Monthly Archives: April 2012

Hello Characters!

Introducing some characters who will appear in our new film.
Some didn’t make it into the cut and some ended up getting more screen time. But the casting is over.

Max has been learning Cinema4D, Mudbox & 3D Coat. I’m really impressed how fluent he is with all the programs.
Max has been modeling the characters in CG using the clay puppets as reference. All of the facial features on the characters will be drawn animation so we can get a wide range of expressions.

Some people think that when you take a photo of the clay puppet and press a magical button, the character will immediately transforms into a 3D version. Although the technology is really advanced, it’s not that magical and easy. It takes months and months of training to get to the level of making a cute and organic character in CG.

Here’s the comparison of the clay and digital.
The first character is being rigged….can’t wait to animate them and bring them to life. *smile*

Our great animator friend, Kirsten Lepore, is finishing up with her new film and one of our characters will be making a screen debut.
So she turned our clay puppet into an animatable puppet. How cool is this? Very excited…!

RiverRun Int Film Festival, Best Animated Short!

It’s been 2 years since the film was released and it’s really nice to still receive recognition.
Thank you RiverRun. It’s been a fun and happy festival ride.

I’ve heard that the ideal situation to release an independent film every 1-2 years so your name and work are constantly circulating.
Well… I am envious of those filmmakers who can do that.
We are slow, like snails.
But we’re in middle of a production so a new film is coming, not this year, but next year.

Working with Dutch Professionals

We’ve always wanted to work with a composer / sound designer during the animatic stage. End of last year, we spoke with Bram Meindersma, a very talented composer / sound designer who lives in Amsterdam.
He came down to Tilburg ( 1.5 hours south of Amsterdam) to sketch out the music for our new film. What an interesting experiment. With Bram’s suggestions, we worked on the edit together. I felt like it was a really cool collaboration. Music can drive some scenes of the film and Bram’s suggestions really helped to shape up the film.

At the Netherlands Institute for Animated Film, we get a guidance once or twice a month. We’ve had writers, animation critic, animation directors, etc. ( I had completely forgotten to document all this but I decided to start now…)
Last week, we had Guido van Gennep who is the BEST Director of Photography in the Netherlands.

After we showed our animatic and discussed some scenes that can use interesting camera moves, we went right into working! Guido showed us some cool lighting effect using our set. It was an eye opening moment when Guido put some masking tapes on a mirror and created simple geometric shapes. When the light hit the mirror, it created a very German Expressionistic shadow!
Now we got some ideas how to light and shoot.

With the help and support from many people, we are slowly moving onto the production phase of our film….When I feel like “time is running out”, that is a very good feeling.