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Despairing of Pixar

Hemos posted more than 10 years ago | from the bringing-out-the-new dept.

Movies 145

An anonymous reader writes "According to AnimWatch, Despair Inc :-( has released the short films of stop-motion animator Mark Osborne on DVD. They're available through Happy Product.com. MORE, the first stop action short film shot in IMAX format has been nominated for an Academy Award, won a Jury Prize at Sundance, appeared in a Kenna music video, and even appears in the Hotline documentation, but this looks like the first time it's ever been available on DVD. According to the filmmaker he hopes to fund future films by selling his old ones. This is the best short film I've ever seen, so all I can say is I'm glad it's finally getting a proper release. Isn't this how Pixar and Aardman got their starts?"

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HOT COCOA SAMPLER BOX IS ON TEH SPOKE!!!~`1 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7786124)

Pixar++ (-1, Offtopic)

k0d0 (648229) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786127)

Pixar++ for that movie with the fish, laughed a lot :D

BLING BLING (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7786131)

Awwww yeah.

I gots da skils to pay da bills.

YOUR SKILLZ HAVE FAILED YOU!!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7786212)

Bling Bling indeed.

Re:YOUR SKILLZ HAVE FAILED YOU!!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7786394)

Yes, parent is right, now you will either
a) rob 10yr old disabled school children
b) suck greasy cocks and swallow semen
like you fellow 'brothaz' and/or 'sistaz'.

Happy new year!

steve jobs? (5, Insightful)

lotas (177970) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786134)

dident pixar get a major start (with the help of a lot of money) by steve jobs?

Re:steve jobs? (0, Insightful)

RLW (662014) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786137)

and Disney.

No - George Lucas (5, Informative)

OpenYourEyes (563714) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786184)

Actually, Pixar was a spin-off from the computer graphics division at Lucasfilm. It was sold to Steve Jobs at that time in 1986. Disney wasn't involved until 1991 - well after Pixar had made a name for itself.

Official Pixar History [pixar.com]

Commercials (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7786245)

Pixar initially worked on commercials before their movies. Not sure if these even predated the short films becuase they were initially geared to be like an advertising firm. Notable Pixar commercials include:

Tropicana Orange Juice (with bouncy/dancing oranges)
Listerine /w animated and Robin Hood Listerine bottle
Gummy Life Savers that danced and such

Re:Commercials (1)

malducin (114457) | more than 10 years ago | (#7787589)

No the commercials didn't predate the shorts, since they started those when they were still part of Lucasfilm. Andre and Wally B. was the one done while they were still part of Lucasfilm, and Luxo Jr. came out not long after the spin off. Ther's of course the VFX work they also did (Genesis sequence in Star Trek 2, return of the Jedi deathstar animation, etc.).

Re:No - George Lucas (5, Informative)

Trurl's Machine (651488) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786248)

It's even more complex - initially Pixar was supposed to be a computer making company. They tried to sell a sophisticated graphics workstation called Pixar Image Computer for a cool $135,000. Steve Jobs always was a hardware fetishist, but both his "main" project of that day - the NeXT Cube - and Pixar Image Computer were horrible market flops. Among the 120 employers of Pixar in late 1980's, only five were trying to make films; the others were trying to develop, manufacture and market the workstation that nobody wanted to buy. This policy has led Pixar to huge debt of a 50 megabuck magnitude. Only then came the Oscar and the Disney etc.

Re:No - George Lucas (4, Informative)

rekoil (168689) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786344)

There was software as well...the RenderMan suite is what they were best known for, and I they had a lightweight app called Typestry that I used extensively back when I was a graphic artist. Good stuff.

Re:No - George Lucas (2, Informative)

The boojum (70419) | more than 10 years ago | (#7787242)

Originally, though, their Renderman implementation was supposed to be done in hardware. They initially prototyped it in C on general purpose hardware, and then when the special purpose hardware flopped they realized they were on to something with the software.

Re:No - George Lucas (0)

benja (623818) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786463)

50'000'000$ a "huge" debt? My god, that musta been before the bomb, baby...

:-)

Re:No No No - George Lucas (1)

das_katz_socrates (641745) | more than 10 years ago | (#7787125)

If I recall correctly weren't they originally manufactuers of lamps, unicycles and snow globes?

Re:steve jobs? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7786223)

dident pixar get a major start (with the help of a lot of money) by steve jobs?
Congratulations...I've never seen that done before. I think I actually lost a few brain cells trying to make sense out of that.

