Nomad X—space exploration meets heartbreak

Category: Animation, Film / Multimedia, Gaming

To some, this imagery may elicit a bout of nostalgia for hours blissfully spent avoiding homework and navigating the depths of pixelated outer space…Well believe me, you haven’t quite experienced it like this before! Nomad X is a short film by animator Kristian Andrews, that takes on the guise of a classic space simulator game from the 90′s. Heavily inspired by David Braben’s Frontier Elite, a playthrough of Nomad X is narrated by a fictional fan in the manner of thousands of Let’s Plays that can be found on You Tube. All starts off OK despite an intermittent, annoyingly persistent cough. But the narration of the gameplay soon becomes intertwined with a tale of the gamer’s degenerating relationship with his now ex-girlfriend, culminating in physical conflict as the spaceship runs into trouble onscreen.

It’s somewhat of a strange concept, but it works! Nomad X manages to combine quirkiness with moments of hilarious dialogue of a dejected lover. And I love the the colour palette of dusty maroons, navy, and power pink that emerges from the black void. Despite the novel appearance and funny dialogue, an air of poignancy does linger after watching the short. It’s sad to think that this guy’s love for video games probably sabotaged his relationship, and it’s now also the only thing he finds consolation in.

Kristian Andrews has made several wonderfully animated shorts. Stylistically they are very different from Nomad X, being hand-drawn and sketchy. All of his works express small, personal-derived narratives that are universally easy to relate to, which is partly what makes them so successful. He is currently working on Bang, a short developed at a residency last year. When not dreaming up a new short film, Andrews directs commercial briefs at award-winning Studio AKA.

Anna Tokareva

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Media Design School

Premium Design Academy in Auckland, New Zealand
http://www.mediadesignschool.com/

Relevant Courses:

Bachelor Software Engineering (Game Programming)
Bachelor of Creative Technologies (Game Art)
Bachelor of Art and Design (3D Animation and Visual Effects)

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Santa Fe University of Art and Design

Santa Fe, New Mexico
http://www.santafeuniversity.edu/

Relevant Courses:

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Digital Arts
Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Moving Image Arts (Film/ Video)

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NABA Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti

Milan, Italy
http://www.naba.it/

Relevant Courses:

Bachelor of Art in Media Design and Multimedia Arts

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NewSchool of Architecture + Design

San Diego, California
http://www.newschoolarch.edu/

Relevant Courses:

Bachelor of Science in Digital Media Arts
Bachelor of Arts in Animation
Bachelor of Arts in Game Art

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Winners Announcement – VisionFest Video Competition

Category: 3D Animation, Animation, Film / Multimedia, Fine Arts, Illustration, motion graphics

Wow, this competition has far exceeded our expectations! The amount of excellent quality work entered shows how much talent and creativity lives in our Frontier Community.

Looking at the best entries during the judging we decided to introduce more prizes to recognise more then one winner. So on top of the ArtFest scholarship and flights, we’ll give away two Apple iPad minis to two of the runner ups.

The judges

We had outstanding industry experts from Santa Fe to look at the entries and choose the winners.

Terry Borst has worked as a professional screenwriter for more than 20 years. His screen credits include Midnight Runaround (a sequel to Midnight Run, which starred Robert De Niro); the independent film A Private War; many episodes of the popular internationally syndicated television series Bugs; and Wing Commander III and Wing Commander IV (two of the most popular video games of the late ‘90s). Borst has been commissioned to write feature-film screenplays for studios and a TV series pilot for the BBC and collaborated on the scripting and development of other AAA-level video games.

He also co-authored two books about combining classical Hollywood storytelling techniques with game development processes. Borst has taught screenwriting at UCLA, USC, and other universities before joining the Film School at Santa Fe University of Art and Design.

Katelyn Peer, Program Director at Creative Santa Fe, is a graduate from The Film School at Santa Fe University of Art and Design. At Creative Santa Fe, Peer focuses on directing the annual FANTASE Fest (a light, music, and design festival), as well as community programming initiatives such as the Santa Fe Arts + Creativity Center, and connectivity throughout the city of Santa Fe with projects such as WALK [SANTA FE]. Peer worked on the Santa Fe Studios Operations Team at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and directed The Film School’s 1st Annual Shoot the Stars project, The Boston Post. Peer’s video, The Chromatic Typewriter was featured in the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival, the Outdoor Vision Festival, the Santa Fe Day at ISEA, and the Downtown Santiago, Chile Video Art Festival.

