The Black Disquisition
Creative Direction and Effects
Pandemic Lockdown, 2020
Live action footage was shot by our cast of A-list actors in their own homes (or in the case of Rusty Schwimmer, outdoors in Lincoln Park). Originally I was going to hand paint each frame, but I was spared a lifetime bent over the Cintiq, with the discovery of the fine folks at Cartoonizer.
Engineers Tejas and Niraj had written a machine learning algorithm that could ape the look of rotoscoped films such as Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly. It was a visually appealing compromise. The Cartoonizer effect leant an otherworldly air to the short. Still, since the footage was shot on iPhones with the intention of being traced over manually, much work had to be done keying and separating the actors from their backgrounds, removing lavalier mics and chasing errant hair.
The resulting seven minute short has gone on to appear in more than eleven film festivals, including the Vancouver International Film Festival, Urbanworld and Woodstock. Is has garnering several awards in the process.