Re:steve jobs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7786548)

Dead ant, dead ant, dead ant dead ant dead ant dead ant, dead aaaaaaaaaant. Dead ant.

Re:steve jobs and other red herrings (2, Insightful)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786413)

Neither Steve Jobs nor Pixar are even mentioned in the article linked. Why on earth is Pixar in the headline?

Re:steve jobs? (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 10 years ago | (#7787405)

Jobs is CEO of Pixar, has been for some time. I don't think he contributed much founding capital.

Direct Download (1, Informative)

Captain Goatse (715400) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786140)

Here's a Direct Download [yahoo.com] link, rightclick and choose save as, if you are using iexplore. Save linnk to disk if you are using Mozilla/Firebird.

MOD PARENT DOWN KNOWN TROLL (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7786323)

Mod parent down as this is a known troll, and the link is probably to a goatse.cx picture. I'm at work, or else I'd view it to make sure.

Plus, the little bastard gave instructions for IE users. Now we know he's a troll.

Re:MOD PARENT DOWN KNOWN TROLL (-1, Offtopic)

Oliver Aaltonen (606410) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786378)

No, that's the correct link to the movie.

IT _IS_ A TROLL, RESULT DEPENDS ON BROWSER (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7786419)

No, its a redirect to a script on his own (?) site. Depending on the browser you have, that scripts redirects you again, either to the movie, or to goatse.

Mod down! Mod down! And mod down again!

Re:IT _IS_ A TROLL, RESULT DEPENDS ON BROWSER (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7786445)

dude, check your browser.... it's a link to a normal yahoo server... plus it's down at the moment, probably due to excessive traffic from slashdotters ;)

Re:Direct Download (1, Offtopic)

Ikoma Andy (41693) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786542)

Mod parent up. It's good, accurate info and doesn't deserve to be modded down.

Kenna used MORE (2, Redundant)

Gyan (6853) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786143)

as their video for 'Hell Bent'

Slashdot Personals? (-1)

CreamOfWheat (593775) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786145)

Are you kidding me? How about a review to see how that fat, sexless, socially inept, smelly loser CowboyNeal made out on his online date? I think not too well!

I am sure it is cool but... (3, Funny)

mschoolbus (627182) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786149)

so all I can say is I'm glad it's finally getting a proper release

How about proper bandwidth...

Re:I am sure it is cool but... (3, Funny)

Walterk (124748) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786162)

I guess their pipes are despairing.. *groan*

Pixar will be around (5, Insightful)

flewp (458359) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786156)

I assume the subject line of the submission is trying to indicate that this hurts Pixar.

The truth is, Pixar will be around for awhile, and will continue to make great films. Really, I can't think of any other CG animation studio that has films of the caliber of Toy Story, Finding Nemo, A Bug's Life, etc. Sure, tools become better and better and are allowing a greater variety of people/studios to make similiar type of movies, but Pixar is one of the pioneers of the new technologies to hit the big screen and will continue to be for awhile.

Re:Pixar will be around (4, Insightful)

karmaflux (148909) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786186)

I don't think it implies a threat to Pixar, I think it's just a way to put across the fact that both despair.com and a computer animation house are in the body of the article. A misleading and confusing way, but a way nonetheless.

Re:Pixar will be around (5, Insightful)

EMH_Mark3 (305983) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786193)

Eh DreamWords did a pretty good job with Shrek.

Re:Pixar will be around (2, Insightful)

EMH_Mark3 (305983) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786211)

ffs.. DreamWorks :/

Re:Pixar will be around (2, Insightful)

flewp (458359) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786306)

Agreed, they did a wonderful job. But as I mention a few posts down, no other studio can really claim to have a portfolio (for their type of work) of the caliber of Pixar. That is to say, they have multiple films that are of extremely high quality, both in technical aspects and in storytelling.

Re:Pixar will be around (2, Interesting)

Jbrecken (107271) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786432)


Agreed, [DreamWorks] did a wonderful job. But as I mention a few posts down, no other studio can really claim to have a portfolio (for their type of work) of the caliber of Pixar. That is to say, they have multiple films that are of extremely high quality, both in technical aspects and in storytelling.


As well as the aforementioned Shrek, Antz was a decent story, and had some incredible images. I'd say DreamWorks is in Pixar's league for CG films.