 

So … let’s get to the winners!

The full ArtFest scholarship with flights goes to Esteban Erazo from Quito, Ecuador. His short film ’The Invention of the Century’ has been chosen for the grand prize by the judges.

The judges thought: ‘In 26 seconds, the filmmaker showcases a unique animation look and style, slyly tips his hat to film history, and tells a complete story with humor and irony. No other film accomplished quite as much in so short a time.’

Congratulations Esteban!

But we just can’t stop here, we decided to give an iPad mini to two other contestants. One of them goes to Can Kesim from Santa Fe, US for his amazing abstract piece ‘Flatness’.

The judges noted: ‘Outdoor Vision Fest is about in part — the play of light against the darkness. The filmmaker plays with line, geometric planes, and dimensionality in an always intriguing exercise in chiaroscuro.’

The other iPad mini goes to Laura Bianco in Milan, Italy for her beautiful short film ‘Underground’. Laura’s short was a unique blend of digital animation made with old family photos and mixed audio recordings of her relatives talking about their lives.

The judges thought: ‘A charming meditation on memory, history, and seizing the moment: a unique blending of media.’

On top of these we have a list of films that will be exhibited at the Outdoor Vision Fest on the Santa Fe University of Art and Design campus on the 2nd of May 2014. Here is a ‘best of’ selection of more awesome entries and the list of works who will get to add this exhibition to their CVs.

Interstizio by Mattia Kollo

State of Mind by Trevor Giove

Light Tribe by Chris Stahelin

And the list of films goes on:
The Cairns, Smokin’ Bones, Fishman, Dot Project, and Feed Me.

Congratulations to all … until the next VisionFest competition in 2015!

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Media Design School

Premium Design Academy in Auckland, New Zealand
http://www.mediadesignschool.com/

Relevant Courses:

Bachelor of Art and Design (3D Animation and Visual Effects)
Bachelor of Media Design (Graphic Design, Interactive, Motion Graphics)

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Santa Fe University of Art and Design

Santa Fe, New Mexico
http://www.santafeuniversity.edu/

Relevant Courses:

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Moving Image Arts (Film/ Video)

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SZA Takes Us To Babylon

Category: Film / Multimedia, Music

If you like Erykah Badu, Frank Ocean, Flying Lotus and Beyonce’s talented little sister Solange, then coming across SZA for the first time will be like welcoming a new member to your sultry R&B fusion family.

SZA describes herself as a small town suburbanite from Maplewood, New Jersey. Being raised on the likes of John Coltrane (Flying Lotus’ Grandfather), Miles Davis, Billy Holiday, Bjork (yes!) and Wu-Tang Clan, has given her a toolkit of mixed sounds and emotions that, like her influences, help her to paint pictures with her sounds.

Babylon does exactly that. It’s a sultry track that leads you slowly and deeply. It never rises and never falls but that doesn’t take away from the song at all. Rather the seductive melody pulls at you, leads you into her world while avoiding the overly dramatic. Instead her lyrics and beats fill you with a deep seated groove that moves you along with it’s richness and soul. It has the confidence of Badu, the sexiness of Solange and the softness of Ocean all rolled up in one. I’m into it, and really into the video as well. Beautifully shot and perfectly poised, the clip shows SZA in a ritualized state returning to Babylon, the promised land. It’s modern, it’s simple, It’s well cut, and it’s directed by SZA herself in collaboration with APLUSFILMZ.

I’m really looking forward to exploring more of SZA’s music, you can too by downloading a lot of it on her site. Just click through here. And look out for her new project Z due out on the 8th April.

In other music news, I thought I’d share some other goodies that are out and about at the moment. Frontier favourite Le1f has a new one out, Boom, and it is awesome! Tame Impala have covered my favourite Michael Jackson song, Strangers in Moscow, and it rules. And Frank Ocean has randomly collaborated with Diplo and The Clash to produce his great new track Hero. Aw, so much goodness, I’ve linked them all in below for you. Plug in the headphones and enjoy!

