Animator and director Mikey Please of Parabella Animation Studio just released his latest stop-motion animation project, Marilyn Miller. The film screened at numerous festivals like Sundance and SXSW over the last year, picking up plenty of accolades along the way, and is now available online for the first time. Marilyn Miller is a followup to Please’s BAFTA-winning animation The Eagleman Stag, and makes heavy use of tediously sculpted styrofoam models and complex long-exposure lighting to tell a story of creation and destruction. The film was photographed and animated by Mikey Please and Dan Ojari. And you can see a bit of behind-the-scenes footage here. (via Colossal Submissions)
Update: There’s a great writeup by Jason Sondhi about Marilyn Myller over Short of the Week.
For many of us, the idea of flying a kite involves stopping by a convenience store to purchase an inexpensive plastic kite emblazoned with a movie character, and heading over to the local park to launch it into the sky where it’s promptly swallowed by a tree. But for residents living in the crowded favelas of Rio de Janeiro, where resources and park space is scarce, flying kites is do or die. People of all ages take to the rooftops to fight with homemade kites using strings coated with wax and powdered glass in an attempt to cut the strings of competitors. Entire battles are fought between neighboring “turfs,” where real life conflicts between people and neighborhoods are settled through kite wars.
Filmmaker Guilherme Tensol, in collaboration with sports magazine Victory and Brazilian production company Mosquito Project, produced this stylized documentary short titled Kite Fight for the New York Times leading up to the World Cup a few weeks ago.
Though we may be rapidly heading toward peak GoPro, and the number of unique scenarios where the tiny video camera is used to film something is dwindling, gems like these still persist. For his Video Sketchbook class at the University of Wisconsin, Ryan Fox attached a camera to his car wheel while driving aroud at night, and this is the dizzying result. This should probably come with a list of seizure/vertigo/hypnotism warnings. (via Vimeo)
Update: Hey, if you liked this, also check out Paul Octavious’ photo series of spinning vinyl, Grandpa’s Records (scroll right).
Icheon Ceramics Village in Gyeonggi Province, South Korea, is home to over 300 ceramics studios where artists use traditional techniques to produce a wide range of functional pottery and artwork. Nearly 40 of the studios still use wood-fired kilns. This video filmed by the American Museum of Ceramic Art shows five ceramic masters from Icheon at work in their studios. The process of creating is almost more beautiful than the finished pieces. (via Huffington Post)
Nestled in Northeast India next to the Brahmaputra River sits Majuli Island, a giant sandbar that happens to be the largest river island on Earth, home to some 150,000 people. It is also the location of the 1,360 acre Molai Forest, one of the most unusual woodlands in the world for the incredible fact that it was planted by a single man. Since 1979, forestry worker Jadav Payeng has dedicated his life to planting trees on the island, creating a forest that has surpassed the scale of New York’s Central Park.
While home to such a large population, rapidly increasing erosion over the last 100 years has reduced the land mass of Majuli Island to less than half. Spurred by the dire situation, Payeng transformed himself into a modern day Johnny Appleseed and singlehandedly planted thousands upon thousands of plants, including 300 hectares of bamboo.
Payeng’s work has been credited with significantly fortifying the island, while providing a habitat for several endangered animals which have returned to the area; a herd of nearly 100 elephants (which has now given birth to an additional ten), Bengal tigers, and a species of vulture that hasn’t been seen on the island in over 40 years. Gives you more than a little hope for the world, doesn’t it?
Filmmaker William Douglas McMaster recently wrote and directed this beautiful documentary short titled Forest Man from the perspective of Payeng’s friend, photographer Jitu Kalita. The project was funded in part last year through Kickstarter. The video is a bit longer than what we usually see here on Colossal, but completely worth your time. (via Gizmodo)
As a quick follow-up to our video from Keith Skretch yesterday, here’s a similar concept from two years ago by Laurin Döpfner who used an industrial sander to grind down logs, electronics, and even a skull in thin layers which he then photographed to create this amazing stop motion video. Each object is comprised of about 100 different photos, a process I can only image was extremely labor intensive.
Waves of Grain is a two minute strata-cut animation by filmmaker Keith Skretch who planed a block of wood in tiny increments and took photographs along the way. The final video reveals a strange sense of motion as the camera moves effortlessly through the block revealing the the sinuous curves of wood grain that appears to ripple like water. If you liked this also check out these fruit and vegetable MRIs from Andy Ellison. (via Colossal Submissions)