Re:Pixar will be around (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7787506)

*cough* PDI/Dreamworks did a pretty good job with Shrek *cough*

PDI is in the bayarea, Dreamworks is near Hollywood.

Two studios, same parent company

Re:Pixar will be around (3, Insightful)

IWorkForMorons (679120) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786219)

Really, I can't think of any other CG animation studio that has films of the caliber of Toy Story, Finding Nemo, A Bug's Life, etc.

Pretty sure the movie "Titan A.E." from the now-defunct studio who's name is forgotten would qualify...

Re:Pixar will be around (1)

flewp (458359) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786278)

My point was that no other CG studio really can claim to have multiple films of the caliber of the ones I mentioned.

Re:Pixar will be around (1)

IWorkForMorons (679120) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786376)

Ok, I'll give you that. But Pixar was given the chance to make all those because of it's backing from Disney. Fox just let the animation company die after Titan came out. I can't even find what the name of the studio was, but I know it wasn't called the "Fox Animation Studio". Even though Titan had some issues, I was impressed by the animation. I was really hoping something else would come from it. But I guess not...

Forgotten studio? Not quite. (4, Informative)

MsGeek (162936) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786399)

Titan A.E. was done by Fox Animation at their defunct Arizona studio. They located their studio in Arizona to avoid paying animators union wages. The head of Fox Animation was Don Bluth. Titan A.E. basically bankrupted Fox Animation.

Fox recently bought Blue Sky Studios in upstate New York, the creators of the short "Bunny" and the feature "Ice Age." They are now working on "Robots" for early 1995 release.

Re:Forgotten studio? Not quite. (1)

Leto-II (1509) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786446)

They are now working on "Robots" for early 1995 release.

Wow. They're slow. Like Duke-Nukem-Forever-slow. No wonder they have problems being profitable.

Re:Forgotten studio? Not quite. (4, Interesting)

rekoil (168689) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786499)

Has Don Bluth done ANYTHING that actually made someone money? Every film I've heard of him involved in seems to have disappeared onto the scrapheap of financial and critical mediocrity.

Re:Forgotten studio? Not quite. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7786558)

The Secret of Nimh was pretty good. Granted, that's beena about 20 years though.

Re:Forgotten studio? Not quite. (1)

visgoth (613861) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786705)

Has Don Bluth done ANYTHING that actually made someone money? Every film I've heard of him involved in seems to have disappeared onto the scrapheap of financial and critical mediocrity.

Well, let's see [imdb.com] , shall we?
Err... he got about 15 bucks in quarters out of my pocket back in the summer of 1984 with Space Ace, does that count?

Re:Forgotten studio? Not quite. (1)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 10 years ago | (#7787310)

Dive into the titles, then click on "box office & business" under "Other Info". Hey, even Anastasia made money.

Re:Forgotten studio? Not quite. (4, Insightful)

a1englishman (209505) | more than 10 years ago | (#7787025)

I'm not defending Don Bluth, but your supposition that something has to make money in order to be considered good is erroneous. Making money is an indicator of being popular, not necessarily good. There's plenty of popular films that are utter cods wallop. There are also plenty of good films that were utter financial flops.

Re:Forgotten studio? Not quite. (2, Informative)

May Kasahara (606310) | more than 10 years ago | (#7787421)

An American Tail, for one. Not to mention The Land Before Time, The Secret of NIMH, and the Dragon's Lair game.

Just dig back 15-20 years or so and you'll come upon the good stuff.

Re:Forgotten studio? Not quite. (3, Interesting)

dw5000 (540339) | more than 10 years ago | (#7787481)

Has Don Bluth done ANYTHING that actually made someone money? Every film I've heard of him involved in seems to have disappeared onto the scrapheap of financial and critical mediocrity.

Well, An American Tail [imdb.com] made $47.8M domestically in 1986. Land Before Time [imdb.com] grossed $82M globally on a budget of $12.3M; that was '89. And Secret of Nimh [imdb.com] grossed on about that level, too.

Since '89, though, I don't think anything he's done has broken even before it's been released on video. The problem with Titan A.E. is that it had that huge budget which included setting up the Arizona studio ($75M), meaning it would have need to gross at least $150M before video to even have a chance at breaking even. It got about 1/5 of that worldwide, though a little better than what his other post-Dogs films racked up. It's not all his fault, honestly; if Fox had a clue in its head it wouldn't have flushed $75M down the toilet to win a pissing match with Disney/Pixar.

