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Breaking Claymation Ground With Mary And Max

Australian film and television company Melodrama Pictures has captured the attention of international animation companies with its latest creation MARY AND MAX. In partnership with Stop Motion Pro and XDT, Melodrama Pictures has developed animation technology to create its first claymation feature. MARY AND MAX is the first feature film from the Academy Award winning team Melanie Coombs and Adam Elliot (Best Animated Short for HARVIE KRUMPET).

Melodrama's software and digital technology allows a film to be produced at high speed and on a modest budget, eclipsing conventional animation methods and recently attracting a visit from Aardman Animations' (WALLACE AND GROMIT, CHICKEN RUN) Head of Production Technology, Ian Fleming.

Post Production Producer Henry Karjalainen, explained how the technology has changed claymation filmmaking, "Our animators are capturing a low resolution 'live' frame and a high resolution RAW file of the characters simultaneously, using a Canon digital camera. These images are then processed in-house by XDT's 'rawMotion' software, which renders them immediately and lets us see the final product in minutes."

Coombs wanted to ensure a smooth experience for the creative team, "What we've got here is the newest digital technology meeting the oldest film form. Using local Victorian partners we have created a system that provides the director, Adam Elliot, with the flexibility and reliability to ensure we deliver the best film possible -- and no more waiting around for the lab to deliver rushes overnight."

Film Victoria has supported MARY AND MAX through its production investment funding program. Sandra Sdraulig, Film Victoria CEO, accompanied Fleming on his visit to the MARY AND MAX set, "The innovation and success demonstrated by Melodrama Pictures, XDT and Stop Motion Pro is testament to our industry's dedication to improving skills, the way we work and creating productions that stand out on a global scale."

Due for release in April 2009, MARY AND MAX is a simple tale of a pen-pal friendship between two very different people: Mary Dinkle is a chubby. lonely 8 year old girl living in the suburbs of Melbourne, and Max Horovitz is a 44 year old, severely obese Jewish man with Asperger's Syndrome living in the chaos of New York.

Like HARVIE KRUMPET, MARY AND MAX is innocent but not naive, as it takes us on a journey that explores friendship, autism, taxidermy, psychiatry, alcoholism, where babies come from, obesity, kleptomania, sexual difference, trust, copulating dogs, religious difference, agoraphobia and much more.

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