More Shorts!

So the other week I had the chance to attend the CalArts Character Animation Producers’ Show. I was a member of the press, so I even got a reserved seat—which totally made me feel like a VIP.

But the show was not about me, it was about the very talented animators who put their all into some amazing short films. Here is my LAist.com article; I mention some of the highlights from the show and a couple of the sketches I really liked.

I wanted to use the blog to post some of the videos I really enjoyed from the program that I did not include in the article. So, here are four highlights from the show that are also pretty fun watching!

Brave was one of the few dramatic offerings of the evening and for that I applaud the director Jasmin Lai. It’s easy enough to make a two minute funny sketch, but to do something dramatic (and well) takes a certain creativity, resourcefulness, and, yes, courage. As I wrote in the article, Lai also has a very strong symbolic sense here—the red is indicative of danger, the spiders metaphors for the pain the child feels for her father. The block print aesthetic also works here and gives the short its own unique edge.

Hannah Ayoubi’s Vampire Gastelbrau feels like it belongs on Cartoon Network as its own show. It’s funny, cute, and best of all, unexpected. It’s rare that a two and a half minute video feels so self-contained, perfect, and well done that another thirty seconds would have ruined it! Alex Wand’s wonderful silent movie organ score doesn’t hurt either.

The Funny Thing about Lois is one of those quirky stories that could only end up as a film. Lois is a loris, a sloth-like animal with a toxic touch, who is just starting school and struggling to make friends. The story may be comic, but the telling of it betrays a beating heart strong enough to hear no matter how short the film’s length.

Finally, you have to love the gothic storytelling of this Little Mermaid turned on its head—Bottom Feeder Blues. Just watch. According to the Vimeo page, Colin Howard is a first year BFA at CalArts, and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next year!

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