BENT Goes Deep Green For Environmental Documentary
Press Release from BENT
Ray Di Carlo, executive producer at Bent Image Lab, knows climate change is the most important issue facing the planet. That's why he didn't hesitate to throw the studio's animation capabilities behind Deep Green, a stunning environmental documentary that premiered recently in Portland, Oregon.
"As we've seen with films like An Inconvenient Truth, the documentary can be a powerful medium for informing the world about global warming, but what really drew us to Deep Green was the film's focus on attainable solutions," said Di Carlo. The studio created several animated segments woven into the live action of the film, along with two accompanying shorts, the documentary's promotional poster, images for the DVD cover, and a few extra features for the Deep Green website.
Deep Green is the first documentary devoted entirely to showing the world how we can stop climate change. First-time filmmaker Matt Briggs takes audiences to nine countries, including China, to speak with the people with the best ideas, technologies and restorative solutions to end our dependence on fossil fuels and avoid the disastrous consequences of global warming.
Animation plays a key part in the mostly live action film, explains Briggs. "We used animation because it is fun and can simplify a problem and a solution so people remember it."
The documentary features several distinctive explanatory and interstitial animations by BENT:
Director Pascal Campion lent his signature stick figure line-art style to the Deep Green project for "Greenagraphics," an accessible motion graphics piece explaining the importance of conservation in the home. The Flash animation offers visual representations of ways everyone can cut back on energy use, including telecommuting instead of driving to save fossil fuels, using energy efficient appliances and unplugging "vampire electronics" around the house.
"Earth Faces," directed by Chel White and Brian Kinkley, is a series of animated segments that provide different views of the Earth combined with images of human faces depicted in clouds. Ranging from ten seconds to half a minute, these short segments serve as transitions between the film's stories, locations and solutions. The striking images are a seamless combination of 3D CGI, live action and still photography. As White explains, "these faces metaphorically represent our relationship to the Earth, implying that planet stewardship begins with each one of us."
The Portland studio also created the two animated shorts that accompany the film. Written by Clark Taylor and voiced by talent including Tom Kenny (the voice of SpongeBob SquarePants), these animations take a comedic approach to explain the most serious manmade problems facing our planet's forests and oceans.
Directed by Randy Wakerlin, "Trees" offers a humorous yet urgent warning about the effects of deforestation. Rendered in gorgeous woodcut-inspired 2D, the work stars two talking trees, "green-collar guys" voiced by Kenny. As the characters candidly explain the importance of trees to the Earth's climate and the devastating environmental consequences of cutting them down, the animation gradually transitions from a lush, diverse rainforest to a brown, overgrazed plain.
The Krill is Gone
Director Jeffery Bosts' "The Krill is Gone" highlights the devastating effects of global warming on Earth's fragile ocean ecosystems. The story, a mix of 3D CGI and 2D After Effects animation, features a comedic cast of marine life voiced by Tom Kenny and Jill Taley. It begins at the microscopic scale with a Robin Leach-like plankton and moves up the food-chain, exploring various deadly problems facing marine life. At last the camera breaks the surface to reveal the planet-wide cause of the sea creatures' misery.