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Fresh and not so fresh ideas

Posted on February 7, 2010  Leave a Comment
Filed under Animation, Graphic design

It is amazing how often the same ideas have to keep coming back in movies ….. no I didn’t mention Avatar…. well I just did .. The same ideas keep coming back but where the issue is the most acute is with student short films.

Last year I had an interesting conversation with Cedric Villain from french animation forum ““.

As a 2008 Annecy short film award winner, he was invited to participate in the selection of the 2009 Annecy nominees and went through 50 hours of program. After such an experience, he confirmed that the same topics or even stories kept coming back.

The reason I want to talk about this today is because my friend Joost posted a very very cool short film which really stood out aesthetically for me but not so much in term of story. Without further due here “Pivot”

Because I have been into design in motion for quite a while, I immediately thought about the Psyop arrows from the Lugz campaign which in 2002 led to the …. the “arrow craze”…. Every motion design video had to have its variation at that time and even I came up with my own flavour. The Robot on my modeling showreel was supposed to fire them in an explosion of colours ala DeBlob.

Now don’t get me wrong, I do love those guys video though.

At a time where every single animated feature, video game, VFX movie pretty much look the same, it is refreshing to see someone going for such a bold art style. The pacing of that piece, the animation, the cinematography are also top notch so I have to give those guys the thumb up but the story really lacks creativity.

Now have a look at 2008 Gobelin’s “Underground Psycho” and tell me how much different those two are?

Regarding the low poly style, someone also pointed me toward the Honda Accord campaign which is also disappointing.

Now who came up with the idea first and who got inspired by who I have no idea and that probably doesn’t matter …. as long as you haven’t seen it yourself before.

I will be revisiting the topic very soon as this is something really dear to me and I keep asking myself the following questions:

– How do you come up with fresh ideas?
– How come willingly or even unwillingly we might come up with a story that someone else thought about?
– What makes people think your story is fresh or dejavu?
– Can exceptional production values make people forgive obvious rip-offs?


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