Thursday, January 31, 2013

Paperman - Full Animated Short Film

Disney's "Paperman" is SUCH an exiting new release in the world of animation. The work is  product of a newly developed animation software that allows the fusion of hand drawn and computer generated imagery to create a truly unique look. This look, in collaboration with the charming storyline is what rightfully earned "Paperman" an Academy Award nomination this year. 
PLEASE check it out!


"Introducing a groundbreaking technique that seamlessly merges computer-generated and hand-drawn animation techniques, first-time director John Kahrs takes the art of animation in a bold new direction with the Oscar®-nominated short, "Paperman." Using a minimalist black-and-white style, the short follows the story of a lonely young man in mid-century New York City, whose destiny takes an unexpected turn after a chance meeting with a beautiful woman on his morning commute. Convinced the girl of his dreams is gone forever, he gets a second chance when he spots her in a skyscraper window across the avenue from his office. With only his heart, imagination and a stack of papers to get her attention, his efforts are no match for what the fates have in store for him. Created by a small, innovative team working at Walt Disney Animation Studios, "Paperman" pushes the animation medium in an exciting new direction."

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

fascinating people

"A strange bond often exists among antisocial types in their power to see environments as they really are."
~Marshall Mcluhan

Maybe it is the unspoken bond or insightful nature that Marshall McLuhan mentions that draws me to certain people - people I don't know, people I spot in crowds who effortlessly stand out in one way or another. I have this strange affinity for people with a certain je ne sais pas, and the result has been a few year's worth of photos of interesting people in interesting places. I put all of them up in Flickr Photo Set, titled "Fascinating people who don't know I'm taking pictures of them." 

This collection was a nice base for me to further refine my study. I ended up narrowing the set to (in my humble opinion), the top 32 most interesting of the bunch. These are presented in a 
 Snapfish Photo Book, with the cropped, to-the-point title "fascinating people." (Yes, the lower case was intentional). In designing the layout of the book, I paid careful attention to the compositional elements of each photo. My goal was to find pairs of photos that had similar aspects, and juxtapose them so that the "strange bond of antisocial types" can be shown to visually transcend time a place.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Lynda Barry

Lynda, on the right, chatting with students during her writing workshop

Lynda Barry is a creative force to be reckoned with. Having her here at Lawrence University last Thursday, January 24th was an absolute treat. Her talk, "Crossing the Fox River: From Thought to Action," gave students and staff here an introduction to her quirky, wonderful presence, as well as her ideas about brain hemispheric differences, childhood memories, and the power of images.

I was lucky enough to be part of a small group of students who shared lunch with Lynda after her lecture. She was bright, inquisitive, and seemed genuinely interested in what each and every one of us had a passion for. (Most of us were art students, but one was a government major. Lynda spent just as much time asking about this student's interests as the rest of us. She seemed to overlook art, and jump right to human passion, in whatever field that may be)

My favorite part of the day was attending here writing workshop in the afternoon. She led one fast-paced writing exercise after the next, denying students the time to doubt their work. She advocated the importance of keeping motion in writing or not: if not writing, you draw spirals. If writing and you reach a block, write the alphabet instead.

Her work is truly extraordinary. Please take a moment to explore her blog:
Cover detail from Barry's "What It Is"

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

time, space, and The Medium

"Ours is a brand-new world of allatonceness.  'Time' has ceased, 'space' has vanished. We now live in global village ... a simultaneous happening. We have begun again to structure the primordial feeling, the tribal emotions from which a few centuries of literacy divorced us."
~Marshall McLuhan, The Medium is the Massage

The title of this film, "The Medium," is both a reference to Mcluhan's classic, as well as a fitting name to the nature of the subject matter; the means in which we communicate. In this video, I sought to exploit today's rapid-fire digital communication, as a response to the specific McLuhan quote, "At the high speeds of electric communication, purely visual means of apprehending the world are no longer possible; they are just too slow to be relevant or effective."

I created to soundtrack in Garageband, using a mixture of natural and synthetic sounds and loops. The final shot of this film focuses on a quote that is printed on the back of Massage, book, which reads, "all media works us over completely." McLuhan's computer-aged philosophy, conveyed through ever-changing media, poses an opportunity for us to understand where we came from, and where we are heading.