Melvin the Magical Machine: A Machine with Its Own Identity

Melvin the Magical Machine: A Machine with Its Own Identity

Melvin the Magical Mixed Media Machine (or just Melvin the Machine) is a wild four-minute short film created by members of the design studio HEYHEYHEY. Art space MU asked HEYHEYHEY to design their show for the Dutch Design Week, Holland’s major design event. Mu gave them complete freedom on one condition: the show wasn’t to be a show of new products, but it should rather be a moment. Since they like a challenge, they decided to build a massive chain reaction with an identity.

Melvin is best described as a Rube Goldberg machine with a twist. Besides doing what Rube Goldbergs do best, performing a simple task as inefficiently as possible, often in the form of a chain reaction, Melvin has an identity. Actually, the only purpose of this machine is to promote its own identity. Melvin takes pictures and makes videos of his audience, which he instantly uploads to his blog, Facebook and Twitter account. Besides that he makes his own merchandise. All of this within 4-minutes of craziness, which you just have to witness yourself.

Melvin the Magical Machine: A Machine with Its Own Identity

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All that is Solid Melts into the Air: Why is this So Good? Why??

All that is Solid Melts into the Air: Why is this So Good? Why??

All that is solid,
turns into dust.

All that is Solid Melts into the Air is a 1-minute short film that was directed, designed and animated by Marco Vinicio Morales at Kult Nation.  Morales describes the film as a visual and poetic journey influenced by art, design, architecture and photography.  It illustrates a process whereby under the violent irruption of forms and structures, everything flows towards a constant evolution.

All that is Solid Melts into the Air: Why is this So Good? Why??

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Invent: An Orchestral Symphony Conducted by Computer Workstations

Invent: An Orchestral Symphony Conducted by Computer Workstations

Invent is an animated 1 1/2 min. short film created by Matt Robinson and Tom Wrigglesworth for the  2009 D&AD Student Awards, sponsored by Hewlett Packard.  The theme of the competition was to present an idea promoting the computer workstation’s ability to bring to life whatever the creative mind might conceive.  Invent created a synchronization of printers, which became an orchestra in a grand aesthetic symphony conducted by the computer workstations.  Music in the film is Hold Me Back by the Round Table Knights.  Printer party anyone?

Invent: An Orchestral Symphony Conducted by Computer Workstations

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Mindplotter: Dueling States of Hardcore Metallic Brutality vs. Peaceful Inspiration

Mindplotter: Dueling States of Hardcore Metallic Brutality vs. Peaceful Inspiration

Mindplotter (2007) is a 1/2 min. hardcore animated motion design short film by Directors Ilija Brunck, Jan Bitzera and Tom Weber, with sound/music by dAdA iNN and Roman Jungblut. Mindplotter received an Honorary Mention Award at the 2008 Ars Electronica. The directors are part of the Polynoid collaborative of digital workers; other animated short films by Polynoid filmmakers reviewed and posted here previously have included: Jangwa! (2005), 458nm (2006) and FlapFlap (2009).

Of special note is the acclaimed animated motion graphic short film 458nm, which has received more than thirteen awards at international film festivals. 458nm has been described as one of the most darkly savage films, both literally and figuratively, ever seen in any extra-terrestrial movie. The action in 458nm is performed by two biochemical snails who have dual characteristics: they are authentically organic in their behavior, but mechanical in their appearance. Seen from his perspective, Mindplotter is a precursor to 458nm, a harbinger of the aggressively dark, hardcore approach in some modern motion design films.

The directors describe Mindplotter as a symbol for what they believe is the essence of the creative process for every filmmaker in the field of animation. For them, the act of emerging creativity involves being able to switch between two stages, inspiration and creation. In Mindplotter emerging creativity is portrayed as both organic and mechanical, soft and hard, relaxed in the inspirational state of mind and brutal in the act of plotting and carrying out new artistic ideas. In the film, creativity is represented as the duality and interpenetration of internal and outer worlds, consisting of both the beauty of a sea creature and the menacing violence generated by a metallic fighting machine. Mindplotter conceives of creativity as the mutual interaction of peaceful introspection with aggressive acts into the external world, violently and destructively staking its claims to artistic innovation.

However, while it professes to understand creativity as a mutually interactive duality, rather than in terms of polar opposite states, the film’s view of artistic creativity as one that aggressively establishes itself by destroying the old order of things is in fact a polarized one. Mindplotter disregards the many possibilities of more peaceful declarations of creative discovery. In this way, the film fails to pay attention to or recognize the fact that by choosing to go down one road, the course of dark and destructive aggressiveness, there were an infinite number of other paths not taken, paths that might well have turned out to be as good or even better.

Mindplotter: Dueling States of Hardcore Metallic Brutality vs. Peaceful Inspiration

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FlapFlap: Don’t Crap Around With The Wrong Guys!

FlapFlap: Don’t Crap Around With The Wrong Guys!

FlapFlap (2009) is the newest short-short animated film by Tom Weber, Ilija Brunck and Jan Bitzer. The film started out as a protest by its creators against what they feel is the rather strange selection process that some festivals have for short films. It turned out to become a small, but detailed vision of what can happen if you mess around with the wrong guys. Their protest led to the idea of creating a strange, but highly detailed world in which two birds take a big dump on someone’s head. FlapFlap’s a great little example of wished-for dark, macabre revenge. If you’re into (crappy) toilet humor you’ll have yourself a good laugh.

FlapFlap: Don’t Crap Around With The Wrong Guys!

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458nm: The Dark Essences of Life, Love, Struggle and Death

458nm: The Dark Essences of Life, Love, Struggle and Death

Fog has devoured the forest,
saw your quieter happiness;
Completely in scented twilight,
The beautiful world wants to pass away.

458nm is a stunning 5-minute animated short film by Jan Bitzer, Ilija Brunck and Tom Weber, which tells a story about life, love, struggle and death. The film has received more than thirteen awards at international film festivals. 458nm is one of the darkest films, both literally and figuratively, ever seen in any extra-terrestrial movie. The action is performed by two biochemical snails who are authentically organic in their behavior, but mechanical in their appearance: they are constructed out of gears, belts, shafts and turbines. They encounter each other and act-out nature’s oldest erotic ritual, engaging in the most passionate lovemaking that one can imagine snails doing. With flawlessly executed photo-surrealism, the film is mostly a swath of black, punctuated by the glowing metallic facets of the two snails, the glistening black earth and the antagonistic creature that comes smashing down to end the film. The Corvus Corax ex Machina ending warns us that, as in nature, so it is with machines.

458nm: The Dark Essences of Life, Love, Struggle and Death

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Void: Beautifully Retro-Visual Melancholy Music

Void: Beautifully Retro-Visual Melancholy Music

Void is a new music video by the Israeli singer Matan Atias, which was directed and produced by the Israeli graphic artist Baruch Zevolun. Void is a beautifully melancholy, slow-paced video that draws from an inspiration with the 1970’s, combining ethereal music with both 3D animation and live footage.

Void: A Beautifully Retro-Visual Melancholy Music Video

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