Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Come, Critique, Enlighten!

Below are a few of my favorite short films I have been looping over and over again not only to critique but deconstruct in a way that enables me incorporate some of the techniques on my upcoming projects for the new semester and in the future. The shorts include student films as well as some by industry pros.

Taken ( Student work from the 'Ringling School of Art & Design')
- Conceptually very strong for the fact that the narrative indirectly sends out a significant environmental message. This is evident from the environment that is shown deforested and gloomy. Also the human traits of selfish needs is delicately portrayed through the little boy's innocence when he was wanting for the red balloon on the tree when he already had a whole bunch.
- What appealed to me most in terms of animation was how the boy's face emoted very realistically. Even in terms of body language, the realistic approach towards the characters animation made his overall movement look effortless which is very plausible in the case of a child in terms of weight. Also as is the case of the tree, it has been given a very organic form of movement.
- The design of the tree in particular was very smartly approached keeping in mind that it is an aging tree and hence is given the appearance of an old man. However I personally feel the boy could have lost a couple of years from his age, had he been given a less rigid and a more smaller head. The robotic and slim body structure would have worked better if the head could have been slightly more in proportion.

Vincent (Tim Burton, 1982)
- Love the poetic narrative. Clearly from my understanding, this is partially based on Burton's actual childhood. 
- A very peculiar character. I liked the fact that Burton didn't allow the audience to divert their attention from the protagonist by only showing the lower half body of Vincent's mother and aunt.
- Probably another interesting thing I noticed was the principle of pendulum applied when Vincent's aunt is shown suspended above the hot wax.

Tarboy (James Lee,(Student film, Griffith Film School)
- Flash Animation
- Creative use of silhouette for the backdrop of the story instead of detailed characters ( when the slaves are digging in the mine and dropped in the tar). This keeps the audience engaged with the main characters without deviating attention from the narration of the story.
- Maintains consistency of character design with the layout design.
- Editing- Good use of intercuts between the grandfather's narration and the actual events that took place in the past.
- A non realistic form of animation that has a Cut out feel to it which very well suits the robotic structure of the characters.

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