Rise of the Guardians
Animation Exhibit & Video at the Museum of the Moving Image
November 10, 2012 / Fashion Film & Music in Queens / Astoria / Queens Buzz. The Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria just opened a new film exhibit about the soon-to-be released Dreamworks film, Rise of the Guardians. I’ll tell you more about the exhibit, after I tell you about the film itself, which opens nationally, Wednesday, November 21st in movie theaters around Queens and the nation.
In my mind, the movie is already a classic. The pop artwork is superb, the 3D effects are the best I’ve seen [possibly due to MOMI facilities] and most importantly, the story is a well told tale - complete with Jungian archetypes and without any real violence. In the photo is 'North' aka Santa Claus in his nordic factory in Rise of the Guardians.
To a weather worn and election worn NYC public, this movie will be a welcome escape into a kinder, gentler, animated 3D world.
Click here to read more about the Rise of the Guardians 3D animated film exhibit in Astoria Queens.
Rise of the Guardians
Animation & 3D Film Making - Museum of the Moving Image
November 10, 2012 / Fashion Film & Music in Queens / Astoria / Queens Buzz. Continued. I arrived a bit early in advance of a press session to review the Rise of the Guardians movie and meet with some of the Dreamworks people who created it. I toured the exhibit [see photo to left] while waiting for the movie to begin and also spent some time watching a 70 minute video about how the film was made which I'll discuss in more detail later.
The movie and the Dreamworks team was introduced by David Schwartz, Film Curator for the museum [see photo below]. Each member of the team said a little something about the making of the film. William Joyce, Executive Producer and author of the book series Guardians of Childhood, told us that the idea was first delivered to him through his daughter in the form of a question on a hot August day in Shreveport Louisianna.
3D Film Rise of the Guardians - Based on Childhood Book Series
His daughter came to him with the question, “Daddy, does the Tooth Fairy know Santa Claus?” He wasn’t sure of the answer, but thought it was a good question, and that he should look into it. So he began calling the offices of Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and expanded the scope of his investigation to include other Guardians of Childhood such as the Sandman and the Easter Bunny. He told us this with a smiling and mischievous demeanor, some of which has rubbed off into the film. In the photo to your left is William Joyce author of the Childhood Guardians book series and Executive Producer of Rise of the Guardians.
The other comment I latched onto was made by Patrick Hanenberger, Production Designer of the Rise of the Guardians. He told us that they previewed the film in Chicago to a school group and followed up with questions and answers. One of the kids asked a question about Jack Frost, the protagonist, who is in search of his purpose in life.
A teacher came up to Patrick after the presentation and told him that this was a boy she’d been watching, with some concern, for five years. And that she was not only impressed by his question, but that this was the first time she’d seen him interact confidently in a public setting. So you can rightfully imagine, that there’s something universal that speaks to all of us in this film. Patrick Hanenberger, Peter Ramsey, William Joyce and David Schwartz [left to right] are shown in the photo above.
3D Animated Film Video - Museum of the Moving Image Astoria
So into the film we dove – literally – as the 3D effects gently came out to us in the form of a snowflake, right from the beginning. In the photo to your left is Jack Frost consulting the moon.
What ensues is an action adventure film, probably a bit more for father’s and sons, but easily enjoyed by the whole family, as it's a fairytale about the wonder of Christmas, the wishes of Tooth Fairies, the dreams of the Sandman, the hope that accompanies Easter [and the Easter Bunny] and the fun of hanging out with Jack Frost on a snow day. But all this goodness and joy, could get boring, were it not for the shenanigans of Pitch, the Bogeyman, that lies in eternal darkness and preys upon fears of the unknown.
Storyline in Rise of the Guardians - Good vs Evil & Children
Pitch is up to no good. What ensues is the work of some childhood guardians to save the beauty and wonderment that accompanies the youthful joy and playfulness that we all once experienced as kids. In the photo to your right is Pitch aka the Bogeyman of darkness and fear.
After the movie I returned to the exhibit to examine the drawings and artwork that went into the film. It’s a magical film, a bit resembling Harry Potter, but the animation takes it to a new level. And it’s not nearly as dark at Harry Potter which is written for an older child / young adult audience.
In the video about the making of the film they take us behind the scenes as we watch the Dreamworks team discuss the art that went into the film. A lot of thought and creativity went into creating the worlds of North [aka Santa], the Easter Bunny and Pitch [the Bogeyman]. Along with the creation of the worlds, they also had to design their characters and outfits.
3D Animated Film Exhibit At The Museum of the Moving Image
After the artwork is completed they then begin the work to animate it. This involves technologies designed to capture movement, so that the movement can then be captured in animation and made to seem lifelike as it appears on the big screen. Queens College has a computer lab and program that does this sort of thing – click here to read our report on animation education at Queens College. In the photo to your right you can see some of the audience who came to see the preview of the Rise of the Guardians film and exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image. Deep underneath all that adulthood, there's a playful child deeply embedded in all of us.
The next step is to incorporate the movements in the animation process and then do the voice overs to accompany the characters actions. The Producer, Director and Production Designer on the film told us that they were able to enlist the services of all the voices they thought would best capture the spirit of the film which include Alec Baldwin as Santa, Hugh Jackman as Easter Bunny, Jude Law as Pitch, Chris Pine as Jack Frost and Isla Fisher as Tooth.
The film comes to most theaters on November 21st and the exhibit and video about producing the film will continue running into March of 2013. As I said at the beginning of this story, this film is already a classic in my mind. It is a beautiful pop art film, a splendid tale and an escape from the troubles of the world. Be careful, combined with turning off the TV, it might just put you in the holiday spirit.
In the photo above / left is Easter Bunny, who symbolizes the hope that accompanies Spring.
Photos - Rise of the Guardians Exhibit - Museum of the Moving Image
The following is a slide show of photos taken of the Rise of the Guardians at MOMI. Use the arrow keys to move through it at your own pace or click this link to view photos of the Rise of the Guardians exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria.
The mother of this little shaver let him pose alongside the Sandman - thus representing two of the heroes in the film.
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