When I first watched this video on Vimeo, I was drawn in by the fantastic cinematography, and the atmosphere that is created in Alan Williams studio. The visuals hooked me but as his story, and discussion about process unfolded, I knew I was here for the full 8-minute duration. After watching it with the sound on, I muted the audio and watched it again, full screen and really looked at the way this was shot, edited, and composed. Ben Cox does a really nice job of framing his shots and using shallow depth of field to focus the viewer on specific elements within the frame. Lighting and color grading come together to really help enhance the story and create a mood that captures Alan Williams personality and the artwork he creates. This short has such a solid look, and great story hooks as well, it’s definitely going in the visual reference library for inspiration at a later date.
Here we are 4 days into 2017, and officially 3 weeks into winter. Tomorrow, we are supposed to get 4 inches of snow, and the high temps are going to maybe hit 20 degrees, which frankly has me longing for my favorite time of the year, mid-May through early July. All of this got me to thinking about the powerful thunderstorms that roll through the midwest fueled by warm moist air blowing up from the Gulf of Mexico and colliding with a cold front rolling in off of the Northern Plains. That got me to searching the internet for some video footage to warm my chilled bones and remind there are just 84 more days until spring.
My discovery this afternoon was the video below by Mike Olbinski. Shot in 4K, color graded to black and white, timed out to just under 5 minutes, it’s absolutely breathtaking. The fact that he had the idea of taking this in a new direction with a black and white post production just makes it. The soundtrack adds to the ominous power of the visuals and makes me long for the opportunity to be able to sit on the sun porch and watch this happening live. (not the tornado part, I like my house).
If you have the opportunity watch this in 4K on a larger TV. The visuals will knock your socks off. For more info on how Oblinski made it click through here.
Remember life before your smartphone, tablet, and social media? Yeah I know, it’s kind of hard to imagine not being constantly connected anymore. The video below from Max Stossel & Sander van Dijk is a poetic send up about how we have all become addicted to that piece of tech sitting in your hand right now, or waiting to be retrieved from your pocket as soon as you put down whatever tech you are looking at now.
The video itself is great. A nice live action short with really well thought out graphics that have been motion tracked to specific source points in the frame. Solid editing and post work really help to polish this, but the real meat is in the message. A message with a direct call to action at the timewellspent.io website. The blurb before the video pretty much sums up what they are about.
Today apps and media compete in a race to grab our attention. Join a movement to:
- Live better with more empowering settings for our media and devices.
- Change incentives so media competes to improve our lives, not get eyeballs.
- Invent new interfaces that help us to make room for what matters.
A poetic short film by Max Stossel & Sander van Dijk:
In the Attention Economy, technology and media are designed to maximize our screen-time. But what if they were designed to help us live by our values? timewellspent.io
What if news & media companies were creating content that enriched our lives, vs. catering to our most base instincts for clicks?
What if social platforms were designed to help us create our ideal social lives, instead of to maximize time-on site and “likes”?
What if dating apps measured their success in how well they helped us find what we’re looking for instead of in # of swipes?
As technology gets more and more engaging, and as AI and VR become more and more prevalent in our day-to-day lives we need to take a look at how we’re structuring our future.
Time Well Spent is a movement to align technology with our humanity: timewellspent.io
Director, Co-producer, & Visual Effects: Sander van Dijk: sandervandijk.tv
Writer, Co-producer & Lead Actor: Max Stossel: maxstossel.com
Production Company: Yacht Club Films
Director of Photography: Conor Murphy
Music & Sound Design: Wesley Slover –
Steadicam Operator: Kyle Fasanella
Graphic Artist: Aaron Kemnitzer
CG Artist: Joseph Pistono
Visual Effects Assistant: Chelsea Galen
Roto Assistant: Regina Morgan-Munoz
Lead Actress: Crystal Lee
I don’t care who you are voting for or what your political agenda is, you have to admit Trump Facts is a pretty brilliant website from Cub. Why, because Trump sound bites make good fodder for these brilliant short little animations. Love him or hate him, you have to admit, the shit Donald Trump says on a regular basis makes for some interesting commentary, and Fraser Davidson has absolutely captured Trump in well crafted, well illustrated animations using Trump’s own sound bites. These are his word folks, there is no denying that Trump said this stuff, and something tells me in the next few months Davidson is going to be working hard to produce more of these. Click through to the site, or to Vimeo to see the entire series. Each one is less than 15 seconds long, so you can watch the entire series in a short amount of time.
Over the last ten years, there has been a steady shift on the internet for news agencies and content creators to produce more video. The New York Times has been an absolute champion of this with a steady stream of well-produced documentary news shorts that have bolstered readership and helped the paper transition from a traditional news source to a multimedia powerhouse with content that rivals any broadcast news agency. Another online source that consistently blows me away with animation and visual information is Vox. They are producing some serious animated content that teaches and presents information with a high production value that is engaging and compelling for the viewer. Case in point, the video below on American / Cuban relations dating back to the 1850’s. Even if you aren’t really into history, it’s hard not to be drawn into this video and watch the entire 4 minute animated short. Why? Because it is so well done. Great visuals, solid script, smooth narration, and relevant information about a current event. Hat tip to the producers at Vox. Nicely done.
I am a huge fan of Cinema 4D, and it is pretty insane just how much the tool has grown with each new generation. I mean if you think about it, When Cinema 4D was released in 1993 for the Amiga it was a solid tool, but there is no way the software on an Amiga system could have produced anything like what is in the video below. Frankly, there were no real desktop tools that could have produced this, which just goes to show how far computer graphics have come, and how we take their power for granted most of the time. I have been working with graphic design, animation, and editing software for more than 20 years, and if someone had asked me to produce this back in 93 I would have laughed.
This video was created by ManvsMachine to showcase the new tools and functionality in Maxon’s latest release of Cinema4D. “Versus” is a CG short inspired by the dualities suggested in the studio’s own name. This is a visual stunner that not only features great CG animation, but some really solid sound design which helped inspire the video. If you have them, put on your headphones. If you don’t turn up the sound on your speakers. I’ve also include the making of video to show you how it was done.
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.