Following multiple successes on the festival circuit over the past year and much critical acclaim, we're delighted to announce that our experimental, animated short ‘Mamoon’ is now available to view on Vimeo.
Mamoon is the brainchild of Blue Zoo animation director, Ben Steer, whose response to the company’s shorts programme won the heart of the team who voted his idea into production. The brief was to tell an emotional, human story, whilst experimenting with light and projections.
Mamoon (an Arabic name meaning ‘without fear’) follows the story of a mother and her child whose lives descend into darkness when the moon mysteriously loses its light. As their own light begins to fade, the mother must work out how to save her child using a mysterious red glow.
Ben took a truly unique approach to produce the film, projecting animated characters onto 3D sets crafted from polystyrene blocks. Normal post-production has been completely bypassed; there’s no rendering, no CG precision, and imperfections with the lighting give the characters a ghostly quality, reminiscent of shadow puppets. Production has been influenced by theatre, allowing audiences to push their imagination with a limited view-point and abstract set.
“I found the brief really intriguing and felt strongly that light should represent life, just as lack of light should represent death. If a character is dependent on the light then shadows, objects and glass could hinder and distort them. Projectors also only project from one angle, what if multiple projectors were used for multiple characters? This presented a fascinating if challenging set of parameters in which to devise a story.’’ Ben Steer, Director
Now in its 7th year, the Blue Zoo shorts programme is an excellent opportunity for experimentation and creative diversity, without the usual commercial expectations of a live project. Since its inception, Mamoon has gone on to receive multiple awards and was nominated for the 2018 BAFTA for Best Short Animation.
“The idea behind this was to benefit from the beautiful optical properties created in the process, elements we usually spend a lot of time and money trying to recreate - refractions, reflections, light bounce and depth of field. The only thing that would be done in post-production would be grading, everything else would be captured in camera.” Tom Box, Co-Producer
Watch it now!
To watch Mamoon head over to Vimeo here. We hope you love it as much as we do.
We're also really pleased to share with you a little glimpse behind the scenes with our Making-of film, which hopefully gives you an idea of some of the craft and ingenuity that went into the film. Watch it here.
Director: Ben Steer Original Music: Matthew Wilcock for Zelig Sound Animation: Phil Brooks, Ben Steer Additional Animation: Ricky Honmong, Sarah Caisley, Simon Taylor, Steve Kimbrey Compositing: Negar Bagheri, Elaine Thomas Character Design: Marylou Mao Rigging: Leo Blackmur Modelling: Leo Blackmur, Lee Bowditch Production Manager: Lizzie Hicks Producer: Tom Box