Ginevra (2017)


Ginevra trailer from Tess Martin on Vimeo.

Synopsis:

Based on Percy Shelley’s poem “The Dirge”,¬†Ginevra¬†depicts the aftermath of the murder of a young woman. As her distraught mother looks on, she learns that life after death involves a transition she never could have imagined.
This short film is based on an unfinished poem by Percy Shelley published in 1824.

Backstory:

This short film is based on a poem called ‘The Dirge’ by Percy Shelley (not to be confused with another Shelley poem called A Dirge). Max Rothman at Monticello Park Productions brought this project to animation filmmaker Tess Martin. Upon further research Tess discovered that The Dirge is actually part of a longer, unfinished poem called Ginevra (read the full poem here).

In the book The Poems of Shelley: Volume Four 1820-1821 by Michael Rossington, Jack Donovan and Kelvin Everest, the authors speculate that the poem might have been inspired by a supposedly true story contained in a book that his wife Mary was reading at the time. The story is that of Ginevra degli Almieri, a Renaissance-era urban legend about a woman who was thought dead of a plague that swept the city of Florence in the year 1400, and was put in a vault to be buried the next day. But she then awakens and is mistaken for a ghost by both her husband and her parents. Unfortunately, Percy Shelley himself died an untimely death in 1822, and was not able to finish this poem. His wife Mary published just the last segment under the title ‘The Dirge’, as well as the rest of the unfinished poem under the title ‘Ginevra’, in 1824 after Percy’s death.

The animated film incorporates inspiration from the Ginevra backstory, as well as direct inspiration from the poem itself. It is created using primarily cream-colored paper cut-outs on a multi-plane animation stand, with lots of lights and colored filters.

Exhibitions/Screenings:

Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, WA, June 30-Oct 22, 2017, solo show

Stills & Behind-the-Scenes shots:

Still from Ginevra (2017), directed by Tess Martin, produced by Max Rothman.

Still from Ginevra (2017).

Still from Ginevra (2017).

Still from Ginevra (2017).

Still from Ginevra (2017).

Still from Ginevra (2017).

Behind the scenes shot from the production of Ginevra.

Behind the scenes shot from the production of Ginevra.

Behind the scenes shot from the production of Ginevra.

Behind the scenes shot from the production of Ginevra.

Behind the scenes shot from the production of Ginevra.

Behind the scenes shot from the production of Ginevra.

 

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Ginevra WIP: lighting set up walk-through

 Blog, Ginevra (2017)  Comments Off on Ginevra WIP: lighting set up walk-through
Nov 112016
 
Still image from the work-in-progress Ginevra.

Still image from the work-in-progress Ginevra.

As I chug through production on Ginevra, I am struck by how much I’m learning about top-lighting. This scene was especially challenging, involving seven lights and one matte to cast shadows. I thought it might be interesting for others to see exactly how the lights are set up to achieve the look above. This scene is meant to place at dawn, with the sun rising on the right side of the scene.

A composite showing the multi-plane animation stand in its entirety, along with close up shots of the various clips lights and filters on the sides, top and bottom.

A composite showing the multi-plane animation stand in its entirety, along with close up shots of the various clips lights and filters on the sides, top and bottom.

Two lights shining through a piece of orange construction paper onto more orange construction paper below the stand.

Two lights shining through a piece of orange construction paper onto more red and orange construction paper below the stand. This produces the strong dark red lighting in the left side of the frame.

One light shining through an orange opaque sheet onto orange construction paper under the stand. This produces the brighter orange light coming from the right side of the background.

One light shining through an orange opaque sheet onto orange construction paper under the stand. This produces the brighter orange light coming from the right side of the background.

One light shining through an opaque piece of white tissue paper on the middle level of the stand. This produces the strong shadows that define the tiny 'trees' of the background forest cut-out.

One light shining through an opaque piece of white tissue paper on the middle level of the stand. This produces the strong shadows that define the tiny ‘trees’ of the background forest cut-out.

Two lights (one with a piece of orange opaque gel taped closely to it) shining through a carefully positioned black matte. This produces the effect of light shining through the pillars of the balcony.

Two lights (one with a piece of orange opaque gel taped closely to it) shining through a carefully positioned black matte. This produces the effect of light shining through the pillars of the balcony.

Side bounce lights. These produce a slight orange/blue tint on the left side of the lady cut-out, and a more blue tint on the right side of the lady cut-out.

Side bounce lights. These produce a slight orange/blue tint on the left side of the lady cut-out, and a more blue tint on the right side of the lady cut-out.

And here is the final shot again, after it is photographed through the overhead camera using my Dragon frame-grabbing software.

And here is the final shot again, after it is photographed through the overhead camera using my Dragon frame-grabbing software.

Hope this walk-through is useful for someone out there! See my Instagram account for the latest behind-the-scenes shots of this production.

New multi-plane animation stand: time lapse and build photos

 Blog, featured, Ginevra (2017)  Comments Off on New multi-plane animation stand: time lapse and build photos
Sep 302016
 
New multi-plane animation stand: time lapse and build photos

I’m really happy to finally finish a new multi-plane animation stand set up after two weeks of building, visiting hard ware stores, hunting for fabric and transporting heavy glass in a suitcase by bus. I thought some of you might be interested in its design and building process – I know I did a lot […]