Today’ I’m pleased to feature a guest post by Jardley Jean-Louis. Jardley is an artist and illustrator from New York. You can see her portfolio here and her blog here!
Having found an interest in pursuing and strengthening skills in animation after being very single-minded in art & illustration for years, I found sites that catered to those needs and featured a great wealth of creatives making animation in the world today. Some of these animations were teasers that told just enough to build anticipation as to what would unfold. So without too much fanfare, here are some memorable animated teasers I’ve seen recently.
The most obvious: The colors. In my opinion it’s not only memorable because there are only ever four colors or by how rich and deep they are, but how through them, they build each scene. They create an object, fill in negative spaces, and separate one thing from another. While watching, I was reminded of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Body recap by Noel Murray. I’ll quote him here:
…as when Dawn’s art teacher asks her students to explore the negative space around their subject—a body, as it happens.”…”To make out its shape, you’ll have to look at the people gathered around where it used to be.
But, I especially love the scene that starts at :51, I thought I was watching something remarkable. The animators don’t go to great lengths to create it and really, that’s the way it is throughout but here, it’s not too much at all. You get a couple of shapes that’s amplified by a faraway shot and that’s it. Even the dead wolf is a measly shape. But, in the little details the duo does uses, like the clumps of trees and the straggly plants in the ground, for me they’re well received.
When I saw this, right away I thought it must be associated with Disney in some way. Then I found out Minkyu Lee is a Visual Development Artist for Disney. Jackpot! I’ve never seen nudity in Disney films and am curious if Disney plays a hand in the fruition of the film or if it’s all controlled largely by Minkyu Lee and co. I don’t know much about the workings of animation films, nor have I been following this particular film much to know what’s what. I do know that I’ve interpreted the lack of dialogue, the standalone shots, and this “Adam” and what I assume is his dog, surrounded by this lush but probably lacking in more people environment in the trailer, as a type of film I want to get to know. I’m interested to find out more and the nudity is refreshing because in such an environment it feels like it would make sense. But, that depends on the story.
I have no idea how many times I’ve watched this trailer yet only yesterday did I realized that the little girl is playing with the stove buttons to control the fire! I thought she was just far too near the stove and her mother didn’t want that. It’s the little things, these small actions that I feel makes a media so much more especially in Playing Ghost. I think if this film was told with no dialogue whatsoever, and I have no clue if it is or isn’t (The little grunts the little kid makes doesn’t give much away), it would still be one to recommend. I especially love that little sigh she makes at what appears to be her makeshift cemetery. Here you have a film about the aftermath of an event and that to me is already something I’d watch, but shot for shot there’s just so much detail and I’m sitting here staring. So many parts where the animators were paying attention to life and how a room that has been lived in and is marked by what its use is, like the kitchen or the basement, looks. It’s visually a very warm, vibrant, detailed animation. I really can’t gush enough about how much I love these types of animations. Sewing up fabrics, building sets and objects, using found objects, and now with Playing Ghost: paying attention to gestures and personalities of each individual. I don’t think I was more grateful for that than when I saw that little 5 year old stomp her way across the kitchen.
Have you ever seen something like this before? I think what sets this animation apart from many I’ve seen is how epic it feels. Yes, it’s about an adventure, a journey but, it seems like much more than an animation. Like it could easily transfer itself to live action but chooses to be an animation because the animators enjoy the craft. Though the strikingly realistic scene of the thunderous darkened clouds and rippling waters stunned me, it’s in the warm glow that covers the face of a bowing Sean to light a cigarette off-screen, that I was sold. It’s a great scene, a great effect. In John Robson’s own words, he’s using a combination of computer and stop-motion animation photography. That might’ve been why I was so surprised with the ease at which the main character speaks and moves his lips? It’s a contrast to Fantastic Mr.Fox, where I noticed the mouths moved awfully fast and not especially relaxed. I’m curious to know if that’s a common with puppet animation that aren’t altered with computer effects. Beyond that, the trailer has the markings of one to be anticipated from the choice in typography to mark it’s title and release date, to the mood and narration of a solitary man on a quest. But here’s the kicker: This animation might be in a different stage than the ones mentioned above in that it still needs funding to continue on it’s way. From speaking a bit to John Robson, there will be a kickstarter campaign (a site that helps to fund creative projects) in the months to come so if you’d like to donate, know more about said campaign’s launch or just promote the animation any which way you can, be sure to follow him and keep updated on his site.
Last but definitely not least comes Slow Derek. Seriously, I sat there with my mouth open on both viewings of this. It looks like a life that’s finally about to start. I think that’s how I can best sum it up. My assumption is it’s using the very common trope of an unhappy, dull man who lives a life of dreary routine and said life changes through a surge of courage after a particular event but most likely it changes for him. But really what can you know in :20 seconds? Though I’d say it uses those seconds well. I’m pressed to know WHAT HAPPENS and HOW. Through a series of quick shots, a train or car that expects a collision sound effects, and some action shots of Derek himself, there’s a lot to absorb and await. It doesn’t let you breathe and grasp what you’re seeing, it basically pulls us along until the end when the Earth spins and even then it’s going too fast.
I’m sure in the months to come there will no doubt be a wave of teasers making their way to the public and many in the current that haven’t been touched upon in this list so if you’ve got some you want to share, please do.