Saturday, June 9, 2012

Inbetween XIII

Thanks for the comments on my last post. I'm glad no one seems to be disappointed with it. I'm currently working on a few posts about Clint Eastwood's directing style. In the mean time, let's have a look at Wes Anderson's love for animation, Michael Powell's love for colorful art direction and my first attempts with digital clean-up.

Imaginary Children's Books

As an addendum to my comments on Moonrise Kingdom I'd like to direct your attention to the animated imaginary children's books short that was created as a sort of tie-in for the wider release of Moonrise Kingdom (thus, it contains no spoilers).

Anderson commissioned six artists to create the books’ evocative jacket covers, but initially the director wanted to take the artistry even further. “At one point in the process, when she’s reading these passages from these books, I’d thought about going into animation,” he says.
Anyone who’s seen the film knows Anderson ultimately chose to simply hold on the faces of his cast as they listen to Suzy read, but with his experience making the stop-motion animated Fantastic Mr. Fox still fresh in his mind, Anderson never quite let go of the idea.

So in April, the idiosyncratic filmmaker decided to animate all six books anyway, as a supplementary treat to the film itself. “I wrote passages for the other books that didn’t have any text [read aloud in the film], and we animated that too,” he says. “So we now have this piece where our narrator, Bob Balaban’s character, takes us through these little sections of each of these books.” (Entertainment Weekly)

Maybe this has gone below the radar or the animation community is already tired of this kind of movie byproduct, but since I haven't read about it on either Cartoon Brew, Drawn, On Animation or Michael Sporn's Splog, here is the Link to the exclusive Entertainment Weekly article with the embedded video.

Horror in Eastmancolor

And now for something that couldn't be more different in content but is the work of a director equally interested in color and camera angles.

While researching horror films made around 1960 for a lecture on Psycho I revisited Michael Powell's brilliant but ultimately career destroying Peeping Tom. The use of colored light (especially red) in this film would certainly make for an interesting subject.

What caught my eye, however, was a painting that mirrored the set design of the room it was hanging in. It is visible in at least three shots and stays in the frame even during camera moves.
(it's all a little dark and murky... click on it to see larger)
On an abstract level the red bars on the painting frame the white space similarly to the red curtains around the windows. All the colors are meticulously matched (just look at the orange cushion underneath the painting).

Whenever the female protagonist Helen is seen in front of the window, even the composition (blue object in the middle) is mirrored. Helen's red hair, by the way, is another leitmotif in this horror film that can't deny its director's heritage (just think "The Red Shoes").

Digital Clean-Up Test
Preferring to work on paper whenever possible I have finally given in to the temptations of a Wacom Cintiq. My first successful clean-up test in Photoshop shows a rather silly troll I did for a friend's summer camp media team.

1 comment:

Sebo said...


I discovered your blog yesterday and love it already.

Why a director would spent time to mirror the set in a painting on the wall ? Few people would be notice it (like you)... Is it to give us a sensation of oppression ?