Frayed Ends of a Movie

الإثنين 07 أيار 2007

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How do you produce an animation film without any resources or budget? You collect eight dedicated people and over a lunch break at work, thrash out the idea for Jordan’s first 3D animation film.

The group, who know each other from work or are studying together, used just two computers to make the film and the music, while the sound effects, by Shirin Kamal, were composed on her guitar and then digitized.

“Frayed Ends” is the story of a gentleman whose depression has forced him to think that suicide is his only option. The movie follows him as he tries different methods of ending his life.

The movie’s website describes him as a young man “whose depression has pushed him to the edge, he represents the darker side of the new generation’s thinking, and it shows the psyche of a guy who’s still trying to accept what fate has brought him.”

“But suicide is not the only idea here. It’s about the denial. The backward ideas that sometimes deserve to be alive. We chose to emphasis the impact of denial,” said Maha Al Shafi, who designed the character and worked on concept art and conceptual designs of the movie.character

“It’s a story of a frustrated young man. Nothing is going right for him – he couldn’t even get the suicide right,” added Wajdy Farhan, who helped with nearly all aspects of the film, including lighting, animation, modeling and scripting.

The lighting and shadows, the design, and modeling – all important aspects of the film – were carefully thought out during the production.

Isam Uraiqat, who helped with modeling and animation, said the film was produced using Autodesk Maya and Adobe After Effects, both professional quality animation and visual effects software.

“My favorite part is the beginning, where he takes a breath,” said Uraiqat. “It makes you feel he’s alive.”

The film was made entirely in Jordan, utilizing cutting edge techniques.

The idea, says Karam Al-Nazer, a major modeler for the short film, was to do something different.

“No bosses, no nothing. We wanted to show our impact with just us and our ideas.” Nazer said.

Sandra Dajani, who also conducted major modeling for the movie, said it was the group’s way of telling people that they should be thankful for what they have, and not dwell on aspects out of their control.

Mona Zalloum, who helped with the modeling, set dressing and layout, said it was the first movie for everyone in the group.

“We wanted to see if we could make the film. From coming up with the idea to final production of the film, took about three-and-a-half months.” Zalloum said.

Without a budget and almost no resources, there were many challenges to overcome.

“Everything was hard, from animation and rendering, to creating the depression and setting up the face with the proper expressions,” said Farhan.

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Reaction to the film has been a resounding approval of the techniques and animation quality.

On the movie’s website, blogger Conflicted Arabia posted this message: “AWESOME, this is a really hard work, and great job, and proud to have such talents in my country, keep up the good work and got the support.” (sic)

The plot, however, met with some criticism.

“You guys took it to the limits as far as I’m concerned; I can argue that the story could have been a bit more cheerful , or better plotted , but one can’t ask anything more of you guys, Nice work,” Ilyas Ismat said.

Farhan acknowledged that although the plot wasn’t the best choice, it wasn’t the selling point, the quality of the animation was. He said if they could do it over again, they would tweak the plot, but stick with the theme.

The group received support from families and friends, but was tested at one point, according to Farhan.

“To do modeling, we needed to act out some of the scenes; I was performing the hanging scene, with the noose around my neck, when my mother came into the room,” said Farhan.

“She yelled ‘What are you doing?’ and I had to explain that we needed to model this scene for the film. It didn’t help that I had just changed jobs!” he added.

To watch the film visit:
www.frayed-ends.com