Friday, September 18, 2009

Space by Implication

Today, in a class devoted to the moment-to-moment progressions in cinematic storytelling, I showed a few shorts.

One of them was a Gerald McBoingBoing UPA film in which Gerald goes to a language therapist to learn how to speak in words instead of sound effects.

I chose the short in part because it uses such minimalist production design. Rarely do we get environmental information that goes beyond a color field. When we do get more, it's for a very good reason, and even then the touch is light. Below, a still from a hilarious sequence combining super-scientific technological processing with jet-age jazz.

Gerald's incomprehensible vocal signals are reversed telephonically–by placing a call across the room via Europe–and restated as words:

United Productions of America, released in 1954. Directed by Robert Cannon. Putting it up as a reference for students.


Bob Flynn said...

Easily one of my favorite shorts. Definitely a good film for students to study as a lesson in minimalism and color design.

Dan Z. said...

Neat stills. I need to track down the animation. Also: I just read a similar study of minimal space design, applicable to the comics of Tim Hensley: space:

Dan Z. said...

Whoops. Here's that link:
Gropius in Space

DB Dowd said...

Bob, thanks for the comment. Agreed.

Dan, great link. It made me think of poster design, and Leyendecker magazine covers...