Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Movies Media Entertainment

Despairing of Pixar 145

Posted by Hemos
from the bringing-out-the-new dept.
An anonymous reader writes "According to AnimWatch, Despair Inc :-( has released the short films of stop-motion animator Mark Osborne on DVD. They're available through Happy Product.com. MORE, the first stop action short film shot in IMAX format has been nominated for an Academy Award, won a Jury Prize at Sundance, appeared in a Kenna music video, and even appears in the Hotline documentation, but this looks like the first time it's ever been available on DVD. According to the filmmaker he hopes to fund future films by selling his old ones. This is the best short film I've ever seen, so all I can say is I'm glad it's finally getting a proper release. Isn't this how Pixar and Aardman got their starts?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Despairing of Pixar

Comments Filter:
  • steve jobs? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lotas (177970) on Monday December 22, 2003 @11:18AM (#7786134) Homepage Journal
    dident pixar get a major start (with the help of a lot of money) by steve jobs?
    • Neither Steve Jobs nor Pixar are even mentioned in the article linked. Why on earth is Pixar in the headline?
    • Jobs is CEO of Pixar, has been for some time. I don't think he contributed much founding capital.
  • Direct Download (Score:1, Informative)

    Here's a Direct Download [yahoo.com] link, rightclick and choose save as, if you are using iexplore. Save linnk to disk if you are using Mozilla/Firebird.
  • Kenna used MORE (Score:3, Redundant)

    by Gyan (6853) on Monday December 22, 2003 @11:19AM (#7786143)
    as their video for 'Hell Bent'
  • by mschoolbus (627182) <travisriley@gmail . c om> on Monday December 22, 2003 @11:20AM (#7786149)
    so all I can say is I'm glad it's finally getting a proper release

    How about proper bandwidth...
  • by flewp (458359) on Monday December 22, 2003 @11:20AM (#7786156)
    I assume the subject line of the submission is trying to indicate that this hurts Pixar.

    The truth is, Pixar will be around for awhile, and will continue to make great films. Really, I can't think of any other CG animation studio that has films of the caliber of Toy Story, Finding Nemo, A Bug's Life, etc. Sure, tools become better and better and are allowing a greater variety of people/studios to make similiar type of movies, but Pixar is one of the pioneers of the new technologies to hit the big screen and will continue to be for awhile.
    • by karmaflux (148909) on Monday December 22, 2003 @11:25AM (#7786186)
      I don't think it implies a threat to Pixar, I think it's just a way to put across the fact that both despair.com and a computer animation house are in the body of the article. A misleading and confusing way, but a way nonetheless.
    • by EMH_Mark3 (305983) on Monday December 22, 2003 @11:26AM (#7786193)
      Eh DreamWords did a pretty good job with Shrek.

      • ffs.. DreamWorks :/

      • by flewp (458359)
        Agreed, they did a wonderful job. But as I mention a few posts down, no other studio can really claim to have a portfolio (for their type of work) of the caliber of Pixar. That is to say, they have multiple films that are of extremely high quality, both in technical aspects and in storytelling.
        • by Jbrecken (107271)

          Agreed, [DreamWorks] did a wonderful job. But as I mention a few posts down, no other studio can really claim to have a portfolio (for their type of work) of the caliber of Pixar. That is to say, they have multiple films that are of extremely high quality, both in technical aspects and in storytelling.


          As well as the aforementioned Shrek, Antz was a decent story, and had some incredible images. I'd say DreamWorks is in Pixar's league for CG films.
      • Eh DreamWords did a pretty good job with Shrek.

        You've gotta be kidding me. The animation in Shrek was not nearly as good as Monsters Inc. (which came out the same year). In fact, it wasn't even on par with Toy Story, which came out 6 years prior. There weren't many good textures, movement wasn't fluid, the characters' mouths didn't match the words at all, and the story telling was extremely gimmicky (just threw a bunch of old tales together). There was none of the originality, quality, or artistic style t

      • Shrek already isn't standing the test of time that it's Pixar competitor Monsters Inc. is. Look at the home video market for one indicator.
    • by IWorkForMorons (679120) on Monday December 22, 2003 @11:29AM (#7786219) Journal
      Really, I can't think of any other CG animation studio that has films of the caliber of Toy Story, Finding Nemo, A Bug's Life, etc.

      Pretty sure the movie "Titan A.E." from the now-defunct studio who's name is forgotten would qualify...
    • Movies are all about quality. It does not matter what your company name is - if you make a quality product people will fill the seats and buy the DVDs. Just because you have a recognizable name - does not mean that you will have an instant hit.

      Conversely, if you make a lousy product investors will not make any money at it...

