Short Animated Film Find: Burn Out

Burn Out

  • Director, writer, animator: Cécile Carre
  • Published: 2017 online and at multiple short film festivals

Synopsis: S​tella,​ ​a​ ​space​ ​mechanician,​ ​has​ ​broken​ ​down​ ​and​ ​ended​ ​on​ ​a​ ​desert​ ​planet.​ ​While​ ​she​ ​is​ ​in​ ​despair,​ ​a​ ​little​ ​girl appears​ ​out​ ​of​ ​nowhere.​ ​Following​ ​the​ ​child​ ​into​ ​a​ ​tunnel,​ ​in​ ​the​ ​depths​ ​of​ ​the​ ​planet,​ ​she​ ​discovers​ ​a​ ​big​ ​cave​ ​full​ ​of objects​ ​that​ ​belonged​ ​to​ ​her,​ ​reminding​ ​her​ ​the​ ​dreams​ ​she​ ​has​ ​left​ ​behind.

Personal Thoughts:

This full film is short, but says much on the current human condition, how many of us feel deep inside yearning for more. We feel trapped, bound to duty, ever-dreaming, never-quite reaching. There is a struggle that I feel in our protagonists dilemma. But, then a child’s voice brings us forward.

We figure it out, an imagination in the story and from the storyteller, clueing us on the real dilemma. Not the need to fix a spaceship but to fix the pilot and get back on real course. The one she dreamed of as a child, and eventually gave up on. The curiosity, imagination, and drive to return to that childlike wonder and push to something better, is what brings our pilot back to the stars. But not so much to work, but to something new and daring.

“I am afraid to give up my dreams when I grow up”.

That’s a great line, for those who indulge in their desire to explore, travel, see new sights should push that priority above simple mundane duties of getting by. I love the message here.

I also love the animation. Very fluid character movement with an awesome use of space, colors, shapes, taking us viewers away for about 4 minutes, and then beyond for what our memory captures. I love every second. The music also fits.

Director, animator Cécile Carre’s artistic style inspires and amazes. She has art prints you can buy at www.inprnt.com/gallery/carrececile. Check them out!

Short Film Find: Contact: An Animation About Connection in Space

Contact – An Animation About Connection in Space

  • Director, Designer, Animator: Katy Wang (www.katywang.co.uk)
  • Writer: Gabriel de Bruin (Gabriel Greenough) and Katy Wang
  • Sound and music producer: Ambrose Yu
  • Published: Kingston University/Kingston School of Art 2017
  • NOTE: Originally a graduation project by Katy Wang, now featured in on a few video streaming pages

Synopsis: Stranded on a distant planet, a lonely astronaut sends out a signal in search of human contact.

Personal Thoughts:

Beautiful presentation, especially with the visuals and sound design. Also, I think there is a deeper meaning about loneliness, feeling lost, trying to connect in space where we many of us might as well be on Mars. We use our computers and online connections to reach out, hopefully eventually a stranger from some other world, and then connect. Then, even in the vastness of space, we feel that connection of finding each other. And that’s the best kind of contact!

Comic Reading Review: World Reader #1

World Reader

World Reader #1

  • Writer: Jeff Loveness, Artist: Juan Doe
  • Letterer: Rachel Deering
  • Published by: Boom! Entertainment
  • Publish Date: April 19, 2017
  • Notes: The first issue in a monthly series.

Synopsis:

“Meet Sarah, an astronaut traveling from dead planet to dead planet, talking to the ghosts of dead worlds… as she fights to discover the secret that’s killing the universe. But Death doesn’t give up its secrets so easily, and as she’s hunted from planet to planet, Sarah struggles to maintain the trust of her crew and her own sanity in the endless ocean of lives. Every world has a story, and if she can find the secret tying them all together, she can save Earth from being the next world to die.”

Personal Thoughts (big spoilers):

I enjoy stories of discovery and space travel. So, after gazing the first few pages of this at the local comic store, I had to pick the new series up.

