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Posts tagged as short film

Q&A: Dark Noir

Brazilian graphic novel artist and writer Rafael Grampá (“Mesmo Delivery”) turned his powers to the small screen for the first time in “Dark Noir.” The animated short was his directorial debut, a commissioned work for Absolut’s “Transform Today” campaign.

The project was billed as a “co-creation” between Grampá and Absolut’s Facebook fans, who supplied concepts and drawings via Absolut’s Facebook presence.

But when it came to producing the actual animation, Grampá partnered with Red Knuckles, formerly of Passion Pictures, where they had worked heavily with director Pete Candeland.

Rick Thiele and Mario Ucci, co-founders of Red Knuckles and co-creative directors on “Dark Noir” shared some process behind “Dark Noir” with us.

Q&A with Red Knuckles

How did you guys get involved in this project?
Sid Lee approached us about “Dark Noir” in late November 2013 with the intention of making a live action short film with animated characters.

Their main reference was a project we art directed while still at Passion, Gorillaz “Stylo”, in which we turned Jamie Hewlett’s famous 2D characters into 3D animation and integrated them against live action plates.

We eventually managed to convince everyone that doing it fully animated was a good idea.

Did Red Knuckles do all of the CG animation? What about the 2D animation?
Yes. Both 3D and 2D. The main reason Red Knuckles exists is to allow us to work with the artists we admire and a lot of those artists happen to be 2D animators.

dark-noir2d

So when this project came along, we immediately pitched to Rafael the idea of having a mix of 2D and 3D animation, and he said yes straight away. So then we went after those incredible dudes — 2D and 3D — and they were all up for it, too.

Describe the process of working with Rafael Grampá. How did you work together?
Well, the fact that we are all Brazilians helped a lot. We had pretty much the same imagination, and Rafael is one of the most incredible artists we know (we were fans of him from way before). The visual communication flowed seamlessly.

He would explain the sequences he had in mind by drawing them, and to us, this is the best way to communicate.

Absolut understood Rafael’s persona very well and just let him do what he wanted to do without any interventions. With that, we were blessed with an entire studio of artists creating and making decisions 24/7. That is not something that happens often.

The film has a rich look inspired by film noir. Can you tell us a little about the look development process?
The mood of the film was in there since the first revision of the script. It was impossible for us to imagine the film any other way, so we gathered all the references that came to mind into a mood panel. This panel included “Blade Runner,” “In the Mood for Love,” anything by Christopher Doyle.

mood

We wanted to have eveyone coming in and out of light all the time, engulfed in shadows one second and then showered by light in the next. And if the characters didn’t move on the shot, then we would create mechanisms to make the lights move instead, revealing and hiding.

What consolidated the noir look was the combination of the script with the images.

The official making of video (below) says that Facebook fans had input. What was that like?
This crowdsourcing of ideas was a big thing for Absolut, so we knew that it had to be very well planned out in order to make it work with the schedule.

More making of details after the jump →

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MPC: “Sunny and Steve – Enjoy the Sweets”

Just in time for Easter weekend, “Sunny and Steve” from MPC’s NY office has a look as cute and cuddly as its rascally rabbit antagonist.

From MPC’s site:

[MPC] set out to create the distinctive look of the animation by instilling a retro palette that visually represents each character’s personality and correlates perfectly with the handmade office setting, including the set build, which was created from scrap cloth, styrofoam, and wood, as well as the character’s puppet-like limbs, the boss’s facial mole, Sunny’s vexing whiskers, and Steve’s slight scar.

Credits

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Carlos Lascano: Lila

In this lyrical and poetic piece, Carlos Lascano, transforms the world with the help of Lila, a young woman reminiscent of Amélie, who “can’t resign herself to accept reality as flat as she perceives it” says Lascano.

Lascano’s talent as an animator has long been acknowledged, and in this film, his directing skills really shine. No dialogue is needed here to move the story’s concept forward and Alma Garcia’s acting is flawless from beginning to end. Lascano describes the film as the completion to a trilogy, which include “A Short Love Story in Stop Motion” and “A Shadow of Blue.”

In a Short Love Story, a young girl daydreams about what she has just drawn on paper, while in a Shadow of Blue, a young girl finds her inspiration in the flight of monarch butterflies. All three films are filled with a sense of hope and optimism, and portray a world in which life and fantasy become one. Lila is a mesmerizing conclusion to a thematic trilogy that suggests that there may be. and should be, a little of Lila in all of us.

Hat tip to Valeria Sandoval

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Yves Geleyn: Monster in the Closet

Yves Geleyn (Hornet) brings his trademark charm to bear on a chilling subject for States United to Prevent Gun Violence in “Monster in the Closet.”