      • by flewp (458359) on Monday December 22, 2003 @11:48AM (#7786346)
        Movies are all about quality

        And that's why Pixar is the leader of the field. They are both extremely talented on the technical side and, just as, if not more importantly, the storytelling side.

        Just because you have a recognizable name - does not mean that you will have an instant hit.

        Agreed, but a recognizable name means people will at least look at and consider your work, especially if your recognized name is associated with quality.
        • by Khomar (529552) on Monday December 22, 2003 @03:25PM (#7788203) Journal

          but a recognizable name means people will at least look at and consider your work, especially if your recognized name is associated with quality.

          Absolutely. Consider the past couple trailers for the Pixar films. Both "Monsters Inc." and "Finding Nemo" contained very little about the actual story. In fact, after seeing the trailer for "Finding Nemo", I was not exactly enthused about the story. However, I knew from experience that Pixar uses excellent stories and expressive, fascinating characters, and so I, like millions of others, went and say the film and loved it. Pixar has built such a good reputation that they could almost just display a screen that said " - A Pixar Film - Summer 2005" and people would flock to see it.

          I would also like to point out what I see that makes them great. They combine a fantastic story with great characters told through cutting edge computer graphics with content that is great entertainment for kids while having enough sophistication in their humor to highly entertain adults (note: this means no "adult" humor in the bad sense of the word). This is why Pixar is now the reigning champ, and as long as they stick to this formula, they will never lose that title.

          • Both "Monsters Inc." and "Finding Nemo" contained very little about the actual story. In fact, after seeing the trailer for "Finding Nemo", I was not exactly enthused about the story.

            I take issue with this. It is my philosophy of trailers that you can tell how good a movie is going to be as an inverse proportion of how much of the story can be gleaned from the trailers. If they tell the story in the trailer, they have nothing to lose and are hoping people will go despite having no reason to do so. Keepin
            • I would actually agree with your observation. My point was rather that you really have no clue what the next Pixar movie is really going to be about, but you still go see it because, after all, it is a Pixar film. Its going to be good.

        • They are both extremely talented on the technical side and, just as, if not more importantly, the storytelling side.

          Make that MUCH, MUCH more importantly. A good story will beat a great technical achievement any day.

          If you don't believe me, compare Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within with South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut. Both computer animation. One was a technical and visual marvel with a crap screenplay, and it tanked. The other was relatively technically easy with a very good screenplay, and i

      • Just because you have a recognizable name - does not mean that you will have an instant hit.

        Funny, but isn't one of the biggest budget items of a movie the actors? Well, at least those that hire brand name actors in an attempt to have an "instant hit".

        Not sure how common knowledge this is, but one neat trivia piece about "A Bugs Life" DVD is that the widescreen and 4:3 versions of the movies are actually rerenders. Not pan and scan.
        • by PunchMonkey (261983) on Monday December 22, 2003 @12:59PM (#7786922) Homepage
          Not sure how common knowledge this is, but one neat trivia piece about "A Bugs Life" DVD is that the widescreen and 4:3 versions of the movies are actually rerenders. Not pan and scan.

          Screenshots showing the difference available here (Scoll almost to the bottom)

          Link [thedigitalbits.com]

          This site also has some pretty good examples of the different aspect ratios, etc.
      • Not entirely true.

        Marketing needs to be behind you.

        Look at Iron Giant. That should have done much much more in the box office but nobody seemed to notice the movie existed.

        Also, having worked on a *decent* film that was barely noticed (and barely distributed) I can say that it takes a little more than just a quality product. Money and headlines still oil the machine of the box office.

        -Tim
    • pixar makes pretty family films, yes, but there are other (independent) animators out there. i was very impressed with "The Cathedral", directed by Tomek Baginski which was included in Mike Judge and Don Hertzfeldt's Animation Show. there were a lot of great films in that show, most of them using stop motion or traditional animation, and most were at least as good as any pixar movie ive seen out there. Pixar may be profitableand have immense resources, but they are certainly not the only studio out there
    • "I can't think of any other CG animation studio that has films of the caliber of Toy Story, Finding Nemo, A Bug's Life, etc."

      Umm....Wega Digital? I suppose I'm to assume you mean to constrain this to animation studios being more than hired guns? I love Pixar but have to put my money on those CGI artists whose work is more transparent, when the audience doesn't know or very quickly forgets they are looking at CGI.

      I'd love to see Pixar put out something a bit darker, with a bit more complex character d
      • I'd love to see Pixar put out something a bit darker, with a bit more complex character development and a bit less "free toy with your Happy Meal purchase" oriented...

        So would I, but unfortunately cg animation is being treated the same as traditional animation in North America. Ie, cartoons are for kids, which is most unfortunate. The mediocrity of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within didn't help much either.

