Here, to get you into the Olympic Spirit, is the Olympic 100m final sketch from Monkeydust series 3 directed and animated by Richard James, backgrounds 3D and comping by me!
Crow Feathers screened at the Wimbledon Short Film Festival on the evening of the 21st of July. A still from the film was featured on their poster and on the cover of their programme!
Sat 21st July 2012 – Crow Feathers won the Best Animation Award at Wimbledon SHORTS Film Festival. It also came third in the Audience Award. Kate Rawson, who plays the boy in the film, was at the screening and collected the award – or rather, certificate – on my behalf as I wasn’t able to attend. The judges called it a ‘Highly original accomplished work showing enormous directorial flair.’
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
In 1767 twelve-year-old Cosimo di Rondo, the oldest son of an Italian Baron, climbs into a tree outside his house in protest at being forced to eat snails for dinner. His family tells him to come down at once, but he refuses, in fact he vows that his feet will never touch the ground again, and so begins the chronicle of the strangest of lives, told by his brother, as Cosimo lives out his days in the branches of trees.
This story is what the film ‘Ivul’ by Andrew Kotting was loosely based on, and I enjoyed that – mostly the magical conceit of someone living in the treetops. The film has to stick with what is achievable practically on a low-budget, but in the book, though it feigns a practical air, there is the possibility for much more fantastical imagery. The similarity though is that they both set out to portray the idea of an acrobatic man (not a superhero, but someone like there rest of us, with human failings) living in the trees.
So many things about this amazing idea seem already to exist for me in the back of my mind. That childhood game of ‘Don’t step on the ground’ taken to the craziest extreme. The idea of a tree house, but here anything can be taken up into a tree, furniture, beds, printing presses! The possibility of leaping across spaces in the air, not like Spiderman, but just with effortless jumps, like walking on air, or balancing like an acrobat, (similarities again with ‘Man on Wire’ and ‘Mr Vertigo’.) Especially good are all the scenes between Viola and Cosimo and their arboreal affair. Viola, is such a headstrong character too that she is more than a match for Cosimo.
Though there are many other ideas that run through the story it is not overtly allegorical, like Paulo Cohelo or someone like that would make it. There are images that hint at the spiritual, images of treetops and sky-scapes that sing in the context of the story, and then there are moments about relationships and love or war and politics, but all seen from above in the trees, . Over all it feels like a beautiful evocation of longing for something more and the possibility of living so lightly on the earth and so lightly as a human, that you might float away in the end. I think this is what Cosimo is trying to achieve and he does it in his own strange quirky way, often failing and stubborn, but true to his beliefs to the end.
How do you turn a short film in to a Digital Cinema Package? This video blog goes in to great detail and takes you through the whole process. The software i’m using is OpenDCP, check out the blog via my site for more info and all the links.
By Danny Lacey http://www.dannylaceyfilm.co.uk