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Archive for February, 2012

Filip Engstrom + The Mill: Color Changes Everything

Jubilant blend of in-camera and post effects from director Filip Engstrom and The Mill in Target’s “Color Changes Everything.” (Thanks, Aaron!)

Monday, February 27th, 2012 | 1 Comment »

Work/Life: kids — the results

You may remember that toward the end of last year, as part of our Work/Life series, we posted a survey asking you about motion life with kids and/or the prospect of kids. Well, we finally we got ’round to cataloguing the results. I know it’s taken a long time to post, but there have been babies to bath and nappies to change. Q.E.D. . . .

Firstly, a massive thank you to all who took time to complete the survey. A massive 2,236 of you managed to do so. Show this to your employers, your producers, your clients and your other halves. I’m pretty sure this is the first survey of its kind and there’s a heck of a lot that we can all learn from this, thanks to you!

As we’re beginners with this survey business, we went about a couple of things the wrong way. Primarily we assumed that everyone with kids had a partner, which is obviously not the case. So apologies for any toes we may have stepped on there.

Here’s a brief digest of some of the key stats for those of you who can’t be bothered hacking through the pie charts:

— 63% of the respondents didn’t (at the time of responding) have kids!

— Unsurprisingly, having kids takes its toll on extra-curricular creative projects. Nonetheless, 40% of mographers with kids still find time outside work to do motion things. Kudos!

— Once kids are on the scene, most motion workers try and get some kind of grip on their hours, but late working is still a regular part of professional life for most.

— We seem to have great partners who by and large tolerate long hours, although patience thins once kids are around.

— And 50% of those with kids said that having kids has made them think about leaving the industry.

Yes, you read that last stat right.

I love this industry and the chance it sometimes gives us to be boundlessly creative at work. The great people, the swerving, cartwheeling ideas we collaborate upon. I firmly believe that the combination of design and motion can in the right circumstances offer up something akin to creative nirvana. But there is something rotten here too. An industry so maladjusted that it renders itself potentially unsuitable for 50% of its workers who take on parental responsibility has one heck of a lot of soul-searching to do. But could this survey prompt employers to strike up a dialogue with staff who have kids or who want kids, to find out how to make it work better for all involved? Well, that’s up to you now, isn’t it? You have the icebreaker — it’s right here.

Monday, February 27th, 2012 | 19 Comments »

Classic Quickie: The Special Effects of Darby O’Gill and the Little People

Motionographer Classic Quickie: Peter Ellenshaw’s special effects in Disney’s Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1959). Part 1 (matte painting) and Part 2 (forced perspective).

Monday, February 27th, 2012 | 2 Comments »

Jeremy Macedo: POLYPOUS

Check it out this brilliant traditional animation directed by Jeremy Macedo with support of Akama Studio and his talented friends – POLYPOUS.

Friday, February 24th, 2012 | Comments Off

Aardman: The Pirates! Band of Misfits

New Aardman, classic form.  Check out this behind-the-scenes featurette of the upcoming film, The Pirates! Band of Misfits.

Friday, February 24th, 2012 | Comments Off

Raoul Paulet Reel 2012

Raoul Paulet Reel 2012

Friday, February 24th, 2012 | Comments Off

Adrian Dexter: Vaesen

Adrian Dexter and a very talented team of fellow students have just completed Vaesen, their 2012 Bachelor film project for The Animation Workshop.

Vaesen is a great project for two reasons. It’s a visually lush, fantastically animated film with an absolutely perfect soundtrack. When I chatted with Adrian about the thinking that went into the film, he had this to say:

Visually Vaesen is inspired by Harry Clarke, Ivan Bilibin, Arthur Rackham, and Edmund Dulac. The backgrounds are also heavily inspired by 19th century German and Russian landscape painters.

I wanted the film to feel like some forgotten Rankin & Bass cartoon, that a down-and-out Tarkovsky directed under a moniker, embarrassed by how it turned out.

The score had to be original, but very much an homage to ’70′s psych. I enlisted a good friend of mine, Nick DiSalvo of the band Elder, to score the film. I have done album covers for his band in the past, and we have a good relationship discussing music in visual terms, also we are both obsessed with ’70′s Swedish psych master Bo Hansson, and basically just tried to emulate what he had going on, and infuse some of our current influences.

The storytelling is also incredible. Epic, ambiguous, and open ended — Vaesen combines the feel of an epic folktale with a deeper level of mysticism and hermetic symbolism. I love how Vaesen begins as a seemingly standard epic quest and quickly confounds your expectations by raising questions about the true motivations of the hero and refusing to provide any sort of easy answers. And all of this in a film with no dialog.

Adrian mentions that he was reading a lot of Lord Dunsany and Jorge Luis Borges as he wrote Vaesen, and it absolutely shows through in the finished product. I personally was strongly reminded of the mystical reinterpretation of the folktale that you often see in Miyazaki’s work.

So check out Vaesen. Adrian and the team have also put together a great blog for the project at vaesen-film.blogspot.com that has lots of behind-the- scenes and process information.


Thursday, February 23rd, 2012 | 5 Comments »