Saturday, January 28, 2012

An inspiring little film,....

Waaaaay back, ... a few years ago in fact,... I was watching "James and the Giant Peach" with my daughters.  I had recently animated a mockumentary about someone retiring from were I worked with Flash and AfterEffects, and was pondering the next piece to work on.

We're watching the movie and the dream sequence came on. It's like a mini-movie within the movie with it's own set of rules and it's own sense of distorted reality independent of the rest of the film. (If you haven't seen it, definitely hit the link below and check it out. Animator Tim Myers did a brilliant bit of work with this sequence. I'm still a huge fan of it.)

Jame's Dream Sequence

As the evil aunts popped up from their car and began to antagonize the caterpillar/dream version of James, I started thinking that I really wanted to see an entire film done in this style.  The collage construction of the figures greatly appealed to me, since one of my main styles as an illustrator was a similar technique. 

I wished to see this dream-world developed it into a full length film of it's own.   

After the movie was over, I sat and watched the sequence a few more times, playing it in slo-mo, frame by frame.

Then I remembered a quote I'd heard years earlier that someone had offered about their motivation as an artist. It went something like "...we should create art that we want to go and see ourselves."   Well,... yeah!  Why hope for someone to make what I want to see? I should be doing it myself.

So I dug through short stories I had laying around from when I was working in underground comics, hoping to find one I could adapt into a short animation.  But a few weeks later Kait came home from school with her monster story and the unlit lightbulb above my head popped on!

The look I developed for "monster,me" is based on my illustration style and quite different from the dream-sequence that helped inspire it, but that sequence is one of the major reasons for what I've been working on the last few years.

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