Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Fresh Out The Oven!

Well this has certainly been one exciting week for new work by some really exciting artists.

We have the wonderful Brazillian BEELD's channel idents hot off the presses for Megapix, rejuvinating the brand and creating an entirely new and exciting aesthetic for the channel. They had this to say about the project:

'We teamed up with Megapix to develop the first update to the channel's on air package design since it's launch in 2008. The main goal was to reinvigorate its visual identity widely recognized by the green hue and cube shaped elements. The targets that guided the creative process was those of extended durability ( project life cycle) and maintenance of the strong differential among other cable movie channels. The result is an identity that's extremely consistent and functional, easily renderable to other media, that brings in each fragment the distinct presence of the channel brand.'
Now you can watch them below...

PIX Id C from BEELD.motion on Vimeo.

PIX Id A from BEELD.motion on Vimeo.

Not only that but the gang have also made this stunning channel ident for Telecine called 'The Man Who Had Never Been To The Movies'. They had this to say of the project:

This short film was created for the "Go to the movies" campaign of Telecine Network. It tells the thrilling story of a man who dreads the darkness of the movie theatres. The narrative unfolds into a mix of different techniques and animation languages; an authentic visual experiment
Catch the sublime piece of work below...
Then we have some beautiful work by the talented illustrator/animator Steve May, who brings us this short piece called 'Amp', check it out below...

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Picasso Pictures Voted in Top 30 Best Commercial Production Companies

We're chuffed to bits over here at Picasso HQ as last week the fantastic Televisuals Magazine has included us in their Top 30 Best Commercial Production Companies. Thanks to everyone who has enjoyed and supported our work this year, here's to an equally prosperous 2012!

Monday, 14 November 2011

Cesar Pesquera's Circle One Released

The fabulous Cesar Pesquera of Picasso Directing team Actop, has released his amazing new short film Circle One. Watch the film and a Q&A session the director had FormFiftyFive below...

Circle One (Círculo Uno) from César Pesquera on Vimeo.

Hello César, I’ve just watched Circle One for the third time, it’s both beautiful and harrowing, can you tell us a little about your influences and inspiration?
—César Pesquera
Thank you. I am glad you like it enough to watch it three times. It all started with the idea of something happening or appearing in you daily life, in your normal environment. At the end of the day if you think about it all the horror movies are based on that, something strange, disturbing, unknown that produces a destabilisation in someone’s normal life. Then I had this image in my mind of someone walking down these corridors, very much like in THX 1138. I finally borrowed some elements from Dante’s Divine Comedy and that gave me some sort of scaffolding to start writing the script.
But I guess the central idea behind the film is to what extent those seemingly traumatic events are unconsciously caused by ourselves in order to facilitate the escape from a trap that is essentially of our own making.
In terms of influences, as I said, the film is a combination of the influence of mainstream directors like George Lucas and Stanley Kubrick, whose work I consider visually fascinating and, let’s say, more art house directors like Tarkovski, Bela Tarr or Michael Haneke, whose films I love and whose influence can be seen in Circle One’s pace and atmosphere.
Corridors seem to play a big part in sci-fi films, could you talk about the environment in which René is living?
Yes, actually this image of someone walking down these big corridors was present in the project even before any narrative element, so I knew that these parts where going to play a big roll in the film. Somehow I am fascinated by these kinds of transitory spaces, the idea of non-place coined by Marc Augé, they are places without history that affect our notions of space, our relationship with reality and with others. Can be supermarkets, highways or hotels. René is living in Circle One which in Dante’s Divine Comedy is the Limbo so somehow I liked the idea of him living in a massive non-place. It has also to do with the idea of liminality, the idea of being in some kind of transitional state, like René is. He is in a no man’s land somehow.
That’s really interesting, I’m a big fan on the non-place myself. I guess this must have been what attracted me to the film.
I noticed that some of the music was composed and performed by yourself, you must feel very passionately about it. How important do you think the sound design is?
Sound design is essential, but not only in terms of music but also in terms of the whole atmosphere of the short film. We worked a lot on that aspect, if you listen carefully you’ll hear these rumours, like engines. Somehow in my mind I was imagining that this world is formed by nine circles (like in the Divine Comedy’s hell) that are actually moving until their position periodically allows the redistribution of people between the different circles. That treatment in sound design gave the film that atmosphere of unease that I was looking for. Quique Montaña and Pau Tolosa from La Fabrica de Carbon did a great job with sound design. Vicent Fugere composed the track ‘Le Cycle Sans Retard’ and I composed ‘Architecture Of Uncertainty’. We are now thinking of remixing each other and releasing a limited edition of the soundtrack in vinyl.
It certainly produces an uneasy viewing experience! Makes me think of what a combination of Clint Mansell’s soundtrack for Moon and The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place by Explosions in the Sky would sound like.
You can see Build’s Grid-Based-Clock in the trailer — I personally love the light switch in René’s room, can you tell us little more about the technology in the film?
Those little details tell the viewer that the action is not taking place here and today but somewhere else, in a different time, in this case in an hypothetical future. That was important to me since I didn’t want to tell the story of one person, someone that could be your neighbour, but I wanted to tell an idea, a concept, like in a fable. Michael C. Placekindly allowed me to use his Grid-Based-Clock and I designed the rest of the graphics in order to portray, with just a few elements, an alternative world. In fact I even created an alternative alphabet in order to achieve that.
You did a great job. I like the fact it’s still believable, nothing too extravagant.
What are your plans for Circle One and the future?
At the moment I want to show the short film as much as I can at festivals. In June I’ll be talking about it at OFFF 2011 in Barcelona, and now I am working on a new short film that will close some kind of trilogy about transitory places together with Circle One and my previous short film Passer/8.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Introducing Sam Hope!

