Archer$Beck: Live Earth

Directing duo Archer$Beck (Hornet) made a nice contribution to the collection of spots and short films included in the Live Earth festivities with “Cough, Cold and High Fever.”


The premise is simple enough—personify the earth as it deals with humankind’s increasingly annoying presence—but Jason Archer and Paul Beck have put their characteristic spin on things. Although I dig the work the two of them have done with Richard Linklater on “Waking Life” and “A Scanner Darkly,” I’ve always enjoyed their short films quite a bit, too. I first came across “Homeland Homedown” at Resfest 2004 in Austin (the duo’s stomping grounds), and its surreal blend of satire and absurdity has recurred in all the work I’ve seen since.

Pay close attention to the live action directing in this short. It’s spot on, striking the perfect balance between stage-friendly slapstick and cinema-friendly understatement. You can tell that Archer$Beck have been doing the roto thing for a while; they know just when to pour it on thick and when to throttle back (if you’ll excuse my mixed metaphors).

About the author

Justin Cone

Together with Carlos El Asmar, Justin co-founded Motionographer, F5 and The Motion Awards. He currently lives in Austin, Texas with is wife, son and fluffball of a dog. Before taking on Motionographer full-time, Justin worked in various capacities at Psyop, NBC-Universal, Apple, Adobe and SCAD.