Sometimes, when Joy and I are supposed to be working on a million other things, we make a film instead.
This inevitably leads to a string of sleepless nights fueled by pots of coffee and takeout. Our friends think we’re crazy and our mom calls to make sure we’re not dead, but it’s really fun when it pays off.
One of our Festival Bumpers, (the one for the Martha’s Vineyard Film Fest 2010) is up for an award at the ASIFA East Festival on May 1st!
The Peculiar Picture Parade Joy and I put together at 92YTribeca last night couldn’t have been more fun. The theater is small which makes for a really chill screening with the nearest and dearest.
Look at all the pretty faces
Joy and I surprised everyone with a film we did just for the Parade called “Place Stamp Here.” It’s based on a short story by Kelly Sharp and the three of us made the film in about a month. The music was done by The Chandeliers with Zach Knox on piano.
Thanks again to Brett W. Thompson for making the event flyer.
Brett Thompson rocks
There was a fantastic audience reaction from each film. Our Q+A session with the filmmakers covered animation, crunch berries, sex and death.
Jessica Polaniecki, Brett Thompson, Dusty Grella, Signe Baumane and Kelly Sharp
Joy Vaccese, Lori Samsel, Katie Cropper and Noëlla Borie
Please enjoy the Signal Film by Taylor Armstorng – it is a 25 second documentary about how Joy and I put this lil animation show together.
Opening title sequence created by Kris Clarkin as his thesis project. It’s for a proposed film adaptation of the book “Kill Your Friends,” based in London in 1997 when ‘Britpop’ is at its height.
I found Clarkin’s title sequence very entertaining, playfully integrating the names of the cast and crew into items found in the apartment with quick cuts to flashbacks from the main character’s life – sex, drugs and debauchery.
The book opens with a quote from Hunter S. Thompson, which summarizes the essence of the novel:
“The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs. There is also a negative side.”
The Backwater Gospel, the bachelor project of 8 students, is my new favorite short from the Animation Workshop. It has everything I look for in terms of story, music, design and animation. I love the gritty texture overlay and the detailed, dark outlines of the characters. The sound design and pace of the film really help to create tension as the people get more and more panicked. I also find the end credits to be quite amusing.
It has a certain “The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street” Twilight Zone quality, where the townsfolk turn on each other as their fear and paranoia take over. Only the Undertaker is the observer of the destruction rather than the aliens.
Everyone knows that concept art is probably the most fun thing about making an animated film, and their blog is full of early character sketches and background designs if you want to geek out over it.
One of my best friends, Heather Francovitch, is a designer at EGR International. They recently became involved in the production of an independent documentary directed by Andrew Rubin and Ricardo Villarreal called “Ride with Larry.” The subject of the film is Larry Smith who, after almost 20 yrs with the Parkinson’s, plans to bike across his state of South Dakota to raise awareness and inspire others. He will ride from June 21st to June 25th – that’s 280 miles.
My lady Jasmin Way just finished editing a documentary that will screen this week in Brooklyn! I can’t go because I am across an ocean and I can’t swim that fast, but you can still make it to this advanced screening.
Directed by NY debut filmmaker, Eric Mahoney, “North Dixie Drive” is a portrait of a small community of businesses and people residing in a tiny section of Dayton, OH. It is the story of big time wrestlers, mechanics, a donut salesmen, a homeless country singer, barbers, strippers and car repo men. This eccentric collection of people live and work around a traffic circle situated along highway I-75, and fight to keep their lives and careers afloat in a failing economy.
Wed, Jan. 12th, 7:30PM Littlefield
622 Degraw St. Brooklyn, NY 11217
Today, I bring you animated sequences from Spun (2002 independent film by Jonas Åkerlund)
The animation suits the grungy, druggy, and vile cult film. It’s been a while since I’ve seen Spun. Looking back to old trailers when writing this post, I hate to say it reminds me of Requiem For A Dream. I don’t like comparing the two – who can top Requiem? But Spun holds a special place in my heart as far as frenetic drug freak films are concerned and BONUS, it features some quality animation by animator Murray John.
The scene depicts an intense pornographic hallucination. It’s pretty graphic but I dig the use of animation here, where the artist literally has no boundaries.
On a Michael Cera binge again, I decided to throw Youth In Revolt to the top of my Netflix queue and finally watched it. Delighted by Cera’s character as usual, I loved the film – but I’m a classic nerd and I’m much more excited about the fantastic animation sequences which were lightly besprinkled throughout.
Peter Sluszka directed 6 animations, of which 4 were chosen for the final cut. Each section was created using different techniques. Sluszka talks about his work in this interview.
Stop motion – the opening titles seamlessly linked the live action and the animation.
Pixelation – shot with a digital still camera against green screen, thousands of the images were then printed and photographed again for the final animation.
Traditional 2D Animation – hilarious … he does shrooms and then hallucinates, obviously the perfect time to introduce another animated bit. And since he’s a virgin, of course he’s going to visualize people having sex. The couples were drawn and colored by hand then added to the live action in post production.
Flash – used to create legendary ending credits. Lizzi Akana was one of the many animators who had worked on this section and she’s pretty sick, check out her stuff. Among other things, she’s worked on Superjailand MGMT’s popular music video, Kidswith Henry Thurlow.
Yay it’s my faaaaaaaaaavorite time of year! Noey and I have been making it a habit to animate film festival bumpers such as these oldies-but-goodies, and this year we’ve been asked to animate another one for the Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival.
Here are some rough character designs!
Which one should we choose? All suggestions are welcome! We’re leaning towards the last one in the first row – obviously because of the giant disproportions. Cracks me up.