Several months ago I wowed you guys with Media Design School’s Steampunk short “The Deadliest Game” based on the Weta Digital character Dr. Grordbort. Today those digital genius’s are back with this odd couple meets WALL-E esque story about two working class droids whose jobs at a packing facility are in danger. As expected, the graphic animation is immense. So clean and fluid it almost brought a tear to my eye. Directed by seasoned special effects animator James Cunningham (Lord of The Rings) and written by Kathryn Burnett, SHELVED pays homage to all the great slacker films of our time, but does so with robots. The kitchy banter shared between the two stars could easily draw comparisons to films like Employee of The Month or The Office. You don’t even have to suspend disbelief while you watch this masterpiece. The dialogue, voices and cgi are so seamless, I was completely invested from the start thanks in no small part to this team of dedicated artist. Some of which included a few of New Zealand’s finest actors.
Shelved stars some of New Zealand’s top comedic talent including lead actors Simon McKinney and Stephen Papps, as well as Penny Ashton and Peter Rowley, all of whom were transformed into fully animated robots by the team of students.
Eleven Media Design School animation and visual effects students undertook 12 weeks of production, 5,460 hours of rendering and 6,300 hours of work to achieve the five minutes of animation.
Weta Workshop senior concept artist Greg Broadmore (District 9, Lord
Of The Rings, King Kong) was also on board with the project, drawing the original robot sketches. It is not the first time he has collaborated with the school. In 2011, Broadmore worked with students to bring his characters to life in the short film Dr Grordbort Presents: The Deadliest Game.
Shelved is the story of two bumbling robots who are bored by their dead- end jobs, until they realise they are about to be replaced! The comedy is a nod towards the early films of directors Kevin Smith (Clerks, Mallrats) and Richard Linklater (Slacker, Dazed and Confused) and offers an ironic take on the recession-era redundancies of recent times.
If you’d like to know more about this film or The Media Design School, click on the links after the jump. In the meantime enjoy SHELVED.