The Good Dinosaur

Hi everyone! A happy new year with -hopefully- less crazy weather. Winter is finally catching up with us. Having a spring-like weather in December is disconcerting and even though it is not prudent to wish for cold with so many people in need, I feel safer when it doesn’t feel like spring in December.

Now, back to our present subject. I was so happy when I saw that Disney-Pixar had another new film ready to be releashed, in such a short time after Inside Out. Of course I was super excited and watched it with the first chance I got. I expected the poor plot – come on, you can only make one masterpiece of a movie at a time- but for me, the amaaazing scenery was enough compensation for my time. Such beautiful landscapes, marvelous shots and fabulously lit, it was a piece of art. It had a cute enough storyline to maintain suspension of disbelief and I suppose it is interesting enough for children (although a bit dark) to make it a decent enough movie. With unbelievably beautiful and realistic landscapes.

I was so calm after the end, just watching the backgrounds and breathing. It made me a bit sorry to see how badly it has been reviewed, so I decided to give it a shot and restore at least a bit of the film’s reputation. Watch it and I hope you will agree with me.

Officially an animator

Hello everybody!

It’s been a long long while I know. But, I took August off, and by off I mean I didn’t touch a computer for almost the entire month and I practically spent 10 days on the beach. I live in Greece, we may be poor but the sea is like, right there.

So after a month of detoxification, I spent September buried 10 ft deep into my thesis (because I need to get my degree someday) and I got a job in October! Yes, I am by all accounts, an animator. Happy, happy, happy, busy, busy, busy, but I’m here now and I have some nice videos for you!

I’m gonna start with THIS truthful, awesome video from Vox, about how special effects make movies suck. You hear that Hollywood?! Get some damn good scriptwriters back and push the computer gang on the back seat, because movies are about stories and characters, not HD explosions.

Stay in tune for more!

None of That

Amazing short suggested by an amazing friend who will be leaving the country soon and will be very much missed.

It’s a funny short which is a good thing because humour is always appreciated.

As the museum closes, a security guard has an unusual encounter that he will probably never forget! Created by the talented team of Anna Hinds Paddock, Isabela Littger de Pinho, and Kriti Kaur! For more information, please see the details and links below:

Production time for this particular project took about three semesters to complete, and they used mostly Photoshop for all of the pre-production, we used Maya for the animation/rigging, Zbrush for modeling/texturing, RenderMan RIS for lighting/rendering; Nuke for post processing, and Premiere for editing.

A Film by:
Anna Hinds Paddock
Isabela Littger de Pinho
Kriti Kaur
Music by:
Corey Wallace
Produced at:
Ringling College of Art + Design

Coda

A lost soul stumbles drunken through the city. In a park, Death finds him and shows him many things. Another excellent short about life and death (these two always go together it seems), which gives its own answer to the age old question. Very beautiful, truly remarkable aesthetics and the animation is spectacular. Watch closely for the morphs and the transitions, quite elegant and unique. I want to ask why the animal is a fox (I would expect a cat to be honest) but of course these things are for the creators to choose. Maybe it’s because of their cunning, or maybe they just like foxes. Enjoy! 

Return to Prague School

Since we were talking about claymation and stop motion last time I thought it would be prudent to mention Jan Svankmajer.

If you’re looking for first class stop motion, he is the man you should turn to. Excellent storytelling techniques, surrealism at its best and with a very caustic tone, his films are small masterpieces and beautifully singular. Enjoy!

I have only made a selection of the ones I like. There’s so much material out there, if you like his work there are other films you can discover yourself. I should point out that he is an artist that might seem too strange at first glance, throw you a bit off-balance. I know it happened to me when I first watched one of his films, but he truly is so good, I couldn’t stop watching them. After a rewatch (that’s why we should always, always rewatch the good and the strange) I caught up with him and never looked back.

Emma (2012)

How very Tim Burton-ish. Very nicely weird.

Hollywood is such a factory these days, it always was but it seems like ever since the great big studios discovered just how much money they can save by using special effects, every single film released gets a nice digital makeover and they all end up looking pretty much the same (and a little fake because lets face it, there’s bad cgi going on in Hollywood land). Shorts like this one give me hope. And since a little quirkyness never hurt anyone I hope you’ll like it too.