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Posts Tagged ‘Suzie Templeton’

World Premiere of The Flying Machine at Toronto Film Festival

August 17, 2011 2 comments

As announced recently on Polish Film Institute website, The Flying Machine (2011) is going to be premiered at 36th Toronto International Film Festival that takes place next month. 

The Flying Machine is an interesting project undertaken by producers and creators of an Oscar winner, Peter and the Wolf by Suzie Templeton (2006). The film combines 3D stop-motion animation with live action (here they even got a star Heather Graham) and with Fryderyk Chopin music played by famous Chinese pianist, Lang Lang. Apart from Chopin himself, there is of course a huge Polish input in the production – from financial support from Polish Film Institute or Lodz Film Commission to my best liked Polish names, like Marek Skrobecki or Krzysztof Ptak (cinematography).

I am under impression that to find a full list of credits  you would have to check quite a few sources and actually compile it yourself. Or maybe one day Sight and Sound will publish it in full length – that’s a very good practice of the magazine! So, to avoid creating additional confusion I will just refer you to the website of the film’s British producer, Breakthru Films. It is said that The Flying Machine will reach Polish cinemas on 21st October 2011. And I only hope that it will be possible to see it in other parts of the world, too – not only at festivals…

You know, there was once a piece of text published in FilmPRO 1/2010 (a Polish film industry related magazine), entitled Preludium by Marta Luchacz and Jarek Somborski. Even though it got printed almost 1.5 year ago when The Flying Machine production was actually at the stage of preproduction I guess, I think it provides quite a nice insight into the film concept and the way the works were planned. And that’s exactly why I would like to refer to it a bit and give you some shadowy (sic!) facts. (Sure, if you ever happen to find anything more up-to-date, do drop me a line as I’ll be happy to learn about it myself.)

Anyway, The Flying Machine is supposed to be the first stop-motion puppet animation in Poland made with the use of stereoscopic technique (and, so far, I have not heard of any similar project, so my assumption is The Flying Machine still holds the title of a pioneer on Polish scene). However, the film will be screened in both: traditional and 3D cinemas. There were supposed to be two different scales for puppets created for the purpose of the film – a scale of 1:4.5 for 30-40cm puppets and 1:9 for those of 15-20cm. The film was to combine 50% of animation with the remaining 50% of live action. All that was to be filmed in a specially built studio with over 20 sets prepared by Marek Skrobecki.

In the initial phase of works on the film the crew made a lot of tests, first of all, based on reference material used by creators of Coraline (2006), in order to work out the best way of creating the stereoscopic effect. However, due to completely unsatisfying results and disparity in the depth of the picture in different frames, the crew decided to reject it and set up their own rules. The challenge seemed to be even bigger when you realise that what you actually get in the film is a mix of stop-motion animation, live action (sure, I already mentioned these) but also computer animation (was to be added in the postproduction process) along with both postproduction and compositing to have been done in stereo alike (if I’m making myself clear at all 😉 ).

I am not going to get into more technical details here as I am not that technical person myself nor it’s a post on meanders of stereoscopy. It’s definitely worth reading on that fascinating subject if you are not a specialist in the field and, to be honest, the mentioned issue of FilmPRO magazine gave me a good insight into the technical details as well as the historic aspects. For the purpose of this post, though, enough to say that stereoscopy is fascinating and if you’d like to learn more, this time from a critic’s point of view, check a post by Jasper Sharp on his blog: Cinematism, Realism, and Spectacle part 6: Changing our Focus – StreetDance 3D.

In the meantime, let’s watch The Flying Machine space and fingers crossed the final effect is worth the noise 😉

Below, as usual, is a bit of a moving picture…

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Se-Ma-For Studio Tours (update)

July 4, 2011 Leave a comment

Two posts appeared on Se-Ma-For studio website recently:

1. DANNY BOY WINS IN TRANSYLVANIA. JOYETS STILL AT FESTIVALS – another award for Danny Boy by Marek Skrobecki along with another acceptance to a festival for Joyets by Magdalena Osinska.

2. SE-MA-FOR ON TOUR IN ODESSA – from 1st till 3rd July 2011 audience in Odessa, Ukraine had a chance to see the studio productions at U-Cinema.

Check both links for details.

Danny Boy by Marek Skrobecki (2010)

May 20, 2011 5 comments

Today, let’s say, it is going to be a bit reflective day. Plus a bit of puppet mastery with a bit of post-production tricks. A bit of puppet animation history. And a bit of Fryderyk Chopin lookalike  in Danny Boy himself. 

Danny Boy is a film by Marek Skrobecki who wrote the script as well as directed it. It’s a story about human imperfection which can actually be called losing one’s head. You can lose presence of mind or good judgement through your crazy, insane emotions, etc. In this story almost everybody literally has lost their head. With one exception: Danny Boy, who, being a misfit, feels strongly alienated from the headless society. The film deals with the problem of loneliness of an individual and poses a question if one should level down standards in the name of social adjustment.

It has been selected for Academy Awards© 2011 in Best Animated Short category, so we’ll see what happens next. Just as a reminder (or to those who don’t know), Marek Skrobecki collaborates with a Polish renowned studio, Se-Ma-For, that appears as one of Danny Boy‘s producers alike. It’s also Se-Ma-For studio that was one of co-producers of an Oscar winner,  Peter and the Wolf by Suzie Templeton (2006).

Among Skrobecki’s films are such amazing pieces, like: D.I.M. (1992) or Ichtys (2005).

To sum it up shortly, let’s have a look at the making of Danny Boy from Sapristi Studio, the film’s post-production company.

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