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November 16, 2004

I've been assisting my brother with a CGI short film he's working on called The Data Writer. It's amazing -- and it's not even past the animatic stage yet. I'm convinced it has a chance at the Best Animated Short Film Oscar at the 2006 Academy Awards. The character and environment he's created are really stunning, and I've been lending a hand in the visual composition/editing department, helping him pick out the best shots to convey the story (which is silent, and is sort of, in an indirect way, about an anthropomorphic computer processor becoming self-aware). I was struck by what a wonderful exercise in economic visual storytelling this sort of filmmaking is. Imagine the literally endless possibilities of nonlinear editing systems, and then apply that to the actual principal photography stage: that's what this is like. And when you have unlimited possibilities, you really have to think about what's best for the narrative.

It's sort of addictive, actually -- I'm tempted to say that this sort of filmmaking doesn't compare to being on a real set with real actors and a real camera, but at the same time, it's such a different style of working that I really don't think I could put one above another. It's a completely different animal. I don't know if I'd ever want to make an entire feature film this way, but I'm certainly enjoying this small dose.

I was at the library this morning, selecting my reading for the next week or two, and I found a screenplay called The Gardener's Son, by none other than Cormac McCarthy. I finished it a few moments ago; it's a lot like one of his novels, minus the descriptive passages -- thus, it's very short. It was produced for a PBS series in 1976. I'll have to add that to the list, alongside that Nick Cave-penned prison movie, of obscurities I'd like to track down someday when I have money to spare.

Posted by David Lowery at November 16, 2004 12:30 AM