Friday, 29 August 2008

Jannes Hendrikz, Ree Treweek and Markus Smit "The Tale of How" & "Ringo" - Black Heart Gang

The Tale of How was signalled yesterday. Otto the Monster octopus terrorises all who chance his way in the depths of the Indian Ocean. He mainly lives on a reducing population of rather charming if not very bright Piranhas Birds (white Dodos): For Otto the monster,/ how hideous the slaughter,/ he picked them like fruit,/ from that inky black water. In desperation the poor mites send off bottles into the ocean seeking help. Only Eddy the Engineer, a mouse, answers their call. Markus Wormstorm's lyrics are in the Lewis Carroll mould and the trimmed down team (see below) of Capetown's Jannes Hendrikz, Ree Treweek and Markus Smit display the promise that was to lead two of them to form their own company - see yesterday's feature. In fact the world created is much like this later commercial covered though without the bloody rending of bodies by Otto's dark tentacles. There is a YouTube video depicting the making of Tale of How which, whilst possessing a deliberate whimsical incongruity - a feature that distinguishes both their work and website prose - nevertheless shows the processes that the movie went through, from original concept, sketches, 2D work and then the 3D elements "with help from their friends" Black Ginger. Light hearted the team may be, this belies a work ethic sufficient to create a world of fantasy that, as all the best novels manage to achieve, has an integrity to it. There's a high quality download courtesy Computer Arts and much of the detailed information is featured in a first rate sub page website for the Black Heart Gang. Also a proposal to produce a follow-up version, The Tale of Then using the talents of as yet ten unspecified animators. So should you be interested download the Proposal Form like ... instantly. Alternatively or as well, admire one of the prints that forms part of the movie package.
Ringo (2004) was the first project completed by the original five gang members with a look, as they freely admit created from designs by Ree with Jannes initially doing most of the technical detail until the arrival of Pieter Mentz who handled the 3D work. Miné Jonker's "gentle advice was the putty which held Ringo together" whilst Markus Wormstorm was the electronic composer and his percussive soundtrack accompanies the travels of the white robot through a fantasy world of fierce robot devouring crocodiles, jungle and flat clouds that serve as stepping stones. It has something of the feel of those infernally addictive games where one attempts to navigate your guy through the hazards and onwards to the next level.

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