Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Grzegorz Jonkajtys & Marcin Kobylecki "Ark"

Ark , directed by the Polish animator Grzegorz Jonkajtys with producer Marcin Kobylecki, is an inspiring example of the detail animation can obtain. CGI software in high definition can be awesomely good, albeit created in today’s movie in an unorthodox manner. Made in 2007 Ark has enjoyed considerable success on the festival circuit. It takes a science fiction scenario in which the world’s population has been decimated by a virus and forced to live in gigantic, ocean-going barges (arks) to survive until they discover their mythical promised land. We follow a scientist whose blood test results indicate he has the infection. His reaction is not surprisingly panic, with thoughts of suicide and flight. It does have a surprise conclusion. The director has been influenced by The Matrix because some of the internal shots of the living accommodation are reminiscent of that movie, as are other facets. The technology revealing expression on the scientist’s face is impressive, particularly in high resolution form via the link above. (An actual download is obtainable thanks to No Fat Clips.) Ark was made using models created by Marcin Kobylecki and Tomas Mayer, photographed using my own brand of camera, the Nikon D70, and then worked over in XSI. (A detailed explanation of the technology used to create the movie is to be found at fxguide.) Nothing is quite so spectacular as the opening sequence with the passengers embarking the massive ship, though the set for the inside of the vessel is hugely detailed with real presence. It is the facial expression and the man’s despair that steals the movie however. Produced in the directors' free time at Platige Image Studios with co-producers Jarek Sawko and Piotr Sikora, it received a nomination for the Palme d’Or (Golden Palm) at the Cannes Film Festival and won the “Best of Show” prize at the Siggraph Computer Animation Festival. The music by Paweł Blaszczak and Adam Skorupa is simply outstanding adding real drama that would not disgrace a film with a far bigger budget. Grzegorz is some talent. Employed at Café FX he has worked on effects for major movies such as The League of Gentlemen, Gothika, Hellboy, SinCity and Pan’s Labyrinth. Marcin has been executive producer on two classics, The Cathedral and Fallen Art, both reviewed on the Animation Blog. You can read more and view the film is different forms at the team's website.

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