Since Titan A.E., Bluth's been attached to exactly ZERO projects. Can you say... done?

Re:Forgotten studio? Not quite. (4, Funny)

That's Unpossible! (722232) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786651)

They are now working on "Robots" for early 1995 release.

They apparantly are not going to make that deadline.

Re:Forgotten studio? Not quite. (1)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 10 years ago | (#7787011)

Ironic, that they were in Arizona to cut costs and Titan A.E. bankrupted Fox Animation anyways.

Re:Pixar will be around (1)

bellings (137948) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786710)

Titan A.E. was not a good movie.

There were a few spots of reasonable animation, but overall the animation was as flat and uninspired as the plot.

Re:Pixar will be around (3, Insightful)

twoslice (457793) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786225)

Movies are all about quality. It does not matter what your company name is - if you make a quality product people will fill the seats and buy the DVDs. Just because you have a recognizable name - does not mean that you will have an instant hit.

Conversely, if you make a lousy product investors will not make any money at it...

Re:Pixar will be around (4, Insightful)

flewp (458359) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786346)

Movies are all about quality

And that's why Pixar is the leader of the field. They are both extremely talented on the technical side and, just as, if not more importantly, the storytelling side.

Just because you have a recognizable name - does not mean that you will have an instant hit.

Agreed, but a recognizable name means people will at least look at and consider your work, especially if your recognized name is associated with quality.

Re:Pixar will be around (1)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786832)

Just because you have a recognizable name - does not mean that you will have an instant hit.

Funny, but isn't one of the biggest budget items of a movie the actors? Well, at least those that hire brand name actors in an attempt to have an "instant hit".

Not sure how common knowledge this is, but one neat trivia piece about "A Bugs Life" DVD is that the widescreen and 4:3 versions of the movies are actually rerenders. Not pan and scan.

Re:Pixar will be around (3, Informative)

PunchMonkey (261983) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786922)

Not sure how common knowledge this is, but one neat trivia piece about "A Bugs Life" DVD is that the widescreen and 4:3 versions of the movies are actually rerenders. Not pan and scan.

Screenshots showing the difference available here (Scoll almost to the bottom)

Link [thedigitalbits.com]

This site also has some pretty good examples of the different aspect ratios, etc.

Re:Pixar will be around (3, Interesting)

Free_Lard (727176) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786298)

pixar makes pretty family films, yes, but there are other (independent) animators out there. i was very impressed with "The Cathedral", directed by Tomek Baginski which was included in Mike Judge and Don Hertzfeldt's Animation Show. there were a lot of great films in that show, most of them using stop motion or traditional animation, and most were at least as good as any pixar movie ive seen out there. Pixar may be profitableand have immense resources, but they are certainly not the only studio out there

Re:Pixar will be around (1)

sethx9 (720973) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786664)

"I can't think of any other CG animation studio that has films of the caliber of Toy Story, Finding Nemo, A Bug's Life, etc."

Umm....Wega Digital? I suppose I'm to assume you mean to constrain this to animation studios being more than hired guns? I love Pixar but have to put my money on those CGI artists whose work is more transparent, when the audience doesn't know or very quickly forgets they are looking at CGI.

I'd love to see Pixar put out something a bit darker, with a bit more complex character development and a bit less "free toy with your Happy Meal purchase" oriented...

Re:Pixar will be around (1)

visgoth (613861) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786878)

I'd love to see Pixar put out something a bit darker, with a bit more complex character development and a bit less "free toy with your Happy Meal purchase" oriented...

So would I, but unfortunately cg animation is being treated the same as traditional animation in North America. Ie, cartoons are for kids, which is most unfortunate. The mediocrity of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within didn't help much either.

There have been some darker features made in other countries. Kaena [lycos.fr] and Wonderful Days [wonderfuldays.co.kr] (although technically Wonderful Days is more Anime than cg) are the only two I can think of at the moment. Both France and Korea have a more receptive audience for "serious" cartoons, somthing that North America seems to lack. That being said, perhaps the market for such things will open up.

Not the first time MORE has been on DVD... (5, Interesting)

lcracker (10398) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786170)

I picked MORE up on DVD two or three years ago. It was on a compilation of a bunch of indie shorts. I don't have it in front of me, but I believe it was volume 13 of something (utopia maybe?) and it definitely had a picture of a mushroom cloud on the cover.

