Mary & Max - Written, Directed and Designed by Adam Elliot

ABC 1's "Scene by Scene" program (episode 2) is a show about film making in the Asia Pacific region. The first 10 minutes of this past week's episode features Australian made stop motion animation. See it on ABC iView (until 20 Dec 2009).

Two floors down from the rarefied atmosphere of the animation studio works an animator in another department. His name is Jason Lynch (check out his web site). He is a Brisbane animator (Yeh, hometown!). During 2008 he had to suffer the poor coffee of Melbourne while helping animate a feature length stop motion film called Mary & Max. Go and see it. The film is having its Toronto premiere on November 20, 2009.


Ian said...

WAAA! that looks so good!

frank said...

Jason Lynch came in to give the animators a guest lecture, he was an excellent speaker bursting with passion for animation.

Animators got an insight in how life can get in the way of animation and how a feature film animator navigates through those challenges.

There was some great advice for junior animators in persistence (like jumping on a plane to the UK and staying at a backpackers just near Aardmann Studios and applying for every job that came up - including car park attendent - until getting a foot in the door).

Important information about having a good showreel and updating it all the time, keep producing work!
"The learning of animation is in the doing of animation."

Jason pointed out an updated reel shows improving skills ... that may help land you the next feature film job, along with persistence and enthusiasm.

We got to see some detail on some innovative animation techniques in the world of stop mo'.

Hey Ian, Jason likes 3D animation very much. Simply put, he likes animation. Like you say, "It's all animation."

Jason strongly encouraged the new animators to learn the fundamentals while at animation school and apply as much time during the course (not just lesson time) to understanding and mastering them.

The processes of producing animation were quickly learnt when employed in a studio working with other animators. Knowing animation fundamentals was key in a junior animator's confidence in starting a career.

Kristi said...

Melbourne has worse coffee than Brisbane? C'est impossible, it must be a lame joke.

Frank said...

Kristi! Finally, a nibble. ;) Definitely a caffienated joke with wobbly legs. Of course Melbourne has better coffee. That being said, I have grown fond of the Merlot organic blend up here in Brisbane. And I always thought that Merlot was a wine.

Mary & Max was an excellent story (tempo of the story could have been manipulated with editing a bit better, as an observation).

Adam Elliot can really press some empathy buttons, there's snippets of music, wardrobe, details that trigger responses. The animation was mind boggling.

I always wonder how stop mo' animators work out their spacing. There was a sequence with a character on a table with a rotating camera, where the spacing of moves to music were great, as well as the camera move being like a live action aerial shot. The planning must be brain melting.

They must have had some Brisbane coffee imported to get through it.

Ian said...

My this is a persistant post ian't it? Just keeps popping up to the top of the page there.

frank said...

Yes, it has been updated with a link to Jason's web site rather than just his show reel and we had a field trip to see the film with the added treat of Tery at the pub for the dissection.

frank said...

That should read: Terry

Frank said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Frank said...

Too many typos in the last post. This is what it meant to say: Adam Elliot talks a bit about the process and what happens when you 'lose a scene' and have to re-do it.

Terry said...

What a fantastic movie!

At the risk of sounding snooty, I wasn't sure how the guy who made short films like BROTHER and HARVEY KRUMPET could sustain an audience's attention for 90 minutes. His previous films, as good as they are, were so "quiet", so still, so dialogue-driven, so filled with talking heads and so melancholy that I thought MARY AND MAX might possibly be a bit of a trial to sit through.

Fortunately, MARY AND MAX is much more visually dynamic than Adam's previous films. It's not quite a Michael Bay movie*, but it has a really unique flair and energy.

I hope it does well enough to ensure that we'll see another Adam Elliot-helmed stop-mo feature. (Assuming he could cope with making another!)

* (and that is a good thing)

frank said...

Max and Mary is now playing at Blueroom in Rosalie. It's a cool little cinema.

Jason Lynch said...

Thanks for the positive comments on M&M! I'm also glad you enjoyed the talk. I enjoyed it more than most. It was a bit of a deeper talk, as we got to touch on some of the equally important non-animation topics like life after a project, and life during (but outside of) a project. Thanks for the warm reception.
PS: I had a coffee shot in melbourne, and within 5 mins, my jaw bone was humming and I didn't sleep that night! It wasn't speed, because it cost $4. (but then again, I don't know how much speed costs!)

frank said...

Hey Jason

Thanks for dropping by. I'm so excited that you have (an actual animator from the film!) that I might just boost this topic to the top of the list again.

Russ said...

Ha haha, I like how the voice over in the ABC show says there is an animation boom in Australia.

I must have been in my bunker, cos I didn't hear it.

Stop mo seems to be very popular at the moment.