So I just found this short film by this guy named Jesus Orellana called “Rosa”:
I don’t remember how I found it exactly – CGchannel or something – but anyway I thought ok, nifty, she’s got glowing green eyes, I’ll click the link and see what it’s all about. Natural, right?
What followed were very very mixed feelings. On the one hand, I was impressed with certain technical aspects of it. I was, more or less, impressed that a single person managed to pull off something of that caliber stylewise – not that the style was particularly original or anything, but nevertheless.
On the other hand, it didn’t take very long before it would become apparent that this was going to be yet another one of these hollow glitzy CG extravaganzas.. “edgy” visually, but little else. Sorry Jesus. That’s just the way I feel. I’m not one to tear down the work of others and that’s not my intention here. My intention is to express my desire to see independents do more with substance, and actually you know… differentiate themselves from Hollywood rather than set themselves up to simply be absorbed by it – There is plenty of precedent. Now Google the film or read any review posted on the guy’s site and you see that this is just what is happening here yet again. Fact is, he is from Spain. Isn’t it enough to be a filmmaker in Spain? Put your own country on the map. Geez.
“Will Jesus Orellana’s Short Film ‘Rosa’ Make Him a Big Name in Hollywood?”
or how about:
“Hot Short Film ‘Rosa’ Grabbing Hollywood’s Attention”
It’s not the worst thing in the world to get their attention – in fact it’s great. What you do with that attention is another story. Maybe it’s his goal to get funding from some big studio, it really wouldn’t surprise me, and so be it.. I might have been angry if I saw any indication of real original storytelling, but in this case there’s not really much to sell out. Some commentary here sums it up best:
“I was thinking to myself “please, please, please don’t be what I think this is…” That hope died as soon as Badass Three Point Landing Stance #1 appeared — with two characters at once no less.
Another visually impressive but completely meaningless exercise in action cliches and empty storytelling. Who are these “characters”? Why are they fighting? Are slo-mo nature shots supposed to be “deep” or something? Who are the people that gave this an award? And who can I write to get 10 of my life minutes back?”
-tgentry @ Cartoonbrew http://www.cartoonbrew.com/shorts/rosa-by-jesus-orellana.html
I am encouraged by the amount of people there who desired that substance that I felt this piece lacked (again, sorry Jesus, I’m really not going out of my way to diss your hard work… but hey it’s the current “buzz” so be a sport and roll with it…) and it renewed my determination on my own work. To be fair, so did the film itself for some technical reasons. I could sit here and nitpick things like “why is her hair waving to the left when she puts weight on her right foot?” or “why does all the action feel like it’s ripped from some ‘matrix moves’ mocap library?” but the truth is, I’d be proud if my own productions turn out to look anywhere near as good.
I’d be happy with it – because I know I have more than just good looks covered too. I’ve been busy writing a story with depth and meaning for a good five years or more. So why is it I have this sense of dread that when the time comes and I release it, it isn’t going to get 1/100th the hype or the so-called viral effect when it hits, despite the fact that such people who look for that depth are out there in droves? I’m probably overreacting. It isn’t as if I don’t know how to market, and I will do so when the time comes.
Over the years I’ve had a sort of unwritten checklist of things that I will avoid in the production of my series. They range from the technical – dry, lifeless cel shading resulting from 3d model “toonifiers”, despite my plans to incorporate 3D – to dialogue cliches: “You just don’t GET it DO YOU!” – I know I had 3 point landings in there somewhere, but I’ll re-add it just to remind myself for future reference.
The point is to make something memorable. Something that makes people think while also entertaining them. And something that feels genuinely like a step forward in the film world and not a rehash. Will “Rosa” be remembered 10, or even 5 years from 11.11.11? I don’t know. As for me… Sure, I have a touch of dread… but overall, pretty confident that I’m on my way… time will tell.