Today marks the start of Mass Animation, the first collaborative, worldwide effort to produce a computer-generated animated short film for theatrical release.
Starting today, artists around the world are invited to animate the shots of a 5-minute, CGI-animated short film titled LIVE MUSIC, which is produced and directed by Yair Landau, former president of Sony Pictures Digital. The collaboration, through a unique application built on the Facebook Platform, will run through January 30. Animators, regardless of experience, may begin work immediately, and community voting will open November 24 at www.facebook.com/massanimation.
LIVE MUSIC is inspired by Shakespeare's ROMEO AND JULIET and early CGI films. Set in a musical instrument store, the story follows Riff, a rock 'n' roll guitar, who, as Landau describes it, "falls in love to the wrong song but ends up with Vanessa, the classical violin of his dreams." The story is conveyed through the universal language of music, allowing the expressions and actions of the characters to be instantly relatable globally. The instruments are brought to life through original compositions and familiar rock tunes played principally by legendary guitarist Steve Vai as Riff and acclaimed violinist Ann Marie Calhoun as Vanessa.
"Mass Animation's first project, LIVE MUSIC is a great story that we are excited to tell through a breakthrough Facebook application," Landau said. "This new method of creating films draws upon a global community and social technology to allow people to come together in a whole new type of creative collaboration. Animators around the world will get a chance to showcase their talent and imagination in the film; animation fans will have a say in which shots best convey the story and characters, and therefore deserve to make the final cut."
Landau told AWN, "We want to make this about the collaborative process, giving people from Pakistan to Peoria the opportunity to work on a Hollywood-quality production. We have a really good story. I think some of the early questions were about how you direct this to get a good story, and what we've done is given people some great characters to work with."
"This project is about the magic that can happen when thousands of artistic people all over the world put powerful computing tools to use in the spirit of collaboration," said John Cooney, online programs manager with Intel's Partner Marketing Group. "The power of the Intel Core i7 processor technology, introduced today and part of the project's prize package, makes it possible for content creators to design, animate and innovate."
The tools and 3-D models that animators will need to collaborate on this project including a limited duration version of Autodesk Maya 3D Animation software are provided, and can be accessed through the Mass Animation application on Facebook built by Aniboom.
Characters are already modeled and rigged, and are ready to be animated. A demo reel will be available for animators to look at. The 107 shots of animation required to complete the film are now available to be chosen from. Animators can pick up to 10 shots to animate, then upload.
Dell will be awarding a Dell Studio XPS desktop PC powered by an Intel Core i7 processor to animators whose creation is rated the best by the community on a weekly basis. An international jury of animation experts will select the shots to be considered for the film. As director, Landau will have the final say as to which submissions make the final cut. Animators whose work makes it into the finished product will receive on-screen credit and $500 in compensation. Up to 60 artists will have the opportunity to have their names attached to LIVE MUSIC.
In addition to Intel and thousands of participants in the project, Mass Animation's partners in making LIVE MUSIC include Dell, Autodesk, Reel FX Ent. and Aniboom. When voting ends, Reel FX will be tasked with finalizing the short, which Landau hopes to have theatrical distribution, as well as availability on iTunes and DVD.
Visit www.facebook.com/massanimation to start collaborating today.