Отличный фильм. Confusion Through Sand

Рубрики: Фильмы Опубликовано: 10-02-2015

Filmmaker Danny Madden’s neighbor, a Vietnam veteran, once told him a story about a platoon of soldiers in the jungle of South Vietnam. They were on patrol when something went wrong. There was no shooting, no enemies in sight, but Americans were screaming on the radio.

“When another group of soldiers got there they realized the platoon had been attacked by bees,” Madden said, recounting his neighbor’s story. “They thought they were being ambushed and they had really come across an area of the jungle covered with millions of bees.”

It was his neighbor’s bee story that inspired Madden to create a war story of his own, one that would take almost two years to tell. Started in 2011 after a $30,000 Kickstarter campaign, completed in 2013 and finally released online last week, Madden’s film is called “Confusion Through Sand.” A nine-minute animated short that follows a faceless, voiceless soldier through the alleyways and houses of a nondescript Middle Eastern town in a very familiar looking war.

The bee story “got me thinking about the atmosphere [of war] and these places that are foreign to us in a lot of different ways, not just language and culture,” Madden said. “All of these things kind of swirl together in a storm of sorts.”

Madden, along with producers Ben Wiessner and Jim Cummings of Ornanafilms, were also drawn to the project by their experiences with high school friends returning from war.

“There were large chunks of our graduating classes who were going to serve,” Wiessner said. “And after college while I was trying to figure out everything in my life, all of a sudden people I was really closed to in high school started coming back from their tours.”

For research the crew turned to their recently returned friends as well as other veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan spread across the United States. They filmed some live action footage outside of Madden’s home town in Georgia and, on a cross-country road trip, Madden and Wiessner stopped frequently to talk to those who had served. Watching videos of helicopter insertions and reading journals written in combat helped with the film’s realism and atmosphere.

“Everyone we talked to was overwhelmingly open,” Wiessner added.

With their research completed, the team set about putting together the film, which is entirely hand drawn. The final product spanned 6,500 pieces of paper, equating to 12 individual frames per second of the 9 minute 25 second film.

“We found pieces of recycled paper that, when you held them up to the light, looked a lot like a sandstorm,” Cumming said. “The form fit the story.”

While Madden’s prior films are also all hand drawn, the style of “Confusion Through Sand” purposefully highlights the story, or rather lack thereof, that Madden, Wiessner and Cummings wanted to tell.

“The idea going into it was you can project your own face to it,” Madden said, referring to his sparse style. “Nothing is concrete about it…hopefully by designing the character like this it would all people to be in that position a little more viscerally.”

“Confusion Through Sand” has zero voice acting besides the occasional grunt or startle; Madden wanted instead to focus the viewer through sound. For that he and the crew at Ornana got help from the renowned Skywalker Ranch after they saw an early version of the film.

“I was more interested in the graphic quality of it with uber-realistic sounds and sort of seeing the effect of those things working together to tell a story that’s a little more serious,” Madden said.

The film premiered at the South by Southwest festival in 2013, aired on PBS Jan. 19 and went online Jan. 20. The almost two-year delay from premiere allowed it to be shown as various film festivals that do not allow featured films to be available online. From 2013 to 2015 “Confusion Through Sand” was screened from New York to Europe and met with widespread praise and accolades.

Yet according to Madden, Wiessner and Cummings, the greatest acclaim has come from veterans across the country.

“Whatever award matters a lot less than the people that are writing to us saying that ‘this is something that is incredibly personal to me and has really helped me reframe how I saw my time overseas,’ ” Madden said.

“I knew veterans would see it, but it was so powerful to get these messages,” Wiessner added.

One e-mail, in particular, stood out to the crew. It described how a veteran had just finished watching the film and upon its conclusion realized that he still needed help with his war.

“It’s funny how you hear that cliché about if you can change one life than what you do is worth it,” Wiessner said. “But when that e-mail came in and Danny started reading it, we all had tears in our eyes.”

- Thomas Gibbons-Neff

Source - http://www.washingtonpost.com

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