Ted Ed, How Hitler Rose To Power. An Animated Short.

The video below is a lesson in history and how fragile democracy can be. Alex Gendler and Anthony Hazard lesson were animated by Uncle Ginger for Ted ED, and as the video progresses creates some uncanny parallels to this election cycle in America. The video itself is wonderfully animated and illustrated. The look keeps the viewer engaged as the narrator  explains how Hitler came to power in Germany, and the events following the end of the First World War that helped to propel his rise in power. It is a quick overview that manages to summarize the history into a quick and digestible lesson. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions about the parallels to this year’s elections and the candidates running.

 

PQ Mo•Bits.

Anyone who works in graphic design, broadcast, video or advertising, knows that time is usually pretty tight when it comes to getting work done. Deadlines are always shifting, last minute jobs are dropped in your lap and due by the end of the day. I’m not griping, I’m just saying, and that is why I am always on the lookout for content that I can use when I am in a jam and don’t have time to create it from scratch. Take the video below from Peter Quinn. It is the promo for his latest release, PQ Mo-Bits, a collection of “obvious, everyday icons that a motion designer needs to keep handy.” This guy does great work and trust me there are some of these that I can use on a regular basis. I’m not being lazy, I’m being thrifty because I don’t always have the luxury of time to create something this good.

This Viral Video Experiment was HUUUUUUUGE!

Just because you saw it on the internet, and it looks real doesn’t mean that it is. However, if you put the right kind of fake content together though, you end up with a recipe for a successful viral video, and that is just exactly what Melbourne-based The Woolshed and Company did. With over 205 million views, I say Woolshed has found what works.

From shark attacks to lightning strikes, bears chasing snowboarders, to drones falling into Burning Man – the world watched, they shared and then they argued like hell over their authenticity.  And it was this debate over authenticity that propelled each videos’ viral success.

The content series was envisioned as a social experiment to explore the creation and distribution of ‘new media’, with the process involving The Woolshed Co. strategizing, creating, releasing and then integrating the learnings into the next piece.  We set out to better understand exactly how to create short-form, highly shareable, ‘snackable’ content, that is capable of reaching worldwide mass audiences without the luxury of pricey media buys, ad campaigns, publicity strategies or distribution deals.

Series Directed By:  Richard Hughes & Caspar Mazzotti

Fireworks, or Bombshells. You Choose.

Well, it’s Fourth of July weekend here in America and that means people are blowing up their hard earned money with fireworks. I like fireworks, well the professional ones that is. Don’t get me wrong if you want to blow shit up in your backyard to show the world how patriotic you are that’s fine. I’m not going to stop you. I just prefer to spend my money on things that aren’t going to go up in smoke, or run the risk of causing me pain and possible dismemberment. So you can celebrate the nation’s birthday with fireworks, or you can feast your eyes on pin-up girls sporting the red white and blue and in some cases holding fireworks. Frankly, I think I prefer looking at leggy gals sporting an outfit made from old glory and holding explosives. So here we have movie stars, models, and illustrations of just that. By the way, 1960’s bombshell Raquel Welch, and 1940’s Broadway star Anne Miller seem to have been very popular icons for the 4th.

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Nina Roman

Nina Roman

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ABC

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Dorothy Arnold

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Accidents, Blunders, and Calamities.

Once again student work that is blowing my mind with high-quality production values, attention to detail, story craft, and animation skills. The video below was put together by a team of 44 students at Media Design School. The students crafted 30 CG animals and blended them with live action footage to create a short black comedy inspired by the work of Edward Gorey. This really is a fantastic little short, and it truly shows just how far design, animation, film making, and illustration have come in the last 10 years. When I look back on the student animations and films that were being produced when I was in school, this makes them look positively horrible in terms of quality. Then again when I was in art school, a Mac II was about the most powerful computer you could find.

 

Kill it, Stuff it, and Put it on Display. The Olympics of Taxidermy.

I’ve always had a bizarre fascination with taxidermy. I think it is one of the strangest things people do, and yet I’m kind of drawn to it. I think the fascination started when I was a kid and I visited the natural history museum where they had all of these insane dioramas featuring dead stuffed animals. It was the antithesis of the zoo, or being at a national park where you would see the animals alive, and out in their natural environment. I just didn’t get the concept of, kill it, stuff it, put it on display frozen in time. (at the time I didn’t realize that taxidermied animals aren’t really stuffed carcasses).

So, the video below is a 20-minute look into the world of taxidermy. More specifically, it is a look into the Olympics of taxidermy, and it’s actually a pretty interesting documentary short. It’s well shot, edited, and the production value is very solid. And the story line is really solid. It draws you in and holds your attention. Well at least it did with me, but then again I do have a morbid attraction to this subject.