Animation Inspiration 105

One of those thinking days today. Got lots to do Monday so here’s some inspiration to get motivate everyone!

Traveling Lights | By we think things

A beautiful piece using negative space and shape layers to create simple moments. Love the designs and reminds me to be mindful of the compositions I create.

Empty Storage 01 | By Peter Steineck

Loving the throwback of pixelization and design style of games. The character is silly and the old style to it is a great fit.

 

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Creative Residency Inspiration

So this morning was super exciting! I tweeted my blog post from yesterday at Syd Weiler who is the artist that inspired those sketches. It’s really great to see that she liked it. Always fun when the person inspiring you sees your fan art! It’s so much fun imitating a style and learning a little bit more about someone else’s creative process.

As promised I wanted to do a little bit more in depth response to the Adobe Creative Residency. I’m a fan of watching Sara Dietschy’s Youtube videos (thank you Casey Neistat) so when she announced her residency I got super intrigued. I’ve been obsessing a bit about the projects that all the residents are creating. It’s only in the second year but there’s absolutely amazing work to look at so far. Adobe explains it in more detail on their website but basically the resident gets to work on a passion project for a whole year in exchange for sharing their processes, creative tips, and going to speaking events

The current four residents are Sara Dietschy, Syd Weiler, Craig Winslow, and Christine Herrin. The two from the first year are Kelli Anderson and Becky Simpson. All of them are super talented and creative. I’m absolutely in love with all their current work and extremely excited to see what they produce. I’ve linked to a video below explaining a bit more about them which you can watch. I don’t want to explain everything here since most of the content I explain is already on the Adobe Creative Residency website. No need to be redundant. If you want to check out all their projects I recommend starting there since it’s a hub of information and holds all the links to their social media.

I hope you guys get as inspired as I do watching and looking through everyone’s work. I know I’ve just been inspired to step up my game. I feel like I need to do more arting on this blog. Not that I don’t do a lot, but I think I do need to post more finished pieces. So looking forward to making more content everyday!

Talk to you guys tomorrow! Go learn and create!
~Kendall

Animation Inspiration 5

Today’s shorts are a bit older, but ones that stuck in my mind. I watched these in college and absolutely loved their stories. The plots are well done and character development amusing. I enjoy the plot twists that happen at the end for both of these.

The Saga of Biorn

This one is a hilarious short about a Viking seeking a death in battle so that he will reach Vahalla, the only real home for a true viking. The trials for Biorn are amusing and watching his expressions of anger at not dying makes the piece that much stronger. I hope you enjoy the humor of this piece.

Unicorns vs Narwhals

What more could you want in an animatic? It’s got unicorns, narwhals, magic, and clouds. Oh and we can’t forget humor. Silly plots are the best. So, I’m not entirely sure if this is the original audio or not. The original version got its audio removed because of a copyright issue, but this one says that they rebuilt it from scratch. It still has all the major plot points and humor in it so this will have to do. I hope you enjoy it!

The Crooked Way – Film Review

crookedway

Day 35 of 365.

Trying something new here tonight. I watched The Crooked Way with my dad tonight. I thought I’d give it a review and analyze the story as well as the visuals.

The Crooked Way is a classic film noir about Eddie Rice, a war hero with amnesia. He is discharged from the hospital and decides to return home to rediscover who he is. thecrookedway1949-5He discovers that in his past he was a criminal, and now must face the cops and other mobsters he use to run with.

I really loved this script. It’s a very cut and dry mystery. The plot is set up right away, doesn’t have a lot of exposition. You know what motivates the character right away, which is rediscover who he is. He’s thrown into a messy situation of trying to figure out who the different people around him are. He doesn’t know who to trust, and he doesn’t know what he did. This sets up a ton of tension immediately, and moves the film forward. There’s no single scene that doesn’t do one of two things: one, reveal a clue as to who he is, what he’s done, and who these people are around him; two, move the plot along. The script is very deliberate. It’s good script writing, and I’m sure part of it is because you don’t want to be wasting the film budget. Reshooting a scene or cutting it back in 1949 was really tedious. It’s tedious now, and we have a digital format which makes filming and editing so much easier. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to create a film back then.

One thing I notice about older films is they’re always very deliberate with the lines and scenes. The actions and script are important in moving the plot along. They don’t waste time on moments that don’t do anything to move the plot. They reveal just enough to hook viewers in and explain important details.

The dialogue of the script is great too. There’s not a ton of lines I remember off the top of my head, but there were some fabulous moments of tension and threats. In once instance the mobster, Vince Alexander, threatens someone. He says, “When you get to where you’re going, have ’em give you a nice, even burn. Don’t let them just fry you on one side.” That line is just pure genius in my opinion. That threat is so well done and just gives him such character. It’s done eloquently but smugly, and has such snark in it. There’s also a scene later on where the cop purposely spills water on Vince. He says sorry in this tone where you know he did it on purpose, but Vince isn’t going say a word because he knows he’s not the one in power.

The delivery of the dialogue, from the actors, does a great way of transferring power from character to character, without the use of our usual cinematography tricks. By that I mean the placement of the camera. There’s certainly some limited angles in this film so rather than showing power by angling the camera up or down on an actor the shot is still. For example in the scene where the cop spills water on Vince you’re set up at a profile angle, and far away from the action. So the power grab is done from the buildup of tension as well as dialogue. If that was done today there would be a close up of the water spilling and the expressions as well as drawn out tension. It’s a great old way to show the tension with the limitations they had.

The cinematography of this film is really well done. There’s all sorts of creative lighting techniques and the black on white or white on black shots are done beautifully. Windows are bright and shiny objects are extremely reflective. image3The composition of each shot is pretty well done. They weren’t the most amazing in that regard though, but most of them were simplistic. I can’t say that every single frame is like a photograph, but that’s due to the composition. I will say that the lighting is gorgeous. The lighting really (pardon the pun) shines through and is a strong aspect through the entirety of the film.

Over all, it’s not my favorite old film, but there were great nuggets that really gave it great composure. I loved the script and the story is well done. I think the threats and powerplay from the mobsters to the cop to Eddie Rice were all strong. There’s a few things here and there that I would have loved to seen pushed like the death scenes were…under reacted I would say. Part of it comes with the time period, but I still think they were just glazed over. Some side characters weren’t given as much love, example, Petey. I would have liked if his scenes had a bit more attention to his character. Not a lot, because there is a certain amount of balance to making side characters matter, but also not over dramatizing them. They’re important, but if they aren’t serving a purpose then don’t over do their scenes.

Overall I give The Crooked Way a 6.5 to 7 out of 10. I enjoyed it and recommend it to anyone that wants to see a great classic film noir. It’s very action packed and full of mystery. I’m always a fan of learning a bit of film history, and this is certainly in that bracket. It’s got loveable characters and some snappy threats that make it fun.

Anyone else seen it? If so tweet at me! Or send me a recommendation of another classic!

~Kendall