Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Steve Smith, Siri Melchior and Layla Atkinson "Firefly" Grand Drive

Trunk Animation Studio is one of the UK's premier animation studios, particularly for its music promos. I was going to feature on their most recent work but first things first. Firefly was a music video for the band Grand Drive made for free in 2003 and has led to other, if not greater, things winning accolades and awards galore for the studio. To an infectious ballad the computer generated piece has a Rapunzel story-line and is drawn in a cameo style, the resulting contrast being quite exquisite. It commences with the appearance of a shimmering firefly trapped in a glass jar. The insect is the prisoner of a young woman seemingly trapped herself high up in a modern tower block. As the girl combs her long hair we trace it down the spiral staircase to the street below. A beautifully conceived visual treat awaits us as we move from moonlit city to tranquil rural idyll where sits a young man resting against a tree. And is that the girl's hair he begins to examine in the sunlight? Our young hero's journey on bicycle amidst falling blossom and blooming red flowers towards the firefly and girl is the subject of this artful video. Use of colour is sparely restricted to an odd spot of red for a leaping fish or flower. The company comprises three animators, Steve Smith, Siri Melchior and Layla Atkinson (though Grigoris Leontiades joined them in the latter part of 2007.) One needs to negotiate around the videos on the company's site, Firefly being one of the music promos. You will doubtless be glad to know that the insect escapes in the end. I awarded Siri fourth place my Top Ten Shorts.

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