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Friday, 27 November 2009

Max Crow "The Tourist Trap" (2001)











The UK used to have the essentially publicly owned Channel 4 commissioning animation and the genre blossomed in a ten year period up to the mid 1990s to include such talents as the Quay Brothers, Alison Snowden, David Fine and Candy Guard. Here is The Tourist Trap, a short directed by the talented Max Crow made, somewhat amazingly, eight years ago as part of the MESH programme scheme. North of England's Dwight Trash and Trez-le-Park visit Mars on a holiday vacation where their brash earthiness is brought into conflict with an ancient monument. Trez voiced by Christine McSween and Dwight by Mark Devenport are dressed for the occasion, she with chest silicon to spare, he with a little too much sand in the nether regions. With characters to match the unobtrusive colour scheme Trez flirts with the robot steering the sand gondola whilst her hubby obtains the holiday snapshot of his life. Poor voiced dialogue can spoil many a good animated short. Here professionals are in the box seat and the result is iridescent. Channel 4 has been forced to relinquish some of its commissioning of animation in the teeth of commercial competition though they still offer what they call a "nursery slope" for young animators in their Three Minute Wonder and (A.I.R.) animate!, alongside their Christmas Specials following in the revered footsteps of Raymond Brigg's classic, The Snowman. I believe the number of commissions is down to thirteen shorts a year. Plenty of television channels now offer the deliberate vulgarity of The Tourist Trap without the compensating art. It's cheaper to follow real life couples with a single live action camera interspersed with ads for lager.

2 comments:

max crow said...

Dear Ian,
Thank you for the kind words about the Tourist Trap. You might be interested in a little known animation format that I work in now called “Fulldome.” We have some examples here http://www.nsccreative.com/blog/

Forget Avatar this is where its at! Fully immersive cinema.

Jessica Gatto said...

well done, waitering is a very hard job you think we are just there to serve you for free, and some of these Tourist are very demanding nxaa !!