In doing so, the World Reader is something a bit more. There’s a bit of the paranormal, seeking new life and new civilizations, 2001 and other titillating aspects of space travel. I think in that, is the belief in the push of discovery and the extent of the unknown are both exciting, yet terrifying. The bigger the wider, the more that can look back at us. Sarah is interesting as an astronaut, finding out the past grandeur in old civilizations, then developing a bond. And, there is a connection tying her discoveries, which is not yet clear but drives interest further.

The art really works here, with the composition of each page, suitable for framing. The color changes, tones, and balance give some extra drama and depth. I like the lettering too,, as the font and style lend well to the book. With the strange visions and mystery to the mix, and the audience can be impressed upon for many issues to come.

The turn towards the end gives new danger and trippiness, and a fresh terror that feels complex and multi-dimensional. The sudden change in color and collapse of dimension gives off an easiness that gives the ending an uncomfortable cliffhanger. It’s hard to foresee what’s ahead in a book like this, which drives my initial curiosity more.

Overall, a great first issue for thrill seekers in science fiction wanting more than the overreaching macho melodrama of galactic warfare and politics. Check it out.

Short Science Fiction Film – C (299,792 km/s) by Derek Van Gorder and Otto Stockmeier

C (299,792 km/s) from Seaquark Films on Vimeo.

Temple

  • Studio: Seaquark Films
  • Director: Derek Van Gorder
  • Producer: Otto. Stockmeier
  • Musical Score: SelloRekT/LA Dreams
  • Time: 14:45 Release: Released on Vimeo 2013
  • Notes: For more info, visit c-themovie.com

Synopsis :

“C is the story of Lieutenant Commander Malleck, and her radical act of mutiny aboard the 
KESTROS IV. With the help of her co-conspirators, she attempts to harness this weapon of mass destruction for a grand new purpose. But when a contingent of ground crew led by Second Lieutenant Kai threatens her master plan, Malleck must use the ship against them in order to succeed.

To build the future, we looked to the past. No CGI or greenscreen was used in the making of the film; all our sets and props were built by hand and filmed in-camera. Combining new advances in digital camera technology with traditional special effects, we sought to create a unique look through lighting design, camera tricks, miniature photography, split-screen, and stop-animation. We believe that this approach allowed us greater creative possibilities on a low-budget science-fiction film”

Personal Thoughts:

C (299,792 km/s), is a modern example to what I feel science fiction should reach towards..

I think upon watching this, to expect the random unpredictable outliers in our future civilizations. We set our rules, only to have the eventual revolutionaries break them; otherwise, we face destruction either from boredom or the caveman natures of conflict on who has the bigger stick. We meet the hero or anti-hero (depends on POV) in Malleck as a maverick more than a mutineer. We know little of her background and purpose, other than odd hints to her plan. The result, is interesting for what or may not benefit our hopes for space travel.

The best answers in consideration and reflection is the old-school cool video snippets between. We have explanations on the past and future of the overall manifest destiny, and how the need for advancement has always intertwined with human conflict. Was it such relics of science truth in found footage the inspiration for Malleck? We don’t know. What is important, is the old message lives on and a new story is told.

For the 15 minutes present, there is enough memorable style and brilliance. The cinematography and designs mixed best of the early 80s, late 70s of hard science fiction putting space travel on its true visionary track, almost derailed from the Star Wars and Galacticas. But, we get some sweet action scenes and interpersonal drama to keep the pace going.

A short note on the action I found interesting, is the ineptness of Kai and his soldiers. From the start, we can mistake them as the protagonists. And, perhaps they were; but they fail terribly. It seemed the intelligence and cleverness of Malleck were enough to keep control of the story towards her own end. Such is a constant in storytelling, as the better vision is often guided by the more intelligent.

Also, a huge shout-out to the music produced with the awesome early synth track pumping, with feels on rewind back to early days of electro-pop. Such music, combined with the practical effects, lighting styles, and feelings of Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, I feel a nostalgic vision of the future kept alive. We need this, as new distractions may lead us astray in looking down, into those little black mirrors.

Still, the overall triumph of good science fiction whispers to those who dream, and eventually push us a little more towards making a new realty.

– Orion T