A Victorian gentlemen and a sixties cowgirl explore the kitschy depths of love and betrayal in a world where everything seems fragile. Never betray a girl with a gun.
Director: Joshua Cox
Animation: Galen Beals, Joshua Cox
3d Artists: Joshua Cox, Gina Burgess, Duncan Beck, Isabel Garcia Jaen, Javier Leon
Compositing: Joshua Cox
Editor: Joshua Cox
Foley: Galen Beals, Joshua Cox
Color: Jalal Jemison
Music: “If It Rains Who Cares” Preformed by Conee Boswell
Written by: Edgar Leslie, Joe Burke
As the name indicates, this short directed by US artist Joshua Cox makes extensive use of one of the essential elements of filmmaking: the juxtaposition of elements to create meaning that does not exist in the isolated elements themselves, a technique known as montage (the term refers to the editing technique but in this case the juxtaposition of elements also takes place within the frame). The film avoids using common codes for transmitting characters’ emotions to the audience (facial expressions, body language, sound, etc.), relying heavily on montage to create narrative and conflict. It’s interesting to note that the restrained performance and lack of mobility actually increases the tension in some of the shots.
Staged in two rooms of a house populated with old furniture and ceramic statues, the short employs a photorealistic aesthetic that makes notable use of CG. Most of what shows up on screen has been created using 3D software. The film makes great use of timelapse sequences and changes in lighting and weather to depict passage of time, and with that it introduces supernatural elements that drive the narrative towards the unexpected, adding a great element of surprise. Humor, expressed with restraint, is also present throughout the short, right up to the ending.
Due to the lack of mobility of the ceramic statues, visual rhythm is handled mostly via editing and changes in lighting (plus a few camera moves and the duster that shows up in some shots).
According to the director, knowing that he would have no animators at his disposal for producing the short helped him come up with the idea to make a film dealing with ceramic statues. The focus on human relationships helps give the short a wider appeal.
Below: Livingroom set environment renders. Rendered in Vray
Below: Early storyboard exploration
Below: Kissing scene from "Proximity" Rendered in Vray
Below: Bedroom set development renders. Rendered in Vray
Below: VFX lighting breakdown
Below: 3d renders of material development and modeling stages. Rendered in Vray
Below: Texture painting development. Paint strokes and surface color.
Below: 3d renders of Apple Girl. Trying to nail the ceramic material reflections. Vray
Below: Unwrapped texture for Apple Girl. Trying to mimic brush strokes and painted airbrush reference.