Macropolis Goes Into Production @ Flickerpix
Flickerpix, who have just joined the Jumper roster of directors, begin production on their new short film MACROPOLIS next week. The animated short film is part of the Cultural Olympiad running up to the 2012 Olympic Games this summer.
MACROPOLIS is the story of two toys discarded from the factory production line. Coming to life, they decide to escape and are determined to rejoin the other toys. When running after the factory delivery van, they become lost and find themselves surrounded by the unfamiliar, urban, big city. Initially overwhelmed, they begin to explore, play and re-interpret everyday objects through their very unique perspectives in this world of giant humans.
The film will be shot using a combination of animation models and an outdoor time-lapse shoot. Below, Joel Simon (the film’director) talks a little bit more about how he came up with the idea and how he is going to shoot the film.
“MACROPOLIS is my first new short film in 5 years. In the meantime I have directed a lot of TV series, and commercials, and the failure of one such TV ad pitch resulted in the birth of my most challenging and experimental project to date.
Three years ago, I was asked to prepare a commercial pitch for a major fizzy lager campaign. To prepare a convincing presentation, our studio shot various time-lapse clips all around Belfast, which would later be superimposed with animated cgi murals.
For me, at the time, time-lapse was a novelty, I’ve never spent much thought on this particular medium, perhaps because it seemed too easy and limiting. But that one summer evening, driving through the Belfast harbour streets, I snapped away at the rate of one picture every 30 seconds, and became very excited at the idea of recording the passage of time, and started wondering about the possibility of shooting models in these urban environments.
I was particularly interested in the more run-down back alleys and industrial estates which aren’t ostensibly ‘filmic’ and rarely used in my TV work, but they offered a faded beauty and a wealth of colours and textures which I reckoned could look good in an animated film, particularly one which would use macro-photography for the models.
Nothing came of the fizzy lager pitch. And my time-lapse shots, of which I was so proud, weren’t even used in the pitch, deemed too ‘grotty’.
But a seed had been planted in my mind.
When the Unlimited scheme was launched recently, to promote new artwork from disabled artists as parts of the 2012 Olympics, I was able to put forward the notion of shooting some animated stop-motion models outdoors, to unleash them from the safety and contrivance of a light-controlled animation studio into the unprectable.
By combining these animation models with the vagaries of an outdoor time-lapse shoot, I’m trying to juxtapose the two different time frames, two different mediums, and two different scales – the models and the humans.
I chose to develop a very simple, almost universal narrative with humorous beats, in conjunction with Mick O’Hara and Ciaran Morrisson from Double Z in Dublin. This film is dialogue-free and completely action based. This approach was used in my last film HORN OK PLEASE and seemed to help the film travel so well abroad.
I’m still very excited and partly terrified of the shoot that lies ahead, but – if the models don’t get blown away or rains prevent kills the equipment, we should produce something pretty distinctive..
You can keep up to date with the project at www.macropolis.tv
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