Brain Pickings

Posts Tagged ‘collaboration’

07 DECEMBER, 2010

Thought of You: Visual Poetry Meets Dance in 2D Animated Magic

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What modern dance has to do with pregnancy and the all-consuming creative impulse.

Brace yourself, for this is the most beautiful, spellbinding animation you’ll see this year.

For the past 15 years, animator and designer Ryan Woodward has created visual magic for just about every major Hollywood studio, most recently by storyboarding Spiderman 3 and Where The Wild Things Are. But it was his personal fascination with the motion of the human body in dance and his childhood nostalgia for 2D animation that sparked an absolutely wonderful personal project: Thought of You, a beautiful short film that blends figurative works, 2D animation, visual Fx, and contemporary dance.

Hold your breath and drink in.

The story’s emotional range is quite extraordinary, from the sweet restlessness of new love to the all-absorbing infatuation of passion at its peak to the hollow longing for a lover gone.

The creative process of the film is almost as beautiful as the animation itself, from the 35-weeks-pregnant choreographer who worked on it to the tender dynamic of the love story that underlies the film.

It’s one of those things that it’s tough to answer, when you ask an artist why they decide to be an artist. There’s this inner beast of creativity that, for me personally, it will consume me to the point of being miserable if I don’t let it out and do something with it.” ~ Ryan Woodward

But perhaps most gratifying of all is the wonderful cross-pollination of different arts that the film embodies — living proof of our credo that interdisciplinary curiosity informs and inspires creative work more powerfully than any one silo possibly could.

Enjoying the score? The song used in the film is World Spins Madly On by The Weepies, one of our favorite bands.

via @kirstinbutler

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11 NOVEMBER, 2010

East + West + Gershwin: Herbie Hancock and Lang Lang Perform Rhapsody In Blue

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Herbie Hancock, one of America’s great jazz pianists, landed on the jazz scene in the early 1960s, starting out with Miles Davis, and then working as a solo musician who released his great jazz standards — Cantaloupe Island and Watermelon Man. Thirty years later, and across a big ocean, Lang Lang, the Chinese concert pianist, takes the stage. Only 13, he wins the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians, and then quickly starts dazzling Western audiences with performances of Chopin, Liszt and Tchaikovsky.

Finally, the two musicians, the two musical worlds, meet in 2009. Performing at the Royal Albert Hall in London, along with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Hancock and Lang Lang work their way through Debussy, Ravel and then, appropriately enough, George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.

The jazz concerto. Jazz inflections layered onto a classical composition. A perfect meeting in the middle.

Dan Colman edits Open Culture, which brings you the best free educational media available on the web — free online courses, audio books, movies and more. By day, he directs the Continuing Studies Program at Stanford University, and you can also find him on Twitter.

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08 OCTOBER, 2010

Moleskine + Pac-Man = Gold

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Earlier this week, we raved about a collaboration of epic pop-culture proportions: A limited-edition Moleskine series celebrating 30 years of Pac-Man.

(Our favorite, naturally, is the yellow.)

To promote the effort, Moleskine produced this properly awesome stop-motion animated short:

But wait, it gets better — Moleskine is on a roll this season, with a brand new line of iPhone and iPad accessories, after the success of their Kindle cover.

The sleek iPad cover and iPhone case aren’t available yet, but you can sign up to get notified as soon as they are.

via the excellent Quipsologies

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