The last few months here at Picasso HQ have been busier than a fancy hat shop during Ascot with two new Directors coming on board, a mountain of stupendous new work from Holbrook's Film's viral for Baileys to Mia Nilsson's work with Gulf Air and so much more. However, this week sees one more milestone for the year, the addition of the wonderful Sam Hope to our Production team.

There's nothing nicer than filling the office with smart, creative types and Sam is as smart and creative as they come. Having dipped her finger in every pie from Producing the visuals for Rihanna's Rated R tour to founding the Animation division at production company HSI London in 2002 and to being on the board of almost every Animation Festival from here to Chicago. We sat down, in so much as our desk is next to hers, to talk shop, sweets and success...

Picasso: So tell us, why are you currently packing pic'n'mix into tiny plastic bags right now? We thought you were an Animation Producer, are you branching out into Tuck Shops?

Sam: Its very important work actually, I am making “Thank You for Listening” Sweet bags to hand out at the end of my lecture for the IPA Producer’s Course.

P: You're obviously very dedicated to the next generation of production talent, how comes?

S: It’s the old Nature /Nurture thesis - where there is an inherent talent, sometimes a little bit of nurturing can go a long way in getting it recognised and appreciated. Basically, I love being inspired.

P: Tell us about how you got started in Animation, when did you know it was your 'calling'?

S: I was working for a company that did both, back in 97. I thought I wanted to pursue a live action career, but fell in love with animation and never looked back. It becomes a way of life, you have to love animation to work in it. I even once dreamt I was dreaming at the wrong frame rate and adjusted it accordingly whilst still asleep.

P: You've worked on so many amazing projects, which sticks in your mind most?

S: Gosh, I have loved loads. Each job is different. I guess I am proud of the Rihanna Rated R Tour visuals, the whole process was incredibly labour intensive, but it was so satisfying to view the work on such a large global scale. Also, I loved a cinema commercial I did for Buxton, incredibly talented directors with an exciting technique, which made it a great experience.

P: What brought you to Picasso and don't say it's the tea-on-tap!

S: Well I have known Jane [Executive Producer] for a while and always respected Picasso since I started in the Industry, so I feel honoured to become part of a great animation institution and see what I can bring to the team.

P: If you couldn't be a Producer, what would you have been?

S: Ooh, I would have liked to have been a tour guide in a museum or national trust property, telling people how the house was lived in, and getting swept up in the history and romance, except I am scared of ghosts, so would be rubbish once it got dark, or I was left alone. And another career could have been teaching, it must be really satisfying to help mould young minds, or maybe that sounds too much like an evil mastermind.

P:You look ready to get stuck in, what's next for Sam Hope?

S: Working hard and being nice to people.

P: Finally, what is all this talk of 'cheese' we keep hearing?!

S: Oh, when Claire said you were going to ask me questions, in a panic I randomly thought you were going to ask me what my favourite type of cheese is. But then soon realised that was unlikely, so no need to worry. I still can’t decide, so don’t ask me.