Thursday, May 21, 2009

Beyond the Narrative

I like to find the most innovative filmmakers taking risks and finding their own cutting edge and the most recent podcast on Film Festival reViews EPISODE 65 Top Notch Filmmaking includes a couple more conversations from BE FILM: The Undergound Film Festival. Just an amazing group of films and filmmakers that kept my attention even weeks after the festival ended. Tim and Mike Rauch are animators behind GERMANS IN THE WOODS. Their illustrative style matches the animation with a rhythm and pace of an orchestrated composition, getting the nuances of physical gestures perfectly in sync with the grain in the voice. Other animation artists challenged them on how they were going to create complex camera movements and getting in on the subject from all angles. Amazing deft work of very talented directing, illustrators as directors of photography - I was hooked on every scene. Check out their website at Rauch Bros. Animation Their most recent film Q&A, another remarkable, three minute brain whoo that won Best in Show at ASIFA East will be at the ANNECY in France, June 8 through 13. I find their Rauch Brothers blog quite interesting, too.

Fearless filmmakers Mark du Pace, Matt Okterberg and Elliott Jokelson of Ghost Robot describe their technique used to create a spec ad for the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival (June 11 through 14, 2009, Manchester, TN) as a stratelstencil animation procedure which involves removing the negative space of an illustration enabling you to see the animation move in time and space. Their energy level rises not only from talking about the collaboration efforts and logistics involved but from the artistic and artisan aspect in making the 3D film look really beautiful and natural without resorting to cheap CGI tricks. The process took about three months to complete with thirteen people spending weeks cutting out each one of the 1,336 frames by hand then mounted on and shot with a special-constructed 3D camera rig.

Their collaborations take them where few traditional filmmakers attempt to go and that's just about every visual media market from award-winning theatrical feature films most recently AGAINST THE CURRENT that premiered at Sundance this year and directed by Peter Callahan who along with editor, Michael Taylor, I met at Sundance in 2008. The film just won the Special Jury Award at the AFI Dallas International Film Festival. Past films include CHOKING MAN, THE HAWK IS DYING and one of my favorites, THE STATION AGENT and their most recent feature documentary, CROPSEY premiered at Tribeca Film Festival. Their work includes 3D music videos and commercials, video games, interactive shorts, magazine covers and websites and can be seen in movie theaters, art galleries and museums, local and international film festivals like Sundance, Tribeca and BE FILM The Underground Film Festival where collaborator Encyclopedia Pictura's Bjork film WANDERLUST won the 3D category. 

Ghost Robot was founded in 2005 with award-winning work across all platforms as well as all virtual spaces on the Internet. On their website they invite visitors to call, email or swing by their studio at 25 Howard Street, Third Floor to learn more. Maybe I'll do that. 

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