Borrowed Time

Oh Pixar. I thought The Good Dinosaur had amazing cinematography and aesthetics but this short has so much reality in its story and image, it took my breath away.

For the longest time, we all thought we would never see a Disney studio going anywhere near adult territory, and yet here we are. I’m all in for Pixar trying adult themes.

Ok I’m more than in, I would pay good money to see that happen.

Looking around on the net, I found some very interesting videos. It seems I’m not the only one going crazy over this little film. “Why We Made Borrowed Time” is the creators explaining why they wanted to try a more adult story. After such positive feedback I am really hoping they will take that experiment a step further.

To be honest, with the way animation has invaded moving pictures in general, with technology making computer generated images more real, it’s only a matter of time for reality to invade even the most children-friendly of companies and mix things up. The line between live action and animation is already blurry, European studios and advertising companies have made the blend already; it’s only a question of if the Disney/Pixar directors want to take the marketing risk.

Unfortunately, given the shaky times we are living (and taking Marvel as an example), I’d say the Walt Disney Company is not into risk-taking at present. Which is sad, because difficult times call for some daring moves, but if the big boys want to leave those for the independent filmmakers, who am I to judge? Small companies and even individual creators have after all been greatly liberated with the recent technological advancements and the next few decades will probably be the most productive in cinematic history.

To conclude, it’s nice to see how far we can take really take things, even if it’s only through a 6 minute film. Enjoy!

 

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An old lady’s sulking

Hello people! Do you remember Glen Keane’s latest short movie Duet? I hope you do because it’s Glen Keane you guys, and it was actually a very good and very sweet film. Nonetheless, I found myself disappointed in the (now old) news I bumped into about that short film. I should say that I would like it very much, if some of you could share your opinions on it, because I feel like a grumpy old lady about mine.

Google I/O developer conference

So, it turns out this video was (I’m making a slight assumption here) made to promote a new Google product. To quote the Cartoonbrew article directly: “…the 59-year-old former Disney animator and director will be making an interactive hand-drawn short for Motorola’s Spotlight Stories initiative, developed by their Advanced Technologies and Project group.”

So, if I’m getting this right, this video was made using new technology that would make the story smart phone-only and interactive? I watched it on my computer and it was not interactive (obviously). Did I miss something about the story? Is the use of smartphone providing something that would make the meaning of the story more complete?

There are several articles (ex1, ex2, ex3) on the subject, some of which I didn’t have the time to review myself yet, which you can read for yourselves if you want to see more opinions on the subject.

I don’t know, maybe I’m just too old already, or have become too sceptical or too bitter towards companies, but the idea of storytelling that can be extended or terminated by camera movement alone just doesn’t convince me. What meaning does this feature add to the story? Isn’t that the main point of storytelling? To send a message, to tell a story? If the story is about a rat trying to catch a hat, why does my experience become more meaningful if I watch him do it for 10 minutes rather than 2?

People please, don’t mix your concepts. There is entertainment and there is art. There is art and there is storytelling. Those are 3 different things that don’t necessarily go together. And as far as I saw it, the new feature introduced here adds nothing of artistic or story value to these films that couldn’t be made without it. That process may be entertaining but it is in no shape or form a new way of storytelling. Show me an example where you add meaning to a story with this process, that couldn’t be done without it and I will embrace it. Please find some other way to sell unuseful stuff to people and don’t bring art and storytelling into this, they’ve been through enough as it is. Call it a cool new way of entertainment. And please, don’t call it groundbreaking. L.A Noire was a far more interactive way of storytelling than this, and it happened 3 years ago. And yes, video games are a thing and users play a central role in them these days.

I want to be fair so I will post the other short animations made to promote this feature so you can see them for yourselves. They are truly quite cute. If someone has a smart phone please, share your experience! I don’t wanna miss out if I’ve been wrong, storytelling is my passion, let me know if minds have been blown and I have no clue!

 

When Marnie Was There

Good day kind readers! It is 3:29 in the morning here in Greece and never before had my day begun in such an unexpected way before daybreak. I am so excited I am intoxicated. I am so intoxicated, I will not go to bed tonight. I also have a special treat for those who got carried away this summer (due to either work or play) and haven’t caught up with Studio Ghibli’s new movie. Check out the trailer (in Japanese). Enjoy!

A very interesting project

“In an fascinating mix of papercraft, set design, and animation, artist duo Davy and Kristin McGuire bring stories to life inside these exquisitely built paper dioramas. With the aid of digital projection mapping the pair have created several theatrical installations including The Hunter and Psycho which netted the Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award and subsequently lead to The Paper Architect. You can see more of their work on their website, and on Vimeo.”

Papercraft Dioramas Come to Life with Projected Animations by Davy and Kristin McGuire

Disney week

I decided to make this a week dedicated to my favourite “evil” multinational corporation. I have a love- hate relationship with Disney, I know it doesn’t care much for me as long as I live and breath as a dedicated consumer, but it doesn’t really matter for now. It will when I start applying for a job (and I say start because I know I will be applying for quite some time before I actually make it there). So starting from now and until February 9th I will post everyday about Disney. Yay! Good luck you guys, it will be Disney this and Disney that for 7 looooooooong days!

The Wind Rises

This is excruciating! To know there is a new Miyazaki film out there and not be able to watch it yet!!

You know it before you see the trailer. You know it will be heartbreaking in it’s beauty, it is a studio Ghibli film after all, but still, it is a new Hayao Miyazaki film. If animation had a God, it would be Miyazaki.

For me, It’s not just that his movies are perfect in every respect. His movies have soul. You can see parts of humanity in them. The parts that keep this world going. He said in an interview (which you can read here, please do it’s really good!) that even though he is a pessimist, he believes children should be left alone, to choose their own view of the world, so he tries to control his pessimism and not let it show through his films. Well he’s done it I believe. Whenever I watch (or endlessly rewatch) one of his films I always feel the world as a better place when the movie ends. They have such a poetic beauty. I must also admit, that he is one of those people I wish would never grow old. When you have so much to give, all the time in the world cannot be enough. I was sad for days when Glen Keane retired. It was one of my life’s dreams to see him working one day (that non existing day when I would actually work for Disney. Oh well, a girl can dream). It was even worst when I read that Miyazaki said once again he will retire. I try to think he won’t actually do it. It will be the end of an era for animation. At least that’s how I see it.