Friday, April 20, 2007

"Autobahn" ~ An animated odyssey

A little known music video from 1979, two years before MTV, and two years before anybody even knew what a video was.

Actually, to call this a music video is wrong. It is simply a wonderful animated piece set to the breakthrough track of German Electronic pioneers Kraftwerk. It was animated by Roger Mainwood, and produced by Halas and Batchelor, one of the premier animation studios in the United Kingdom.

Normally, I am not an immediate fan of plotless animated shorts. The main reason is that they are likely to lose the audience's attention due to the lack of story. However, there are ways to save shorts like that. In the case of this one, you have both a catchy ambient track, and characters with unusual appeal. In my opinion, this could be FANTASIA segment, if FANTASIA were set to experimental rock instrumentals (something I know I would see). I really like the overall look of the animation. The coloring and timing are great, and really give an expressive sense of surrealism.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

A month since the Rat.

I apologize for not keeping up with the blog. My schedule has just been getting busier. And it is looking to be even busier this month. April is the month of finals, and my peers and I are all cramming away. Or as much as we can, without losing our sanity.

Currently, I am working on a forty second animated short for my class. Although I was supposed to come up with a different way of animating, this one may turn out to be closer to how I did the RATS MONO short. There was a certain style I wanted to try out, but I proved to be too complicated, and I couldn't find the right idea for it. I know I'm only a student, but I can get pretty stubborn about these things. The way I am doing this short is actually the most efficient way for me to do it. Any other method (as far as I think I know) would take longer than the time I already I have.

The image here is a color test I did (though it would make a nice postcard as well). This is basically what the bulk of the short will look like.
The short is a combination of the styles of two relatively well known independent animators. The first is Paul Driessen, a Dutch-Canadian animator know for animating in more than one panel in a single image, as well as for a swirling illustrative style that defies any sense of form. He was also an animator on THE BEATLES YELLOW SUBMARINE, which today remains one of my all-time favorite films.
The other animator I sourced is a French animator, Raimund Krumme. Krumme's style involves defying the image's supposed perception. When the image looks like one thing, it gradually becomes another (if this is too confusing, click on Krumme's name, and you can see what I am talking about.

For this short, I am using three characters that I have already animated, for I did not have enough time to come up with any new characters. I have begun making a list of stuff to practice this summer, in preparation for my senior thesis next semester. And one of those things is to come up with new characters for my project.

Coming at the beginning of May, there will be a screening for the animators of Pratt Institute. It will be the Senior Thesis films, along with some Junior vignettes. I am hoping to get something in it. I am hoping to have RATS MONO fully colored by then, so maybe I can submit that.

I will sign off with one of my favorite music videos. This is "Quiet Eyes" by Dutch rock group Golden Earring. Although I don't really listen to them, I think this video is very charming. It is directed by Anton Corbijn, one of my favorite photographers and music video directors.

See you around.