        There have been some darker features made in other countries. Kaena [lycos.fr] and Wonderful Days [wonderfuldays.co.kr] (although te

    • This was mind-blowing animation, and the story/characters were not bad (Roger Ebert liked it too). However, as with Titan A.E. (which I thought was just kind of OK), the studio was basically destroyed in the process.

      I thought that The Iron Giant was a really excellent movie, though perhaps the animation wasn't as flashily spectacular as Pixar. It certainly wasn't _bad_.

  • by lcracker (10398) on Monday December 22, 2003 @11:22AM (#7786170) Homepage
    I picked MORE up on DVD two or three years ago. It was on a compilation of a bunch of indie shorts. I don't have it in front of me, but I believe it was volume 13 of something (utopia maybe?) and it definitely had a picture of a mushroom cloud on the cover.
  • Exposure (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dracolytch (714699) on Monday December 22, 2003 @11:27AM (#7786201) Homepage
    Hey Gang, I saw this short quite some time ago on the Sci-Fi show Exposure. If you're interested in shorts, I really recommend checking their site out. Even though they don't have More available for on-line play, they do have shorts like Prelude to Eden, and Protest.

    http://exposure.scifi.com [scifi.com]

    ~D
  • funding (Score:5, Informative)

    by Savatte (111615) on Monday December 22, 2003 @11:32AM (#7786234) Homepage Journal
    Getting funding for a short film is quite possibly more difficult than getting funding for a feature film. A full-length film at least has the possibility of being picked up and distributed to vast audiences, where as an investor's return on a short film is more likely to be nothing, since they are rarely exhibited. To convince someone to give you money so you can follow your dream or experiement is quite difficult. Stan Brakhage, the world-renowned avant-garde film maker had trouble finding funding for his short films, since he was so prolific (he made about 400 films in his lifetime). He then decided to take a different approach and began painting on the actual film, which took more time, and thus was able to make his funding last.

    For some other non-Pixar fascinating short films, check out:

    Duck Amuck - Chuck Jones
    Eye Myth - Stan Brakhage
    Rabbits - David Lynch
    The Heart Of The World - Guy Maddin
    The Superbowl Is Gay - Andy Milonakis (yes, I'm serious. This is one of the most purely comedic films ever made)
  • Aardman (Score:5, Informative)

    by lxt (724570) on Monday December 22, 2003 @11:35AM (#7786251) Journal
    Isn't this how Pixar and Aardman got their starts?" - I don't know about Pixar, but Aardman (based right down the road from me in Bristol) was originally two teenagers who got a commission from the BBC to produce a short kids ident (called the "aard man", hence the company name). From then on, the studio funded itself through producing advertisements and music videos (Peter Gabriel's Sledgehammer for example), and put the revenue it recieved into producing quality shorts - it was this money that funded Nick Park's "A Grand Day Out". "Chicken Run" is an exception to the advertisement funding rule, as it's part of a five film deal with Dreamworks.
    • Re:Aardman (Score:3, Interesting)

      by g_attrill (203506)

      There's a nice history [aardman.com] on their website explaining everything.

      Gareth

    • I heard the Peter Gabriel video was unpaid work. Awesome, groundbreaking, but done for free for the priviledge of working with Peter Gabriel. True or false?
  • I'm unable to download the short. Who wants to make a torrent?
  • by Bazzargh (39195) on Monday December 22, 2003 @11:44AM (#7786317)
    I'd quite like to see this film, but where's the tech spec for the DVD? From the lack of one, I can only assume that this is Region 1/NTSC?

    Just goes to remind us what a disaster the DVD region encoding is. Its a system that can only help large conglomerates staging their worldwide releases, not small operations who'd like to sell to all and sundry via the 'net.

    Ho hum. Wish more folk would release their wares on Region 0, like the good folks at MindCandy [mindcandydvd.com] did.

    BTW, Aardman had been going for a long, long time [aardman.com]. Those of us who grew up in the UK have been watching their stuff all our lives on Vision On, Take Hart, and Morph. The rest of the world probably saw their work first on music video - Peter Gabriel's 'So' was out 3 years before W&G. So its probably more accurate to say that Aardman got their start by years of slog on TV work.

    As for "hopes to fund future films by selling his old ones" I think that's also the business plan of Disney, Universal, Sony.... ;)

  • pixar in 1987 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jspectre (102549) on Monday December 22, 2003 @11:46AM (#7786333) Journal
    i remember pixar demoing some of their medical imaging systems at princeton university back in 1987.. they sold some high-end unix-based servers to help generate graphics, the kind that are easily done on a PS1 these days. making movies wasn't even on their radar back then.

    didn't buy any of the servers, but they were pretty pictures (for the time).
    • Actually making movies (albeit short ones) was very much on their radar screen. Andre and Wally B. came out in 1984, Luxo and Luxo Jr. in '86 and Red's Dream in '87.

