By: admin                Categories: AnimationBooksGeneralInspirationSIGGRAPH

As the SIGGRAPH 2011 countdown clock gets closer and closer to zero (39 Days to go), we are gearing up for our busy conference season with Focal Animation attendance at Comic-Con and SIGGRAPH. We are excited to meet friends of Focal, our authors and all the attendees at these shows; stay tuned to the blog for details on the shows or follow us on Twitter for real-time insights from these shows.  

Conference excitement has grown even more palpable at Focal HQ with the announcement of the Computer Animation Festival winners and runner-up films for SIGGRAPH 2011. As a multi-year SIGGRAPH attendee, I’m always struck by the creative energy and focus found in these dynamic, gorgeous and innovative films, developed by leading professional and student talent.  

 Capturing our attention as well as the “Best in Show” award is William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg’s short, ” The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.”  Self-described as old fashioned and cutting edge at the same time, the short is inspired, in equal measures, by Hurricane Katrina, Buster Keaton, The Wizard of Oz, and a love for books.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore Trailer from Moonbot Studios on Vimeo.

We know we were won over when the story line was described as a “story of people who devote their lives to books and books who return the favor.” As publishing professionals, we are book lovers at heart and have devoted our careers to developing great content. I now fancy myself to be like the woman at 0:15 with the book cluster, flying off into the sky. I did mention the whimsy of the trailer, right? The trailer alone captures a whimsical love of story and craft with an impressive mastery of animation techniques, including the use of minatures as well the seamless integration of 2D and computer animation. 

In addition to the trailer, Moonbot Studios has also release three short “Making Of” featurettes, discussing the story development, animation styles and minature use in the short. This will be a nine-part series of behind-the-scenes segments. Each are a fascinating addition to the trailer itself.

The Making Of Morris: Part 1 (The Power of Story) from Moonbot Studios on Vimeo.

The Making Of Morris: Part 2 (Animation We Cherish) from Moonbot Studios on Vimeo.

The Making Of Morris: Part 3 (Thousands Of Books) from Moonbot Studios on Vimeo.

Come August, you’ll find a happy editor at the Electronic Theatre at SIGGRAPH watching this short and the others that were nominated and awarded this year. What are you most looking forward to for SIGGRAPH 2011?  

 Posted by Katy, Associate Acquisitions Editor, Animation and 3D.  Interested in writing for Focal Press, reviewing a proposal or just chatting about all things animation?  Visit Katy’s Linked-In page.

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