Mind’s Eye

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This month’s edition of Long Story Shorts transcended the impalpable wall that separates actuality from reality.  What does that mean?  Considering the need for representation in storytelling, we can accept the easy relationship of real actors joined to their characters, and similarly with the real lesson their stories represent.  Director, Andrew Czudak, a staff animator at Maestro, suggests that we can just as easily digest an inference that any character, metaphorically or actually represented, proposes enough semblance of the form to parallel a truly real contribution to his story.

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Featured below are some Behind the Scenes stills showcasing the craft of this suggestion beautifully at work.  Czudak takes his theme further by building a complex landscape, again through the impression of what we understand our surroundings to contain.  The façade is built from a collection of toys, artfully placed to create the silhouette we identify as an industrial setting.  He adds an ambiguous atmosphere of fog and flickering light to mirror the mystery behind his inevitably misunderstood villain.

 

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[Photograph by Max Grudzinski @maxgrudz]

   There is an epiphany bequeathed to each viewer as we take a hard cut from this imagined land, to the creator in real time:  a young boy who has fabricated the narrative and with whom we identify implicitly.

 

 “The transition draws in the viewer and invites them to watch over and over again, looking for clues in the surrounding world for the childhood they relate to,” says Czudak.  “It’s not simply about nostalgia, it’s about the essence of imagination. I want the viewer to reflect on the worlds they built as kids.  Because they don’t just create the environment, they also provide the magic of being involved.”  That involvement is the intangible quintessence of childhood play – the otherworldliness that slowly flaked away in adulthood, and which we still crave as artists.

 

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[Photograph by Max Grudzinski @maxgrudz]

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