Paul W.J. Martin productions
Catharsis (working title only - in pre-production)
Expected sometime in the distant future, 3D CGI, expected running time approximately 6 minutes
As of May 2008 I’m somewhere in the third phase of storyboarding and pleased with where the story is going. It is however incredibly difficult to get this thing off the ground: no budget, software has expired, hardware needs upgrading, etc. One day I may get this damn film into production! Briefly, it concerns a man who regurgitates an object that contains something that strikes terror into the very core of his soul (if he actually has one).
William The Cog
2006, 3D CGI, 5 minutes 46 seconds, 1.33:1
Completed in November 2006 this short animated film focuses on a character who appears to have become enslaved within a vocational system and his attempts to emancipate himself. Made over the period of a year and a half this is my most advanced production, both cinematically and technically, and is a surreal exploration of ideas regarding individuality, the relationship between a thinking organism and encompassing artificial systems, perception of identity and awareness. It features music by Michael O’Callaghan (check out his site at http://www.myspace.com/smallworksoffiction).
Public screenings so far have included the REM event at Warwick Arts Centre near Coventry, and Flatpack Festival at the Electric Cinema in Birmingham. It has also been made available for download at a couple of sites, including Creative Channel Network and The Stirrer. Oxford TV have broadcasted Cog as part of the Get Animated show, plus it was shown extensively on Big Screen in Birmingham city centre as part of BBC’s Summer Film Festival. In November 2007 Cog won a small competition amongst six other short films as part of a screening at Birmingham’s Mac theatre. Subsequent screenings included the Mac Gala Night, the Rainbow pub in Digbeth as part of the Shorts on Walls event, and in Stoke-on-Trent as part of the Stoke Your Fires festival.
Finally, Cog was also made available to watch via The Stirrer and ITV’s online television service. My appreciation goes out to the people who permitted (authorised!) online downloads of the film. Cog can be viewed online at Youtube.
2004, 3D CGI with hand-drawn textures, 8 minutes, 1.55:1
Drifting across a seemingly endless ocean on an isolated planet, the only living being in existence discovers something floating in the dark water. He tampers with it - something goes irreversibly and horribly wrong. Cyst was made as an exploration of the cyclic nature of people’s lives as well as the relationship between organisms and time. I was also thinking about the possible structure of time and, while Cyst doesn’t directly reflect that, it does tap into at a basic level. Cyst features music written and played by Michael O’Callaghan (see link above).
Public screenings included the Rainbow at Birmingham (7 Inch), Warwick Arts Centre (REM), Midlands Arts Centre (Screen Test), Birmingham Library Theatre (Artsfest ‘05), Rome in Italy (Cortoons festival), Cornwall (Roughcut), and one or two others. Oxford TV have also broadcast Cyst as part of a their Get Animated show.
The Secret Life of Brain Cells
2002, 3D CGI, 3 minutes 49 seconds, 1.33:1
My final University film. Interested in the potential control that dreams (and therefore subconscious areas of the brain) can have over some people (violent sleep walkers for example) and concerned about the deeper-sourced power of the human mind generally, I made a film about someone who goes to sleep and experiences a world involuntarily created by his own brain, the resulting dream causing him to do something devastating in reality.
Beat Thy Neighbour
2001, 3D CGI, 1 minute 34 seconds, 1.33:1
Two creatures on an isolated world become aware of each other’s existence and play a tennis-like game in order to pass the time. It’s not long before they find themselves frustrated with each other, becoming increasingly aggressive. A brief examination of Man’s sometimes unnecessarily violent and uncompromising relationship with his ‘brother’.
Fusion (unfinished project)
2001, 3D CGI, 1 minute 12 seconds, 1.33:1
Following a successful animatic of the complete project I proceeded to create a short completely animated segment of the film itself. It was conceptually ambitious but possibly incomprehensible to the casual viewer. The narrated animatic proved to be quite popular at University and I fortunately managed to capture a similar atmosphere with this 3D short. It revolves around an organism being born in a forest hut at the same time as the birth of something else. Their growth is synchronised, he growing into a human-type character and the mysterious other ‘thing’ becoming an organic viewing device, while outside in the oppressive woods there are apparently hostile observers at the windows. This is the only project where I wrote the music score too.
A Bedside’s Story
2001, 3D CGI, 1 minute 53 seconds, 1.33:1
A bedside table is lectured by his wardrobe father about the fate that awaits him, causing the youngster to commit suicide. A semi-humorous parable about destinies pre-determined by parents.
Heart of a Forest
2001, 3D CGI, 3 minutes 8 seconds, 1.33:1
An unsophisticated work technically, this film introduces us to a stone man who doesn’t understand why he exists - the only key to his problem is a hill in the centre of the forest in which he dwells, atop the hill being a house where visible is the silhouette of someone perpetually seated at the window…
2000, 3D CGI, 35 seconds, 1.33:1
My first 3D computer animation, following a simple brief the idea was to create a short story exclusively using primitives (basic three dimensional shapes such as cubes or spheres). The story was a basic David and Goliath idea where a large ‘cube’ attempts to kill a small cube, with unpredictable results.
The Creation and Destruction of Life
2000, traditional (chalk), 1 minute 27 seconds, 1.22:1
Inspired by the works of Normal McClaren, this short piece consisted of a natural landscape being progressively built up using individually implemented chalk marks and, subsequent to this, the arrival of Man and his inevitable effect on the environment.
2000, traditional (drawn), 58 seconds, 1.33:1
Technically a complete mess but I learned a lot. Having just parted company with a female this was my cynical response to the mating game. Some guy overtaking a woman driver notices that she’s quite nubile and permits himself to become fatally attracted, quite literally.
1999, stop motion, 12 seconds, 1.33:1
My extremely short first ‘film’. On an alien landscape, a levitating eye opens to let out a screaming mouth that falls to the terrain below. A surreal exercise in understanding how to synchronise sound with imagery.
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