Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Analo6ue, "I'm Not A Mover"

I am pleased (and relieved) to announce that I have finished my first ever "music film." The usual term is "music video," but since those don't get much airtime on television anymore, and I see more videos at film festivals, it just seems pointless to use that term anymore.

We present "I'm Not A Mover"
by Analo6ue (pronounced "analog")

The short combines live-action (directed by Taylor Clark) with 30's style rubber hose animation; the plot reaches a point where the two interact. I story boarded the whole film, and seeing Taylor recreate my drawings through live-action was quite a sensation.

I need to extend a hand to lead compositor Jaime Ekkens, for the wonderful job she did on the effects.

Like many others, I haven't been very well off financially. For four months, working on this short has kept me sane. Still, the video had to meet its completion at some point, which took two months longer than we had initially intended. Still I am excited about having completed it, and we hope it has a good festival life.

Analo6ue is the first musical group I have ever actually worked "with." The group is a three-piece: Brian (guitar, vocals), an old friend of mine from Ohio; Owen (lead vocals); and Evan (drums). There is no bass player. When people ask me about Analo6ue, I refer to them as an alternative-blues band. The band have a sound which doesn't get much usage in animation. But we all went for the same thing, so there wasn't much conflict.
You can check out more of Analo6ue on their MySpace page.

At the moment, we are trying to get the video exported into HD (High Definition) format. After that, its off to the festivals. I will also announce when it is viewable on the internet.

I hope to move onto another music film soon. It is a point where two of my greatest passions meet.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs...and a side of Praise

I don't know what some are thinking. For the past couple weeks, I have heard a ton of praise for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs from friends and aquaintences, most of whom work in the animation and movie industries. Now it turns into a personal tale that is classic for me: a movie that everyone loves is a huge disappointment for my tastes.

I remember reading the original book in elementary school. I remember enjoying the concept of food being produced through the weather. I can't say I was all over the drawings, and I don't blame the filmmakers for redesigning the original story.

This was a really dumb movie. At least that's how I felt. With all the hype this movie was receiving (particularly from those who don't care much for computer-animated features), this movie sounded like something new and special. It was no different from the first impression I got from the trailer. It is unoriginal and garish looking. The story by and far is nothing but predictable. Flint Lockwood, the main character, is an aspiring amateur inventor whose flaws are terribly humiliating (and the dialog does nothing to help). He finally perfects a useful machine, which can transform water into food and feed his economically tarnished hometown. Eventually, his machine brings out all the flaws in every other character. And the bad guy, the Mayor, isn't a very well-developed bad guy. All I see is someone who want to gorge and be powerful, but he's not totally believable (in fantasy terms).

The pacing is the one thing I would exemplify with this movie. The pacing is organized and doesn't move too fast. All the jokes (no matter how used up and wordy) and drama (no matter how preachy) are at least delivered on time and given enough space to take place.

Visually, the character designs are not too interesting. But with computer animation, character design is tricky to judge. I just didn't like these designs, although the design of Flint, the main character, had some appeal. I'm sorry, but I find cubic shape fingers scary looking in CG.

Terrible voice overs. As usual, these movies put a lot of attention on the celebrities doing the voice overs. Often, there's at least one voice-over per movie that manages to do his/her job. But here, there was nothing special, or impressive. The voices are bland and have few defining characteristics.

The coloring is something of an eyesore. In my psyche, I see too much orange and pink when thinking of the movie. There are no pleasurable color schemes in the movie. All the colors are bright and overdone, and they look like concert lights.
The animated food is a major flaw. All the food looked poorly colored and lumpy. There was nothing alluring about it, which I believe all food on film should look like if that is the point. All the spaghetti, steak, meatballs, donuts, chicken, and whatnot, looked like it was cooked at a theater concession stand. Who could find that appetizing?

The credits have some redemption. Again, this movie keeps up the current trend of presenting credits in an alternate form of animation (beginning with Ratatouille's hand-drawn end credits). The credits have a bit of a 60's retro feel to them, but that is undone by the dance number playing over them.

I don't have too much to say anymore, because I don't want to dive too much into it. My first impression of the movie is very unpleasant. And all the praise this movie received makes me feel like Hell has frozen over.

For all I know, Hell really has Frozen over, and this is the beginning of the apocalypse.

Or maybe, I just need to accept my own opinion and move on.