Friday, 25 January 2008

Andrew S. Allen "Flight"

Flight directed by Andrew S. Allen is a story of flight, from the basic flying machine to the world's most technically advanced aircraft. The challenge of flight of course is to emulate the soaring bird, shown here in the white gull that epitomises everything that is pure and aspirational. The trouble is man has tarnished this ideal. Airplanes become warplanes disgorging bombs or, as in the 9.11 horror, themselves become the bomb. This essentially is Andrew's theme - an ideal being tainted: if Icarus was a tragic accident, Andrew's vision looks more like evolution thrown into reverse. In a Directors Notes podcast Andrew confesses his lack of prowess using pencil and paper to draw, though his use of Adobe After Effects in Flight is effective, the deliberately spare detail nicely designed. Andrew received assistance from three friends, all designers: Josh Froscheiser, Danny Huang and Aaron Woo. I viewed it with a class of students today, sparking discussion about the techniques used (boys like animating planes), the significance of the change from blue to red sky, and the cinematic opening to the movie that was much appreciated. Andrew is a talented man with several innovative projects in operation. A graduate of the University of Washington, he presently works as an interaction designer for Ziba Design in Portland, Oregon. His personal website is expertly designed and thorough, and he finds time to run Polymix, a platform for a group of North-West film-makers and enthusiasts, as well as edit Short of the Week, a weekly guide to on-line films. Add his involvement in film festivals and his own film-making and one finds a busy man. Do take in the live action movie Push for Signal about the dangers of crossing a busy road - the link is to Atom Films. The movie link for Flight is a direct one via Directors Notes, a UK organisation I inadvertently have helped fund through my lottery donations! I often wonder where the money goes.

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