Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Richard Connor & Brian O'Connell "Origami" (Asterisk Animation)

(Someone is psychic. Check out the featured blog below to see evidence of the art without collusion!) I only ever have time to visit a few blogs on a regular basis, David Levy, Michael Sporn and Richard O' Connor's Asterisk Animation are three that come to mind, all from New York. I have not until now written about the latter's work. Asterisk was founded in 2003 by Richard and Brian O'Connell. A navigation through the company's site is called for, not difficult in a well mapped universe. So, in the See Our Work/2D section is a short piece they did for Frank Oz from 2004; in The Stepford Wives the wife is put through the Female Improvement System in a 1950s style public service ad where we welcome the future; Nicole Kidman and Matthew Broderick look on in amazement as the ideal woman is fashioned. I could see little wrong with the transformation. Teaming up with cartoonist Kim Deitch led to a stylish Trees for the band They Might Be Giants whilst the 3D section has a Super ad for Kirin coffee that uses black lettering and figure set against a steel grey tin, neatly mirroring the canned coffee drink itself. However in a bid to fit a fleeting trawl through a whole studio's output, without even focusing on other directors they collaborate with, the two minute short Origami for Nickelodeon, again in the 3D category, is worth dwelling on. In my experience animation teams are often more stimulated by children's work than almost any other commission. With a stunning soundtrack by Yomo Toro, the mix of 2D and 3D, and designs by Matthew Stoddart rather beautifully convey the story of the little boy, bored on a rainy day who creates origami models and is taken on a magic journey to a tropical island. The studio, like this blog I guess, reflects a diversity of animation. Richard's blog also welcomes one to New York's thriving world. (A New York that David Levy's Animondays referred to on Sunday, in an interesting and very full post on student and independent films currently being shown in various festivals, as "THE independent animation city of the world.")


roconnor said...

We're honored to be included on your blog. (even if it is an "O" short)

I'm regularly "wowed" by the work you highlight and your illuminating insights. I hope someday to produce something that rises to that level.

Ian Lumsden said...

Thanks for the wow factor. The review was a scatter gun approach towards your varied output. "Origami" alone would have merited illumination at length, particularly had I read your notes on it in advance! I will return.