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Synopsis Skylight A computer graphics Amated short film by David Baas.OutlineSilence. Opening Title: SkylightAs the title fades out, the film stock begins to degrade. Becoming grainy, losing resolution, occasionally skipping frames, the sound of a clunky old 16mm projector is heard. Lonely stark music. Crackles. In this style, the opening image fades up. A cavernous ice and snowscape in the Antarctic. Voiceover narration describes its desolate quality in an overly solemn, dramatic, nature D-like tone.A cross-dissolve reveals a lone penguin against another stark background. His expression is vacant, slightly confused. He has a minimalist cArtoonish appearance, which contrasts against a detailed, realistic background. The narrator describes him using ridiculous superlatives, nobility, majesty, etc., once again contrasting his mundane activity and appearance.With a sudden swell of dramatic music, the penguin begins to waddle, sunlight poking through the gray clouds, as he passes through a small group of other penguins, the camera, mimicking the handheld movement of a D camera, settles on the herd as our initial subject waddles out of frame.Shockingly, as our first penguin leaves frame, passing through a ray of sunlight, he explodes in a blinding flash. In the confusion, our mock D camera reels, trying to assess the situation. The other penguins, seemingly oblivious, stare off into space, blinking or ruffling their wings.Snow settles from the blast, the camera steadies. The remains of our wandering penguin spin in the air, inches from the ground, and drop with a thud. The camera reveals the carcass amid three others, all looking like roasted turkeys, under a pristine beam of sunlight.Amid a dramatic sting of music, the narrator chimes in that the hole in the ozone layer is the cause of this cataclysm. The other penguins, sadly ignorant of the peril about them, continue to mill aimlessly about, as penguins do. A title card appears, asking for donations to the fund for 'Inconsequential Wildlife', denoting that no one, even the filmmakers, really cares what happens to things removed from their immediate experience. Cut back to a lone remaining penguin, whose fate is probably sealed. Cut to black and credits.There is a closing montage showing the fate of other 'Inconsequential' Amals worldwide if these environmental trends continue. The objectives of this film are three-fold and as follows:Firstly, the film and pArticularly the final resolution are essentially a cArtoon strip. The idea could easily be summed up in a single panel 'Far Side' style panel. I take inspiration from the Pixar Oscar-winning short 'For the Birds', which was similarly a one-note gag used to all its potential, but with great A Artistry and attention to detail.Secondly, the film pokes fun at the nature D format, as well as the endless, monotonous, over-dramatized, allegedly educational films many of us were forced to watch through the 1960's and 1970's. There are many very funny examples of mocking this format on television's 'The Simpsons'.Thirdly, there is an environmental message to the film, of hapless creatures affected by human damage to the environment. I would classify it as 'satirical gallows humour'. I believe that humour can often initially make handling sensitive or dire issues more palatable to an audience, rather than immediately criticizing them for their lack of conscience regarding an issue. If one remembers a good joke, one will remember its context. I would cite Stanley Kubrick's 'Dr. Strangelove' as an example or Gene Dietch and Jules Fieffer's classic 1961 Amated short satirizing the military, 'Monroe'.Audio/Visual ApproachInitially, conventional computer graphics modeling, texturing, lighting, and A create the first 'take' of the film. Then, in order to create the proposed mock D feel, a number of approaches are taken. First, the initial footage is rendered in Maya, and 'shaky' camera work is Amated. Computerized motion blur will be added to mimic film occasionally slipping off the sprockets.Next, a digital composition pass uniformly de-saturate the images to mimic faded film. Then, film grain and scratches are added, and frames removed at strategic moments to create choppiness.There is both 2-d and 3-d effects work during the explosion to stylize it as the film becomes less literal and more ridiculous.Finally, the audio, being music, narration and sound effects are mixed to mimic a much older film. The sound quality initially has little dynamic range, with hiss pops and projector noise added.
David Baas 데이비드 바스
Director David Baas
Country Canada
Year 2009
Running Time 4'43"
Genre Animation
Screening Schedule