MAKING OF PEAR CIDER AND CIGARETTES | SPB DIRECTOR ROB VALLEY
ROBERT VALLEY – DIRECTOR AND ARTIST
Hailing from Vancouver, Canada, Rob graduated from the Emily Carr College and moved straight into storyboarding the Aeon Flux TV series with Peter Chung and juggling commercials for brands such as Nike, Coke, Sony etc. Then followed Gorillaz videos with Jamie Hewlett and Pete Candeland, the Beatles Rock Band cinematic, his own Massive Swerve graphic novel series, a series of Wonder Woman animated shorts for DC Nation and an Annie Award as lead character designer and storyboard artist on Tron:Uprising. Pear Cider & Cigarettes is Rob’s first short film.
This 32 minute animated film is a true story about a friend of mine named TECHNO STYPES and takes place over the course of 25 years. The following excerpt from the film best explains what the story is about:
“Drink and smoke…that’s what Techno really like to do…and fight. He was in no condition to fight. He was sick, really sick. His disease had whittled him down to a shadow of his former self. He was crippled from a car accident when he was 17 but that’s not how he lost his big toe. He lost that in a motorbike accident, yeah he was broken alright… what the hell was he fighting for anyway and what was he still doing in China? His father had given me two clear instructions: 1. Get Techno to stop drinking long enough to receive the liver transplant and 2. Get him back home to Vancouver. This wasn’t going to be easy.”
Techno was in a bad way, the first part of this story is how Techno ended up in China needing a liver transplant, the second part of the story is about how we tried to get him back home to Canada again.
Music costs money, whether it is an original composition or an existing track. This is a music driven film. The soundtrack we want to put together currently has 18 incredible songs, including original compositions from Robert Trujillo (Metallica) and Dave Nunez (Anitek).
Other tracks need to be in the correct time pocket this film takes place in, if we achieve certain stretch goals we will be able to license a certain Pink Floyd song (wish me luck), Black Sabbath, Morphine, Air, Nightmares on Wax, Cypress Hill, the Dandy Warhols, Leftfield and a few other tasty tracks. I’ve been refining this song selection since 2012.
The animation is done, and only requires a little colour correction. The audio on the other hand needs work. I have to re-record most of the voice over and get a proper sound mix done. A film production is only as good as it’s weakest link (says Charlie Bean) and I don’t want a poor audio track to bring down the overall quality of this film, especially after all the work I have put into it so far. I can’t let that happen.
ANIMATION IN PHOTOSHOP
Check out these links if you want to see some other projects animated in photoshop using the same technique:
WONDER WOMAN EP 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHZKIVS3h2g
SHINJUKU EP 3 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUSB-gyhmtw
You can see there is a progression in the technique leading up to this PEAR CIDER project. It was inconceivable to me, only a few short years ago that I would be able to animate an entire 32 minute film all by myself in just over 2 years. Inconceivable and unaffordable. The animation tools in photoshop are far from perfect, but for me, because I was animating my graphic novel, (which was entirely created in photoshop) It made perfect sense. I don’t work for Adobe, but I really like photoshop, and I love animation. I want to share with you some of the things I learned about both these things during the making of my film.