Something to Watch: “Gabriel in the Dreamscape”

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“Gabriel is a cartoon character living in the real world”, reads the video description of Eric Lerner’s latest project, Gabriel in the Dreamscape. The short film gives a a brief glimpse at a fusion of CG animation and live-action, with well choreographed skateboarding animation and a gritty documentary film style. At the very least, here is a cool little video to start off your day, so take a look!

The rest of the description gives one the impression that this is intended as a sort of proof-of-concept video and that, with enough support, Lerner will be more likely to secure funding for more Gabriel videos. With that in mind, even though I don’t get much of a story out of this, I’d love to see what this can develop into. So if you want to see more of this, make sure to share and make your voice heard.

To find more of Eric Lerner’s work, you can check out his Vimeo page, or visit his official site.

Jingle Things: Christmas Video Collection

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Have you seen Me and My Moulton, yet? It’s a charming, animated, autobiographical short film from Oscar-winning director Torill Kove, about living as a daughter of two modernist architects. If you haven’t seen it, you should go look it up. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.

…You back? Okay, Here we go. So, for my final holiday-related entry this year, I recommend you check out this spin-off short, Redesigning Christmas, starring the characters from Moulton.

Again, it’s charming. The notebook-style art fits the fun take on a family holiday, and I actually want to try some of the unconventional ideas. Not enough for you? Alright, how’s this.

I found another animation on Vimeo from motion designer and video editor , who whipped up this animated greeting for his clients. It’s funny and it has a nice look to it. Take a look!

Need one more? Okay, here’s an oldie but a goody. Previously featured on Adult Swim’s Off the Air, animator and sound designer Randy Knott provides a brief glimpse at a winter night in the woods

It may not be directly Christmas-related, but I love taking a look at this one during this time of the year. To me, it’s the perfect soundtrack to coming in during a freezing winter night and cuddling with a significant other as you watch the snow fall. Here’s The Ghostly Voices Once Said!.

So there you go. Three videos to get you in the Christmas spirit. Have a very merry Holiday Season, and have a happy New Year!

Something to Watch/Listen To: “Latin Boys”

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I, uh… I don’t know what to make of this.

This new music video comes straight out of Panda Bear’s upcoming album Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper. The video for “Boys Latin” is definitely an awesome one, combining CGI animation with a mild cel-shading technique and a watercolor-like color pallet. It’s also pretty weird, in a good way. Take a look!

Once I sit through the whole thing, it looks to me like a neat visual interpretation of finding a soul-mate and starting a family. I’ve also seen others interpret the infecting plant life as a traumatic event that one must emotionally deal with. Either way, making sense of this one requires a fair amount of interpretive thinking, and that’s pretty cool.

The music is also a joy to listen to. A hypnotic beat plays background to some wonderful synths and haunting vocals. I haven’t yet listened to much of Panda Bear or his group, Animal Collective, but this has definitely made me interested.

You can pre-order Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper on itunes here. 

Something to Watch: “Fear of Flying”

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As I said in my last post, I have been combing through the interwebs for short films based on the holiday season and winter in general. In my quest, I’ve found this fun, award-winning short film about what happens when the birds fly south for winter. It’s two years old and didn’t have enough to do with the holidays to make my “Jingle Things” series. But if you haven’t seen it already, you should definitely watch Fear of Flying.

I love this one! I love the simple-but-clever premise. I love the combination of puppetry and animation. I love the character designs and the coloring. It’s a very pretty looking piece.

If you’re looking for a little more, there’s also this brief behind-the-scenes clip below. You can also check out animator Conor Finnegan’s other work on Vimeo, here. He’s a talented guy and his work is very much worth checking out.

You can find Conor Finnegan on Tumblr, here.

Something to Watch: “HitRECord on TV: Season 1”

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Before we start, a disclaimer: I’m very biased about this one. See, I actually appear, for a quarter-of-a-second, in three episodes of this TV show. Because of this, I initially didn’t think it would be a good idea to write about this one. But I legitimately believe that, if you’ve been interested in anything I’ve talked about on this blog, you’re very likely to enjoy this show. Just be aware that this is a project that I’m, in a small part, a part of.