Logan Bradley

 

 

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Santa Fe University of Art and Design

Santa Fe, New Mexico
http://www.santafeuniversity.edu/

Relevant Courses:

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Contemporary Music
Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Moving Image Arts (Film/ Video)

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What’s On: Le Hongbo @ Klein Sun Gallery

Category: Film / Multimedia, Fine Arts, Installation, sculpture


At first glance the sculptures of Li Hongbo seem cold and antiquated. They exude a solidity that we normally associate with marble and the classical genre. These objects from his current exhibition titled Tools of Study at the Klein Sun Gallery are familiar, yet remain impenetrable in their static state. And then, they move, and bend, and stretch, air seeps into small crevices and they assume a new life form, one that is vastly different from the viewer’s original assumption that these are indeed made of an immovable substance.

Hongbo uses paper, thousands upon thousands of interlocking stacks of paper that are carved into pieces such as Bust of David, 2012 (top images). Recognizable masterpieces take on a startling personality as eyes widen and necks elongate. Oddly I’m reminded of aliens taking over human bodies, or something like it anyway! I’m marveling at the textural surface achieved in each of the busts, it’s flawless.

Li was influenced by paper gourds, a traditional Chinese decoration consisting wholly of paper. His representation of this media is refreshing and original and challenges our initial perceptions of the Western Art world. The film, titled Extended, that accompanies the images is beautifully shot by Kid Guy Collective in collaboration with the Klein Sun Gallery and really gives you a feel for the fluidity that is achieved through the use of paper.

Hongbo was born in China and this is his first exhibition in the United States. He has exhibited widely on an international level, including Europe and Australia. Tools of Study finishes up on March the 22nd so get in there and see it if you happen to be in New York (if only!).

This is blimin interesting stuff. If you’re feeling inspired maybe you could have a play next time you’re bored shitless standing at a photocopier….

Renee Barker

Photographs: Lucia Franco

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Santa Fe University of Art and Design

Santa Fe, New Mexico
http://www.santafeuniversity.edu/

Relevant Courses:

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Studio Arts
Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Studio Arts
Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Moving Image Arts (Film/ Video)
Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Contemporary Music
Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Photography
Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Photography

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NABA Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti

Milan, Italy
http://www.naba.it/

Relevant Courses:

Bachelor of Art in Painting and Visual Arts
Bachelor of Art in Media Design and Multimedia Arts
Bachelor of Art in Theatre Design
Masters of Art in Visual Arts and Curatorial Studies
Masters of Art in Film and New Media
Masters in Photography and Visual Design

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The Grand Budapest Hotel

Category: Film / Multimedia

Could I be more excited about this? I’m not sure I could be! The wonderfully idiosyncratic Wes Anderson is back with another tall tale adventure of over exaggerated characters, storylines and misadventures.

I remember watching The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou with a group of Anderson virgins and being able to feel their squirms of awkwardness as they encountered Anderson’s not-for-everyone dry wit and overarching ridiculousness. For me however, I find the cartoonish nature of his films incredibly refreshing and visually engaging. Miniatures, matt paintings, rear projection, old school fight scenes and stop motion all play a part in the Wes Anderson film aesthetic. The deadpan delivery and same-same jokes do too and can either be seen as a bit repetitive, or as an artist finely tuning his offbeat craft. I prefer the latter.

Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel recounts the adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the first and second world wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. Set in the fictional Republic of Zubrowka, Gustave H soon finds himself accused of murder and the recipient of a prized artwork. Police chases, jail time, breakouts all ensue to create what looks like Anderson’s most colorful film to date. And the cast! Talk about hitting high. This film has all the Anderson favorites (he has a collection of actors who appear in all his films) along with some newbies including Tony Revolori who plays the lead role of Zero Moustafa. Tilda Swinton is there (yes!), and she’s hardly recognizable!

Despite their non mainstream approach, Anderson’s films are surprisingly profitable with his last Moonrise Kingdom grossing more than US$52.4 million across only 1000 U.S cinemas. That’s impressive and perhaps shows that now non-mainstream is actually mainstream.

The Grand Budapest Hotel opened in four U.S theaters last Friday and will roll out to more across the country and then the world over the next few months.

Personally, I can’t wait!

Logan Bradley

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Santa Fe University of Art and Design

Santa Fe, New Mexico
http://www.santafeuniversity.edu/

Relevant Courses:

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Moving Image Arts (Film/ Video)

Get in touch now: