Thursday, August 6, 2009
The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello
Today I'm writing about a short film that was released in 2005, which has been lurking about on a couple of my hard drives these last two and a half years. So its been out awhile, and chances are you've already seen it, or at least heard of it, but for those who haven't here's a brief rundown.
Jasper Morello and the Lost Airship is the first film in the Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello series, and as its the only film of the series to be released thus far I'll be concentrating on that for this journal post.
A few things about the film:
The film is set in a world not dissimilar in style and societal preciosity to that of Victorian England, although this world has many elements of steampunk archetypes, such as steam powered computers and iron airships. Y'know, lots of cogs n stuff. Steampunk!
The cast and the vast majority of the foregrounds are animated in a two dimensional silhouette style, similar to that of Indonesian Wayang shadow puppet theatre.
It was directed and conceptualized by Australian director and animator Anthony Lucas, and scripted by Mark Shirrefs.
After it had been written, the film took around a year and a half to make.
The film employs a number of different animation techniques to achieve its look, with characters drawn on paper, cut out and scanned into Photoshop, where they could then be manipulated digitally. 3d models were used to create the airships, and CG was used to create the sky and atmospheric effects.
All in all, the design, style and innovative methods and techniques used in the construction of the film are a great mix of the old and the new.
Because its a fairly short film I'm not going to get into the plot too much, as I don't wish to spoil anything for those of you who haven't seen it. But I will point out that the majority of the film takes place in the sky, as the titular hero of the film is employed as the navigator of an airship that sets out on a voyage to place signal beacons for a new trade route. This mission however, soon diverges into something decidedly more sinister.
Its a film I am really rather fond of, and I look forward to the release of the next film in the series. I'm going to shut up now and leave it up to you to have a watch of it if you have a spare 26 minutes.
1° can make a world of difference to the course of a navigator's life.
That's one cool critter huh? The official Jasper Morello website can be found here.