of strange visual motifs went unquestioned because it’s an arcade game. While animating I listened to a lot of Louis CK interviews for laughs and really loved his attitude about creative freedom. Echo Park by Willamette was my favorite album to listen to.

WHERE YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS

Making more short films!

FILMMAKER WEBSITES

Personal website: Crybird.net
Vimeo page: Vimeo.com/EricKo




The Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival is made possible by the generosity of our presenting sponsor JibJab.

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