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.
Racing fans this is for you. The animation below from Le Cube is about the legendary Formula One driver Ayrton Senna made specifically for the Olympic Games in Brazil. Beautiful Fluid animation paired with a story about winning, and overcoming obstacles. This has such a great look to it, really, really nice work. As Le Cube said, “If you want to take a peep into our souls in one of our projects, this is it. This is the kind of project for which Le Cube exists.” and it shows. When you are given the opportunity to work on a project like this, you pull out all the stops.
Matt Smithson, and Man vs Magnet directed and produced “Undersong” for Motionpoems. The animated short is built around the adapted poem by Stacey Lynn Brown, and dedicated to Jake Adam York. The short is voiced by Yaa Asantewa, with additional sound design by Sound Lounge. Asantewa’s voice guides you through the story accompanied by a score from Joshua Smoak. The hand drawn animation is timed perfectly to the voice over and the visuals draw you into the story so well. I’ve watched this over and over noticing small details that I missed with each viewing. It’s a great way to lose yourself for a few minutes on a summer afternoon.
M&C Saatchi has created a series of 3 advertisements for Havana Club Rum. The spots are running on TV, but the extended versions on youTube are where they really shine. Each spot taps into a storyline that is distinctive about Cuban culture and it’s relationship to the product. The tie in is handled so well. Subtle, not in your face with little or no mention of the actual product. Each spot has a really nice look to it capturing Cuba, and the people that live there. The story lines for all three are rock solid and the editing and post work is fantastic. It’s to bad no one is willing to pony up the money for an extended media buy for these. I guarantee people would watch the full minute and a half version on TV given the chance.
Taylor Hawkins with co-director Nick Bolton have put together a nice documentary short on photographer Joseph Allen Freeman , who works almost exclusively on large format cameras. This type of photography is one that truly tests your skills as a photographer. You have to know how your equipment works inside and out. There is no Program or Auto mode. No auto focus, or bracketing. As you watch the film, Freeman talks about the process, and why it is so appealing to him. One of the things that really stands out for me is the slowness of the process. With digital photography you can work so fast, that you sometimes fail to remember the basics, what drew you to making images in the first place. As Freeman points out, with large format, you are focused on the line and texture, and composition, and the process of making the image. With this type of photography, there is no “Spray and pray”. It’s more of “I’m a confident photographer. I know I got the shot.”
The New York Times has issued another installment of their “Modern Love” column which focuses on narrated stories about the urban relationship. This installment was produced by Minneapolis based Scott Wenner. The three-minute piece piece below was produced in just 4 weeks with a small crew of just three people including Wenner who did all of the illustration and animation for it. The look and feel truly compliments the narrative component and the audio interview that was supplied to Wenner by the New York Times. Great story telling, and really outstanding visuals. I can’t imagine pulling this off in that short a period of time.
In 2013 a group of artists, animators, scientists, writers, designers, producers, and marketers formed Brazen Animation with one purpose. “In a world saturated with “Throw Away Entertainment” we have only one goal: to tell inspirational stories with meaning and purpose.” To achieve that goal, they work on commercials while they develop their own feature projects. The video below is a fabulous example of the quality of the animated work they produce. It features “Iggy” who represents the Brazen spirit within each of us that is passionate, bold, unique, accountable, autonomous, collaborative, and classy.