Anyhow, have you ever heard of HitRecord? Well, it’s a production company, founded by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, that’s a little bit different than other companies. HitRecord works with an online community of artists who work together on projects of all kinds Whenever a project becomes commercially viable, the company looks to find ways to distribute it, sharing the profits with the artists that worked on it. They’ve published everything from books, to albums, to short films.

Earlier this year, they made a TV show.

Consisting of eight episodes for it’s first season and airing on cable network PivotHitRecord on TV premiered last January and has recently been made available as a box set. It’s a variety show, hosted by Gordon-Levitt, that showcases short films, animations, music videos and documentaries made by the community. Each episode also has a theme, including examples such as space, money and patterns among others.

I would talk more about my opinions on the show but, again, I don’t exactly have a lot of credibility on this subject. Suffice to say, I’ve really enjoyed the show, whether I was in the episode or not, and I’d recommend it wholeheartedly. However, HitRecord has put the first episode of the show “Re: The Number One” up on their YouTube page, so you can take a look for yourself and see what you think.

If you liked it as much as I did, there are several ways to watch the rest of the season. Pivot still airs the show on several occasions and you can also download every episode on iTunes and Amazon. Most recently, the show has become available as a box set, which includes collectible books about the show and downloads for the season’s episodes. You can find that here.

Oh, and if you want to see what I do on the HitRecord site, you can visit my profile, JustCallMeRyan.

Jingle Things: “Holiday” Music Video

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The holiday season is here! Every Wednesday leading up to Christmas, I’ll be highlighting an interesting something-or-other for you to enjoy as you deck the halls. This week, I want to show you a music video that was released a couple of years ago, but that I just recently discovered.

Set to the song “Holiday” by Body Language, the stop-motion music video tells the tale of two stuffed animals falling in love and attempting to escape a toy factory. It’s got everything! Action, romance, dancing and, uh… suggestive scenes… Ahem.

Anyhow, it’s a joy to watch and works great with the song it’s promoting. Speaking of the song, if you’re having trouble making out the lyrics, don’t worry. You’re not alone. But it’s still extremely catchy and combines that techno-pop sound I love so much with the sounds of the holiday season. Have a look-see!

Here’s a fun fact: that video was animated by Starburns Industries, who have done work for [adult swim] shows such as Moral OrelMark Shelly’s Frankenhole and Rick and Morty. Imagine that! Of course, that video led me to discover a whole compilation album. But that’s a story for another post.

If you like the song “Holiday” by Body Language, you can find it on iTunes here.

Something to Watch: Thanksgiving Video Collection

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It’s that time of the year. Turkey Day is tomorrow! Time to gather around with family and give thanks for the things we love most in life… Or we can just goof around in front of a computer and watch videos about turkeys and other food-related stuff. Shall we?

A Thanksgiving Pardon

Let’s begin with a five-second film from 5-Second Films.

Happy Thanksgiving, Turkey.

An amusing short film from the folks at Taste TestHappy Thanksgiving Turkey enters on an innocent turkey just going about his everyday suburban life, having forgotten that today is Thanksgiving. What follows is nothing short of goofy, in a good way. The crew behind this clearly had a lot of fun making this video, and that makes me enjoy it even more.

What’s that? You wanted something a little longer? All right…

Harvest

Continuing on our pilgrim-versus-turkey theme, Jonathan Soto provides a funny CG short involving a turkey running for his life. It may not be the most polished CGI I’ve ever seen, but it’s very well animated and a lot of fun to watch.

Gobbled

Another animation following turkeys trying to escape certain doom, this time from the animator Naz Ghodrati-Azadi. I’m very impressed with the art-direction, animation and voice-acting of this one.

What? You wanted something a little longer? All right…

TURKEY

And now for something completely different! Originally made for an animation showcase held by Oof Collective, Harvey Benschoter takes a ton of stock images and… does very strange things with them. It’s really weird, but I like really weird, so here we go!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I’ll be taking a break on Friday, but don’t worry. I’ll be back on Monday with something new. Take care!