Animated Review

  1. Directed by Nico Casavecchia (twitter @nicocasavecchia)
    Production company: 1st Avenue Machine
    Agency: Ogilvy & Mather
    Animation studio: Punga.tv

    My name is Nico Casavecchia and I am a filmmaker.

    In November 2012, I received the most interesting commission of my career as a director. To work with a team of IBM scientists to create the smallest movie in film history. The idea was to use a "Scanning tunneling microscope", a tool that allows scientists to visualize and move individual atoms over a surface, to create a movie in stop motion.

    As soon as we started, the challenges began to come forward. The first challenge was to create a common language between the scientists and the artists. After long hours of research and conference calls we started to understand the tools in the lab and the process of Andreas Heinrich and his team of scientists in California. Through this, we were able to define the limitations of the project. We had to create a film using no more than 5000 movements of single atoms, which was a huge limitation for the character design. Every element in the animation had to be very economic, so when it moved, it used the least amount of operations by frame. The second challenge arose from learning that atoms cannot be aligned orthogonally like the pixels of a computer screen, they have to be organized hexagonally like the bricks on a wall. This defined the kind of characters that we could create, their movements and the kind of story we could tell.

    Once we knew the rules of the game we started thinking about stories that could be told within those boundaries. With Ogilvy & Mather New York, we arrived to the script of "A boy and his atom". The agency wanted a story that could be understood by any culture, without words, which could express emotions. Our objective was to tell something using such small amount of pixels and a single color. This led us to research 8bits video games from the 80s, that told amazing stories with such limited resources, like a space battle with only a small amount of pixels.

    The next step was to travel to Buenos Aires, where together with the production team of Punga, we designed the characters and the animation that the scientists used as reference. After that, I returned to New York where a programmer created a software that allowed us to translate the Punga created animation into a language that the scientist's computer could understand. 

    In San José, California, we met with the scientists right before starting the next phase of the process. During that week I worked with Andreas and his team organizing the finite details. When I came back to New York, the group of scientists began their work. For over a month, they made shifts to create the smallest stop motion film in the world. When that was finished we reconstructed the animation frame by frame without adding any post production details, using just the images created in the lab.

    The process of creating "A boy and his atom" was a collaboration of an incredible group of people. From the team in 1stAveMachine, the production company in charge of the movie, Punga, the Argentinian animation studio who did the animation, Ogilvy & Mather, the agency and especially Andreas Heinrich and his team in IBM.

    # vimeo.com/65244953 Uploaded 84.1K Plays / / 38 Comments Watch in Couch Mode
  2. A painter in his studio, a model watches him watch her. A stop-motion short based on the lives of the artists Elizabeth Siddal and Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

    Showed in the 2013 CalArts Producers Show. Has also shown in the Monstra Film Festival, the Urban Nomad Film Festival, the Montreal Stop Motion Film Festival, and at the American Cinematheque.

    This is my second film from the CalArts Character Animation program. Watch my classmates' films: vimeo.com/channels/calartscharanimfilms2013

    More on the 3D printed character faces here: aronwithonea.blogspot.com/2013/02/making-3d-printed-replacement-faces.html
    More on the 3D printed ball-and-socket armatures here: aronwithonea.blogspot.com/2013/02/rapid-prototyped-ball-and-socket.html

    Written in collaboration with Samara Weiss, undecipheredscript.com/
    Voice performance by Kestrel Burley, kestrelleah.com/
    Some shots animated by Isabela Dos Santos, vimeo.com/beladossantos
    Sets in collaboration with Carol Yoo, carolyoo.com/
    Costumes by Felicia Rose, feliciabrose.com/

    # vimeo.com/65087548 Uploaded 11.9K Plays / / 14 Comments Watch in Couch Mode
  3. A short viral to help spread the word of the goodwill initiative Suspended Coffee, offering a warm cuppa to those in need.

    Please share to help spread the word.

    Production Company: Mummu
    Director: Karl Hammond
    Animation Assistant: Alberta Torres

    Music production and sound design: Room-24 Studios
    Voice Over: Martin Allanson

    facebook.com/SuspendedCoffeess
    mummu.co.uk
    room-24.com
    martinallanson.com/

    # vimeo.com/65287418 Uploaded 26.8K Plays / / 21 Comments Watch in Couch Mode
  4. # vimeo.com/63718949 Uploaded 1,871 Plays / / 2 Comments Watch in Couch Mode
  5. Finally my 2nd Calarts film is completed! It feels really great to make a more personal film this year, now that I know the ropes of filmmaking a bit better. I wanted to make something that focuses on how meaningful it is to make food for someone you love. My family's lives practically revolve around cooking for each other, so it's a theme that I'm deeply attached to. I hope you enjoy it!

    # vimeo.com/65107797 Uploaded 3.8M Plays / / 471 Comments Watch in Couch Mode

Animated Review

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