Fantastic opening(ish) scene from ‘THE GREAT BEAUTY’, perfectly capturing the decadence, absurdity, excitement, glamour, shallowness & pointlessness of the party scene in Rome.
a compendium of thoughts, doodles, sketches, sculpts & general animation goodness.
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See all the videos associated with this project at vimeo.com/channels/plasticinerhythm
Using the iPhone app ‘Vine’, I created a series of stop motion loops over a period of about 6 months. It was a good way to experiment quickly with plasticine in motion and they were fun to make (a compilation of these Vines can be seen at vimeo.com/94679344). As this series of animations developed they became more focused on animations that produce sounds, this gave me a bigger idea…
I have always been interested in the way visuals can effect sound and how visual loops can be brought together to create a piece of music. This is how I produced Plasticine Rhythm; allowing each stop motion loop, made using Vine, to dictate a sound and combining these sound loops on screen to build a compatible interplay of rhythm and melody. Once this was established I then played with all the elements, including the background colour and the mini TVs containing the loops, so every element was intrinsically linked with the music.
For the best stereo effect I recommend wearing headphones to watch it.
You can see ‘Behind the Plasticine Rhythm’ at vimeo.com/94688752 where I go through how to make your own animated stop motion loop.
I put on a Plasticine Rhythm Workshop at ‘Pick Me Up’ in Somerset House, London (pickmeuplondon.com). At it attendees learned the principles of replacement stop motion and made a companion piece to Plasticine Rhythm. That animation can be seen at vimeo.com/andymartin/pickuptherhythm and behind the scenes footage from the day can be seen at vimeo.com/94840111
Listen to and download ‘The Plasticine Rhythm EP’ featuring all the songs associated with this project for free at soundcloud.com/handymartian/sets/theplasticinerhythmep
Four years after his passing, we still haven’t quite caught up to Satoshi Kon, one of the great visionaries of modern film. In just four features and one TV series, he developed a unique style of editing that distorted and warped space and time. Join me in honoring the greatest Japanese animator not named Miyazaki.
For educational purposes only. You can follow me at twitter.com/tonyszhou
For further reading/viewing, I highly recommend:
Andrew Osmond’s book “Satoshi Kon: The Illusionist” (my major source) amzn.com/1933330740
Kristin Thompson’s essay on match cuts & graphic matches bit.ly/1x960Em
And this tumblr with an excellent name fuckyeahsatoshikon.tumblr.com/
Marilyn maketh, Marilyn taketh awayth.
Directed by MIKEY PLEASE
A year in the making, the full six minute stopmotion short features the voice of Josie Long, one zillion hand carved tiny things, literally tens of carved foam puppets, two eye fulls of in-camera, long-exposure light trickery and a pair of tiny dolphins, smooching.
Produced by - BLINK INDUSTRIES / HORNET FILMS
Filmed at - CLAPHAM ROAD STUDIOS
Executive Producers - PETER MEDLOCK / MICHAEL FEDER / BART YATES / MIKEY PLEASE
Produced by - JAN STEBBINS/ JAMES STEVENSON BRETTON / MIKEY PLEASE
Animated & Photographed by - MIKEY PLEASE / DAN OJARI
With animation from - TIM ALLEN / STEVEN WARNE
Music Composed by - BEN PLEASE / JOOLS SCOTT / BETHANY PORTER
Sound Design - ADAM JANOTA BZOWSKI
Voices - JOSIE LONG / JAMES STEVENSON BRETTON / THEODORA VAN DER BEEK / JOSEPHINE GALLAGHER
JEN NEWMAN / NADIA OH / KATY BEVERAGE / DAN OJARI
MIKEY PLEASE / CARMEN MASON / ANNA GINSBERG / LAURA BATEMAN / KIM SWALLOW
MIKEY PLEASE / LIZZY DALTON / JEN NEWMAN
NADIA OH / MIKEY PLEASE / JEN NEWMAN / DAN OJARI
ANDREW DOUGLAS FORBES / CATHERINE HURLEY
EMMA HOOPER / BENEDICT PLEASE
BETHANY PORTER / JOOLS SCOTT
IAN VORLEY / JAMES WATTS
AMADOU DIAGNE / MARIA DANISHVAR BROWN
BEN PLEASE / JACK SEDGWICK
SIMON HARRIS @ OFFSET AUDIO
YUSSEF COLE / ELISA CIOCCA / JON GALLAGHER
MARTY GEREN / RACHEl KWAK / MICHAEL LUZZI
JOEY McCORMICK / MIKEY PLEASE / LEANDRO SANTINI / TED WIGGIN
Developed at the JAPIC RESIDENCY with the JAPANESE MINISTRY FOR CULTRAL AFFAIRS
CAROLINE WATERLOW / DAN CHESTER / DAVE PROSSER / KEV HARWOOD /
GREG HALAMA / SANG JIN BAE / JACK ROBINSON / DITOGEAR
Thanks for watching! Here are a few more details on the making of this video essay: davechen.net/2014/02/the-making-of-that-close-ups-video-essay.html
A few other videos I’ve made:
Inside the Largest Video Store in the World
Explaining Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain:
One Year in The Life of David Chen
If you love visual comedy, you gotta love Edgar Wright, one of the few filmmakers who is consistently finding humor through framing, camera movement, editing, goofy sound effects and music. This is an analysis and an appreciation of a director so awesome that Marvel had to fire him on a holiday.