Re:Not the first time MORE has been on DVD... (5, Informative)

lcracker (10398) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786192)

Ok sorry, it wasn't volume 13 but volume 7. It's been on DVD since [at least] Feb 1, 2000 according to here [amazon.com] .

Re:Not the first time MORE has been on DVD... (1)

avi4now (567861) | more than 10 years ago | (#7787432)

True, but it's been out of print for a while now. Hence it can be tricky to find and quite a bit more expensive than buying directly from Mark Osborne. Plus, I'm sure more of the funds go directly to Mr. Osborne, so support an artist today!

On a personal note, this is an amazing film that has a lot of meaning for my wife and I. It had a significant positive impact on our relationship in the first stages. I'm going to order 4 or 5 copies to have for birthday gifts, etc.

Re:Not the first time MORE has been on DVD... (1)

Zach Baker (5303) | more than 10 years ago | (#7787442)

It's on Short 7: Utopia, but also on the Film-Fest 2: Cannes [imdb.com] DVD which has an interview with Mark Osborne on it. "More" is just an awesome, awesome, awesome short. I saw it in 35mm when screening it to vote on the Annie awards and was annoyed that the comparatively weak "Bunny" won that award and the Oscar as well. I would love to see it on an IMAX screen. Blue Sky's more sentimental and technological "Bunny" was talked to death here on Slashdot, I recall. It's nice to see "More" getting some recognition.

Exposure (5, Interesting)

Dracolytch (714699) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786201)

Hey Gang, I saw this short quite some time ago on the Sci-Fi show Exposure. If you're interested in shorts, I really recommend checking their site out. Even though they don't have More available for on-line play, they do have shorts like Prelude to Eden, and Protest.

http://exposure.scifi.com [scifi.com]

~D

funding (5, Informative)

Savatte (111615) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786234)

Getting funding for a short film is quite possibly more difficult than getting funding for a feature film. A full-length film at least has the possibility of being picked up and distributed to vast audiences, where as an investor's return on a short film is more likely to be nothing, since they are rarely exhibited. To convince someone to give you money so you can follow your dream or experiement is quite difficult. Stan Brakhage, the world-renowned avant-garde film maker had trouble finding funding for his short films, since he was so prolific (he made about 400 films in his lifetime). He then decided to take a different approach and began painting on the actual film, which took more time, and thus was able to make his funding last.

For some other non-Pixar fascinating short films, check out:

Duck Amuck - Chuck Jones
Eye Myth - Stan Brakhage
Rabbits - David Lynch
The Heart Of The World - Guy Maddin
The Superbowl Is Gay - Andy Milonakis (yes, I'm serious. This is one of the most purely comedic films ever made)

Re:funding (2, Interesting)

fruey (563914) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786277)

and began painting on the actual film, which took more time, and thus was able to make his funding last

How is taking more time able to allow him to make his funding last?

Re:funding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7786440)

I'm guessing it's because he didn't burn through film like if he were shooting, thus not having to pay for processing and developing.

If you got an arts grant for 10 grand, you are more likely to get another one if you take 3 years to use it up, rather than 1 year. Just my guess, though.

Re:funding (1)

Free_Lard (727176) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786321)

and the Cremaster cycle by Matthew Barney.

Re:funding (1)

Free_Lard (727176) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786356)

website here. [cremaster.net] forgot.

Re:funding (2, Funny)

Zak3056 (69287) | more than 10 years ago | (#7787027)

Stan Brakhage, the world-renowned avant-garde film maker had trouble finding funding for his short films, since he was so prolific (he made about 400 films in his lifetime).

Not TOO much trouble finding funding if he made 400 of them!

I Funded a Short Film (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7787596)

Cause at the time Andy made The Superbowl is Gay peice of crap he wasn't paying his half of the rent.

Calling that a Short "FILM" is like calling yourself "smart."

Aardman (5, Informative)

lxt (724570) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786251)

Isn't this how Pixar and Aardman got their starts?" - I don't know about Pixar, but Aardman (based right down the road from me in Bristol) was originally two teenagers who got a commission from the BBC to produce a short kids ident (called the "aard man", hence the company name). From then on, the studio funded itself through producing advertisements and music videos (Peter Gabriel's Sledgehammer for example), and put the revenue it recieved into producing quality shorts - it was this money that funded Nick Park's "A Grand Day Out". "Chicken Run" is an exception to the advertisement funding rule, as it's part of a five film deal with Dreamworks.