      BTW Pixar's association with Disney pre-dates the movies deal by a few years. Pixar Image Computers and Pixar software were used in Disney's Computer Animation Production System (CAPS). This system was first used for the ending scene of The Little Mermaid in 1989 and won an Academy Award for Technical Achievement in 1992.
      • Leo Schwab, who hangs out here occasionally ran afoul of Pixar [google.com] in 1987 over Red's Dream.

        I can recommend Leo as a houseguest. He fixed my toilet that year as well when I put him up so he could attend some convention in Anaheim. What a multi-talented guy.
  • by kid zeus (563146) on Monday December 22, 2003 @11:48AM (#7786348)
    I got this on the Utopia collection of independent shorts a few years back, and all I have to say is that it's simply one of the finest pieces of animation ever done. And watching it on in a small, low-res QT window is not the best way to check out the amazing texture brought about by it's Wide Format (aka IMAX) filming. This guy is fantastic, and I hope he gets some great funding because I can't wait to see what he does next.
  • Oh my god I almost fainted.... I kept reading looking for a close parenthesis in the article. Dont do this to me before coffee!
  • Aardman (Score:1, Redundant)

    by Burb (620144)
    ... didn't Aardman get its start working for the BBC in kids TV? "Morph" and all that?
    • He started making all his animations by hand at home, and his talent got him noticed... He's made a few quid since, though.
  • film length (Score:5, Insightful)

    by theMerovingian (722983) on Monday December 22, 2003 @12:05PM (#7786466) Journal
    This is the best short film I've ever seen

    I am surprised more film people don't make short movies of their 'concepts', and use them as a demo to pitch to major studios/investors. If I were a film executive, I would be much more willing to consider spending $ on someone who would take that much initiative on their own dime. Also, you could sell the short film to recoup some of your costs (even if it doesn't get picked up).
    • This is MUCH easier said than done for many reasons. However, the top reasons would be time and money; creating a short film takes a lot of work between a lot of people to make it worth while. Sure, you may make something with less time & people, but I can tell you straight up that 99% of the time, unless you put a lot of work into it, its probably going to come out like shit. This is doubly true for 3D where nothing is done for you. For 1 person to make a 30 second animated piece with *1* character tha
    • _The Wizard of Speed and Time_ should be a lesson; God help anybody that tries this. Really.
  • by GeekLife.com (84577) on Monday December 22, 2003 @12:17PM (#7786567) Homepage
    For the title of the article to be "The Pixaring of Despair," considering there's nothing happening to Pixar at all?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    that looks AWESOME [gethappy.com] too.
  • While I wholeheartedly agree that More is the best short I've ever seen, it's certainly been on DVD before now. I own it!

    It's in a collection of other short films called short 7 - Utopia [amazon.com]. I do highly recommend anyone that hasn't seen it to look into it.
  • This is not the first time MORE has been put on a DVD. Warner Brother's released a series of DVDs called "Short." The one that has more is the 7th in the series called Short: Utopia. It's somewhat of a rarity, but all the DVDs in the collection are fantastic and have some truly amazing short movies and animations. Amazon.com has a few used copies for sale still: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B000 03JRCL/002-9775621-7736809?v=glance
  • ...but this looks like the first time it's ever been available on DVD.

    Actually, MORE is on the Film-Fest DVD - Issue 2 - Cannes released in 1999--the main reason I purchased it; well, that and the picture of Selma Hayek on the front (yum). Just do a search on Amazon [amazon.com] or your favorite DVD shoppe.

  • by tinrobot (314936) on Monday December 22, 2003 @01:32PM (#7787255)
    Pixar started life as a spin off of ILM, with Jobs as a major investor. He hoped to make money off of rendering technology and the shorts were mostly done as promotion. Little did he know there was more money in feature films than Renderman software.

    Aardman got it's start in the 70's by two animators who loved clay. They sold a show called Morph to the BBC and that made the studio. Nick Park came a decade later. The first Wallace and Gromit was a student film he couldn't finish on his own. Aardman provided the resources for Nick to finish it and the rest is history.

    That said, there are a number of OTHER animators who have made decent careers by using one film to finance the next. Bill Plympton comes to mind, as does Don Hertzfeldt.

    Mark Osborne's films are similarly great, I wish him lots of luck.
  • I've seen this before, long ago. I wasn't impressed in the least. It's the typical pseudo-philosphical shit that every "independent" filmmaker spews out. And claymation just isn't impressive anymore. Not that it every really was.
  • Nice advertisement, anonymous!

From Sharp minds come... pointed heads. -- Bryan Sparrowhawk

Working...