Monday, April 07, 2008

9 - Shane Acker

Facebook readers, click here to be able to see today's Featured Animation

Ok, I know I promised you a comic today, but unfortunately my laptop is still in the shop. I won't go into the details, but I am having something bothersome fixed with regards to the screen, and Apple hasn't given it back to me yet. So blame them.

Anyway, this week we're going to pretend Monday is Thursday and Thursday is Monday. This, of course, means today you get another featured animation! (And if your boss is on board with the whole switch-a-roo concept you'll have Wednesday off.)

"9" is a short film by Shane Acker that was released in 2005. It won a boat load of awards (see the full list on Acker's website), and was nominated for an Oscar for best animated short. Acker worked on the film part time for approximately 4 and a half years. During a portion of that time he was also working at WETA on a little movie called Return of the King, animating Mumakils, among other things.

From an interview in 2005:

"Technically I think the biggest hurdle I encountered, as silly as it may sound, was trying to get 9's zipper teeth to behave! In the end I had to do a lot of hand animation tweaks to wrangle it back in order. Its funny how you can obsess over the smallest of details. That's why I think animators are all insane!"

It's about 10 minutes long, but if you don't have the time right now make sure and come back later to check it out. Although the story itself is rather simplistic, the style and sound effects are fantastic. "9" has been picked up by Focus Features and is being made into a full length film by none other than Tim Burton (not to mention quite a bit of voice talent from the likes of Jennifer Connelly, John C. Reilly, and Elijah Wood). It's currently scheduled to be released in December of this year.

Again, sorry for the comic delay. Come back Thursday for a nice short 10 second chunk of visual entertainment. Or if you didn't catch last week's featured animation, make sure and see it. It's about 20 seconds, and, in my humble opinion, worth your time.

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