Wednesday, 11 April 2018

"Live from Studio 2B"

I've been wanting to do a short-short "update" on Yorick's first adventure which was completed way back in 2016. A meeting between him and Hamlet years after they first worked together seemed in order, and so was hatched the plan to have Yorick appear on Hamlet's talk show, "Elsinore Tonight" and have the two catch up while Yorick was promoting his new book. Yes, Yorick and "the Hamster" together again!
Although there are many references to the first film, some plot points are expanded and others reduced, a tiny bit of updated old footage but mostly new footage. All this in less than 3 minutes as opposed to the original's ten!

(As mentioned in an earlier post, the Hamlet puppet had some inspiration from a certain B&W film.)

Some stills:

...and the film is on its own page at the side.

ASIDE:  "Hamlet" is an easy word to misspell on a typewriter (an ancient form of human-powered word processor)...on an essay I wrote for high school, the title page proudly proclaimed "HAMLEG".

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

"Ephemeral" at the Short Shorts Film Festival in Duluth

"Ephemeral" has been selected to screen in Duluth this Saturday (March 24th)! Very pleased to be part of this event! Here's the lineup (from their FB page):

Thursday, 15 March 2018

A Win for Alys!

"Essentially Alys" and "Ephemeral" were both selected as finalists in their respective categories at the Alternative Film Festival (Toronto) Spring edition....and Alys won Best Animation in the Short division!!! Very exciting news! Many thanks to the AltFF, which is one of the better-organised festivals of its kind.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

With Eric Generic as....

His latest incarnation is as the Prince of Denmark himself, to be featured in an upcoming super-short with Yorick:

Looking good in black and white!


...also good in colour, but the blue skin in combination with the white hair makes him look like an Andorian from Star Trek! There was that episode about an intergalactic Shakespearean company....

Thursday, 8 March 2018

New film - "Ephemeral" in fleeting or short-lived. It is a micro-short "visual poem" or meditation on the cyclic nature of life as we know it, i.e. carbon-based life and the carbon cycle itself. Through-composed motion graphic visuals with original music.

Ephemeral from Deborah Ethier on Vimeo.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Meanwhile, in Another Part of the Forest

My newest micro-mini film is finished! In an earlier post I documented the making of the costume and the transformation of Eric Generic into Shakespeare; now on to the actual film.

I love "A Midsummer Night's Dream", but always felt you needed a scorecard to keep track of the four story threads. In this film, Shakespeare attempts to make sense of the comings and goings in one of the threads, and contemplates how to ensure a happy ending. All that in a minute-and-a-half mixed-media animated comedy.

I'm pretty pleased with the stop-motion aspects of this film, and instead of using greenscreen went with building a set. I wanted atmospheric lighting (which can be tricky with stop motion). Here's an early test-shot of the set with Will:

That's an actual mini oil lamp, lit!
In the finished film, it would be much darker and more Rembrandt-y, which is what I wanted:

It took about a week of tests to get the lighting just right. Frustrating, but enlightening (pun? What pun?). Lots of strange fixtures, indirect setups, coloured bulbs and, of course, an actual lit mini oil lamp (which I've had sitting around doing nothing for years. First rule of independent filmmaking - never throw anything out that might remotely be useful in the future). That was a brilliant move, as the flame barely flickered - just enough to give an interesting feel to the scene and, unlike a candle, wouldn't burn down rapidly in stop motion (although that's fun to do, too).

More stills:

The opening shot features some other "familiar faces" and establishes the Shakespeare character.
The key to a happy ending!

He writes!
And here is the finished film. Hold on to your hats.

Meanwhile in Another Part of the Forest from Deborah Ethier on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

"You Are Here" at the Blackbird Film Festival

 My short meditation on being in the moment, "You Are Here" will be screening at the Blackbird Film Festival in April. I am so honoured that my film was chosen as part of the programme! It looks like an amazing event and lineup of films. It's most unfortunate that I can't attend on that date due to other travel plans; I would have loved to be the "you" in "You Are Here"!

I had added a feedback portion to my entry and received a really wonderful page of comments. Some excerpts:

  "You Are Here" is a very relaxing and peaceful film. It gave me a strong sense of serenity, and the visuals really brought me into the film....The animation was well-done and the transitions worked well.... the changing of the scenery from daytime to nighttime was magical - I felt transmitted in that scene....The music selection was a perfect compliment to a really visually stunning piece. 

When you're absorbed 24-7 in the making of a film (even a one-minute film), you are so close to your concept that it's sometimes difficult to tell if it is conveying what you want to say or if you are reading into the finished product because you know it so intimately (the whole "hard to see the forest for the trees" kind of thing). It's so gratifying to know that my little hommage to the beautifully mysterious things makes visible how I feel about certain places.