CREDITS
Director: Yves Geleyn
Produced at Hornet Inc
Executive Producer: Michael Feder
Head of Production: Greg Bedard
Producer: Jan Stebbins
Editors: Joel Miller & RJ Glass
Assistant Editor: Stephanie Andreau
Storyboard Artist: J. Todd Anderson
Character Designer: Oren Haskins
Background Designer: Mark Boardman
Supervising Technical Director: Sang-Jin Bae
Lead CG Artist & Compositor: David Hill
CG & Compositing: Richard Kim
Modeling: Erwin Riau & Dan Fine
CG Animation: Sean Thorpe, Andrew Boccio, Emily Griswold
Lead 2D Animator: Mike Luzzi
Animators: Keelmy Carlo, Mark Pecoraro, Nivedita Sekar, Frank Summers
Animation Clean Up: Emma Noble
Development Producer: Kristin Labriola
R&D: Arman Matin

Edited by Joel Miller at Cut and Run
Assistant Editor: Tom Akey
Assistant Editor: Stacy Peterson
Producer: Melati Pohan
Executive Producer: Rana Martin
Composed by Mark Mothersbaugh of Mutato Muzika
Producer: Natalie P. Montgomery
Engineered by: Bradley Denniston

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Daniel Savage: Helium Harvey

Not sold on the idea of going back to school? Neither was Daniel Savage.

The NYC-based designer/director just released his animated short, “Helium Harvey,” a labor of love that doubled as self-directed education:

After much debate on whether to go to graduate school or not, I decided I would take part of 2013 off to explore storytelling and character driven narrative on my own. I turned down most commercial jobs (except the really exciting ones), read as many books as I could, explored things outside of my comfort zone, and made “Helium Harvey.”

It was completely self funded, teaching a few classes at NYU and online, as well as select freelance projects to help pay for it.

Q&A with Daniel Savage

Let’s rewind to before you decided to make Helium Harvey. You were considering going to grad school, right? Why?

I come from a graphic design background, so jumping into character driven narrative isn’t an easy task. It’s a different way of thinking. But I love the idea of cartoons and technology meeting, so that’s where my interest is.

Originally, I wanted to make a story app, but I felt I had a lot to learn in animation first.

How did you come to the idea of making a short film?
I guess it’s what everyone comes out of school with, so it made the most sense. Plus I had the idea of Harvey for a while, so I wanted to make that.

Do you feel that making Helium Harvey was a good substitute for going back to school? Or was it a different kind of learning?
It’s tough to say. I’m sure I would have a better film if I was surrounded by other people in the same situation, but I like to learn the hard way. When someone tells me something it goes in one ear and out the other. I think it depends on the person.

Looking back, are you happy you decided not to go to school? Are you considering still going in the future?
I am happy, it was a great year. I don’t think I will go back, I will always take a class here or there though.

How hard was it to fund everything yourself?
Not very hard, it was really about time more than money. My rent is super cheap, I was on my lovely girlfriend’s health insurance, and having a skill I’ve developed (After Effects animation) that I could help other people learn was my biggest asset. People got something valuable out of it, and I got enough money to make a film. I still took on a few fun jobs, which also helped pay for it.

For those that are thinking of doing the same thing, can you give them advice/warnings?
I would take it slow, do a month here and there (being freelance helps) to practice new skills before jumping into a project as overwhelming as a film.

Making of “Helium Harvey”

The making of montage is bursting with goodies, from concept art to time-lapsed After Effects sessions.

Bonus footage of the orchestra recording session after the jump →

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Cisma: Criolo “Duas de Cinco”

If Spike Jonze’s vision of the future in Her was too sunny for you, try on Denis Cisma’s decidedly bleaker take in this short film inspired by Criolo’s latest album, “Duas de Cinco.”

Set in the south side of São Paulo, where Criolo grew up, the short involves 3D printed weapons, futuristic drugs and the inescapable dangers of poverty. The film seems to agree with the old adage: the more things change, the more things stay the same.

From the release:

From the start, the director imagined a record of the Brazilian’s “favelas” in the future, 30 years down the road, in 2044. This idea was too ambitious to materialize without large sums and Criolo is an independent artist, but became possible with the support of the Grajaú community and the production team.

Nearly the entire cast is made up of friends of the singer and people who live in the neighborhood, most of whom had never acted before. The main cast includes Daniel Dantas, Morgana Naughty and Léo Loá, young students chosen with help from the drama teacher of CEU Jaçanã public school, named Tiago Ortaet.

Produced through Paranoid, Clan did an admirable job handling all post-production.

Credits

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Dvein: We Wander

In Dvein’s latest short, “We Wander,” you won’t find CG fluid sims or virtual Rube Goldbergs of visual oddities. Instead, you’ll find haunting visuals of animals carousing in the dusky liminal spaces between darkness and light, nature and civilization and hunted and hunter.

Each shot crackles with graphical clarity, despite being a live action production. The sound design, foley work and music add a hyperreal edge to every animal movement, creating a surreal, visceral undercurrent to the strange narrative that unfolds.

Credits

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