Re:Aardman (3, Interesting)

g_attrill (203506) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786351)

There's a nice history [aardman.com] on their website explaining everything.

Gareth

Re:Aardman (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7787046)

Actually the Sledgehammer video was done by the guys who went on to create Mainframe (www.mainframe.ca). They are best know for TV and direct to video CGI such as Beast Wars and Reboot!

Yahoo pulled short? (1)

Peale (9155) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786262)

I'm unable to download the short. Who wants to make a torrent?

Re:Yahoo pulled short? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7786415)

No torrent, but I'll put up a mirror [aaltonen.us] for you.

Re:Yahoo pulled short? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7786481)

anybody else getting a corrupt dl? stops about halfway through.

Re:Yahoo pulled short? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7786522)

mine was corrupt too

Re:Yahoo pulled short? (1)

lunarboy (731997) | more than 10 years ago | (#7787179)

Works for me. But I also downloaded it completely before I watched it...

From across the sea (4, Insightful)

Bazzargh (39195) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786317)

I'd quite like to see this film, but where's the tech spec for the DVD? From the lack of one, I can only assume that this is Region 1/NTSC?

Just goes to remind us what a disaster the DVD region encoding is. Its a system that can only help large conglomerates staging their worldwide releases, not small operations who'd like to sell to all and sundry via the 'net.

Ho hum. Wish more folk would release their wares on Region 0, like the good folks at MindCandy [mindcandydvd.com] did.

BTW, Aardman had been going for a long, long time [aardman.com] . Those of us who grew up in the UK have been watching their stuff all our lives on Vision On, Take Hart, and Morph. The rest of the world probably saw their work first on music video - Peter Gabriel's 'So' was out 3 years before W&G. So its probably more accurate to say that Aardman got their start by years of slog on TV work.

As for "hopes to fund future films by selling his old ones" I think that's also the business plan of Disney, Universal, Sony.... ;)

Creature Comforts did pretty well here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7787248)

Many people saw Creature Comforts before Sledgehammer.

Also, given that Region 0 exists, I don't see how you can say region encoding hurts the small guy. If the small guy wants to sell his stuff worldwide, region 0 allows it.

I'm not a fan of region coding, but don't go making up fake problems for it.

pixar in 1987 (5, Interesting)

jspectre (102549) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786333)

i remember pixar demoing some of their medical imaging systems at princeton university back in 1987.. they sold some high-end unix-based servers to help generate graphics, the kind that are easily done on a PS1 these days. making movies wasn't even on their radar back then.

didn't buy any of the servers, but they were pretty pictures (for the time).

Re:pixar in 1987 (1)

bn0p (656911) | more than 10 years ago | (#7787141)

Actually making movies (albeit short ones) was very much on their radar screen. Andre and Wally B. came out in 1984, Luxo and Luxo Jr. in '86 and Red's Dream in '87.

BTW Pixar's association with Disney pre-dates the movies deal by a few years. Pixar Image Computers and Pixar software were used in Disney's Computer Animation Production System (CAPS). This system was first used for the ending scene of The Little Mermaid in 1989 and won an Academy Award for Technical Achievement in 1992.

Re:pixar in 1987 (1)

jspectre (102549) | more than 10 years ago | (#7787355)

i stand corrected..

when they did their demo they never mentioned their movie business. then again we were looking at graphics modeling systems, not movies. the systems were to take mri scans and assemble them into 3d images that could be manipulated in real time. not something most computers could do back then with any serious speed (at 32 bits of color).

they had already done a movie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7787196)

They did Red's Dream in 1986. It was their first short film. They would compete with Pacific Digital Imaging (Images?) to see who could do the best demo movie each year at Siggraph. Even Apple did one.

I think they did Luxo Jr. in 1987.

They always had their eyes on making feature films. Selling hardware was only a sideshow. Selling Renderman seemed barely more than that.

MORE about as good as animation gets. (2, Informative)

kid zeus (563146) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786348)

I got this on the Utopia collection of independent shorts a few years back, and all I have to say is that it's simply one of the finest pieces of animation ever done. And watching it on in a small, low-res QT window is not the best way to check out the amazing texture brought about by it's Wide Format (aka IMAX) filming. This guy is fantastic, and I hope he gets some great funding because I can't wait to see what he does next.