For educational purposes only. And as always, feel free to comment, like, or tell me it’s not a 747.
For further reading/viewing, I highly recommend:
David Bordwell’s essay on funny framings: davidbordwell.net/blog/2007/04/30/funny-framings/
David Chen’s video essay on Wright’s use of close-ups: vimeo.com/85311313
And Ryan Gosling Won’t Eat His Cereal: youtube.com/watch?v=ohJtvuCAsp4
Animated video for Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken explaining the term “Immobilien” (property).
Direction and animation: Rogier Wieland
Agency: Heimat Berlin
Production Company: Plexus Productions
VO Artist: Sebastian Lohse
PRODUCTION IMAGES: rogierwieland.nl/work/immobilien/
to purchase ‘Unity’:
Film written and directed by Tobias Stretch
Music By Christopher Bono
Performed by the New York Virtuoso Singers
Conducted by Harold Rosenbaum
©Our Silent Canvas 2014
Text from Plato’s ‘Republic’:
“What is absolute unity?
This is the way, In which the study of One
has the power of drawing and converting the Mind
to the contemplation of True Being.”
Video artist Tobias Stretch (Radiohead, Deftones) has created a new 5-minute animated puppetry, stop- action film inspired by composer Christopher Bono’s choral work, Unity. This extraordinary video was constructed from over ten thousand pictures and created largely outdoors over the long 2013-2014 winter. A recording of Unity paired with Bono’s The Unexcelled Mantra, performed by the New York Virtuoso Singers led by Harold Rosenbaum, was released as a digital download and on 7” vinyl in October 2013, on Our Silent Canvas distributed digitally by Naxos.
Christopher Bono describes Unity and The Unexcelled Mantra as contemplating the search for a modern form of spirituality. He says, “Both works explore a path to transcendence or ‘true being’ through union with the cosmos – The Unexcelled Mantra from a Mahayana Buddhist point of view and Unity from the Western philosophical tradition of Plato.”
Unity is based on some of the musical and philosophical concepts of Plato’s Republic. The chosen text was taken from a section of the Republic in which Plato discusses the power of mathematics, but Bono immediately saw it could also be viewed as a metaphor for the phenomenon of meditation: “What is absolute unity? / This is the way, / In which the study of One / has the power / of drawing and converting the Mind / to the contemplation / of True Being.”
Bono says, “This multi-dimensional observation was a key inspiration for me when writing the work, both considering the mathematical qualities of music and the esoteric concepts of achieving union with the All.” In addition, Bono experimented with the power Plato claimed existed in the Dorian and Phrygian modes. According to Plato, the Dorian would “fittingly imitate the utterances and accents of a brave man who is engaged in warfare,” while the Phrygian was suitable “for a man engaged in works of peace.”
Of his video for Unity, Tobias Stretch says, “Unity is about the pursuit of oneness and absolute being. The biggest challenge was how to illustrate those intense abstract ideas through animation. A dream-like world unfolds where surreal beings drift towards a point of convergence, a street character is aided by otherworldly characters (perhaps real or not) towards a point of absolute oneness. Unity is about the transcendence of being to another level.”
Visual artist DZO Olivier created the original illustrations for the cover art for Unity and The Unexcelled Mantra audio recordings, intimately influenced by Bono’s music and the concepts it explores.