Our guest reporter Steve Smith went along to this year’s Rave2012 – the graduation show for Ravensbourne – to watch the BA Animation reel. The animation course breeds a blend of very able CGI technicians (some having already worked at post houses like Framestore) and more traditional filmmakers and 2D artists. The films themselves are kept short, and are often collaborative efforts. Here are some of the best pieces of work.
Creation by Owen Jackson is a simple but quite compelling clip constructed from surreal typography. More like an ident than a film, it has a quiet sophistication that works as neat counterpoint to the other, more attention-grabbing films on show.
Talking of which, Going Down seemed to be the most talked about, and well realised film here. A short zombie flick with great characterisation, modelling, lighting and texturing; its only failure was in the slightly slapdash editing. With a film-only website already in place, the team of graduates (David Fish, Greg Martin, Joseph Henson, Nicholas Georgeou, Oliver Kane, and Stephanie Joy) clearly know what they’re doing.
Devil in the Works by Gerome Oldfield & Deon Litchmore was perhaps the most visually impressive film, fashioned like a music video. The clip succeeds in making the Houses of Parliament run like clockwork, which would be a dream for most people but it’s seen as more of a dystopian nightmare, reminiscent of Gilliam’s Brazil. The compositing and 3D visualisation is well done, but I could complain it’s just a rather glorified fly-through.
Bugged Off by directors Maik Pham Quang and Natalia Altavilla is another well-realised film, showing good technical skills in 3D animation. Like Groundhog Day with flies, the story is succinct, but the timing is sometimes a little off.
Guard Dog (Director: Malachi Richking) is a crude, comic farce with nice touches, but could be summed up as a title sequence for an adult sit-com.
Conversely, I Wanna be a Dinosaur by Gary Ralphs could be a teaser for a kids series. The animation is well made, with a painterly 2D style that isn’t always consistent, but the humour and ideas in the dialogue are nicely delivered.
Scissors by Rob Bowles reminded me of Struwwelpeter’s The Story of the Thumb-Sucker. Sadly the design, animation and compositing didn’t live up to the illustrious concept.
Other films worth a mention, but sadly with no online links, are Dominique Urquhart’s The Trouble with Drink, which is a dark voyage into an alcoholic’s world, and Synaesthesia by Chrysovalantis Lazaridis – a gentle documentary about one girl’s experience of the neurological condition.
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