Close paren? (1)

SkyZero (547368) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786407)

Oh my god I almost fainted.... I kept reading looking for a close parenthesis in the article. Dont do this to me before coffee!

Aardman (0, Redundant)

Burb (620144) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786443)

... didn't Aardman get its start working for the BBC in kids TV? "Morph" and all that?

Re:Aardman (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786779)

He started making all his animations by hand at home, and his talent got him noticed... He's made a few quid since, though.

film length (5, Insightful)

theMerovingian (722983) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786466)

This is the best short film I've ever seen

I am surprised more film people don't make short movies of their 'concepts', and use them as a demo to pitch to major studios/investors. If I were a film executive, I would be much more willing to consider spending $ on someone who would take that much initiative on their own dime. Also, you could sell the short film to recoup some of your costs (even if it doesn't get picked up).

Wouldn't it make more sense... (3, Insightful)

GeekLife.com (84577) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786567)

For the title of the article to be "The Pixaring of Despair," considering there's nothing happening to Pixar at all?

anybody watch the documentary trailer? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7786593)

that looks AWESOME [gethappy.com] too.

But it's already on DVD! (1)

Muerte2 (121747) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786634)

While I wholeheartedly agree that More is the best short I've ever seen, it's certainly been on DVD before now. I own it!

It's in a collection of other short films called short 7 - Utopia [amazon.com] . I do highly recommend anyone that hasn't seen it to look into it.

No, second time on DVD. (1)

hethatishere (674234) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786800)

This is not the first time MORE has been put on a DVD. Warner Brother's released a series of DVDs called "Short." The one that has more is the 7th in the series called Short: Utopia. It's somewhat of a rarity, but all the DVDs in the collection are fantastic and have some truly amazing short movies and animations. Amazon.com has a few used copies for sale still: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B000 03JRCL/002-9775621-7736809?v=glance

How Pixar got its start (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7786816)

I don't know about Aardman, but Pixar got started by making brilliant shorts like Luxo Jr. They now make features, and in Pixar's case, MAJOR BANK.

The original poster seems to be saying This guy made a brilliant short film, can we expect HIM to go on to make feature films?

He's also got a Steve Jobsian sugar daddy in the form of Dr. E.L. Kersten. But somehow I don't see a feature length film with this tone exactly cleaning up at the box office with the kiddies.

MORE on DVD (1)

Jaegs (645749) | more than 10 years ago | (#7786867)

...but this looks like the first time it's ever been available on DVD.

Actually, MORE is on the Film-Fest DVD - Issue 2 - Cannes released in 1999--the main reason I purchased it; well, that and the picture of Selma Hayek on the front (yum). Just do a search on Amazon [amazon.com] or your favorite DVD shoppe.

MORE animator's other short film- online links? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7787030)

there's a link [gethappy.com] on the gethappy.com site for an earlier film called GREENER. the trailer is online and looks interesting. does anyone know where this movie can be watched online? has anyone seen it?

No, it's not quite how they got their starts. (3, Informative)

tinrobot (314936) | more than 10 years ago | (#7787255)

Pixar started life as a spin off of ILM, with Jobs as a major investor. He hoped to make money off of rendering technology and the shorts were mostly done as promotion. Little did he know there was more money in feature films than Renderman software.

Aardman got it's start in the 70's by two animators who loved clay. They sold a show called Morph to the BBC and that made the studio. Nick Park came a decade later. The first Wallace and Gromit was a student film he couldn't finish on his own. Aardman provided the resources for Nick to finish it and the rest is history.

That said, there are a number of OTHER animators who have made decent careers by using one film to finance the next. Bill Plympton comes to mind, as does Don Hertzfeldt.

Mark Osborne's films are similarly great, I wish him lots of luck.

Re:No, it's not quite how they got their starts. (1)

tolldog (1571) | more than 10 years ago | (#7787535)

I am glad somebody beat me too it...

People seem to think that animation studios sprang up over night.

The big ones have been around a long time, just not always making feature animations (or shorts for that matter).

-Tim

Did anyone else... (1)

cschmidt (89733) | more than 10 years ago | (#7787380)

feel like they were watching a Radiohead video?

I don't see what the big deal is (1)

realmolo (574068) | more than 10 years ago | (#7787468)

I've seen this before, long ago. I wasn't impressed in the least. It's the typical pseudo-philosphical shit that every "independent" filmmaker spews out. And claymation just isn't impressive anymore. Not that it every really was.
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