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Anime inspired "Missing Persons" to Debut in New York

posted on 2002-04-29 11:42 EDT
Director discusses his Anime influences with ANN

Film Director Matt O'Donnell, who created Missing Persons with his brotehr Dan, contacted ANN last week to inform us that their film, which he described as "heavily anime influenced" would be premiering in NYC on Wednesday May 1st.

Excerpt from Press Release:

MISSING PERSONS, a new independent 3D animated feature film, will have its New York Premiere on May 1st at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Shown in state-of-the-art high-definition digital projection at the BMA's 460-seat theater, the film is entirely CG-generated, rendered in a striking "toon-style" using proprietary software.

MISSING PERSONS
Dirs: Matt & Dan O'Donnell
Wednesday May 1, 2002 - 9:00PM
Brooklyn Museum of Art
200 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, NY


When asked about the particular Anime influences on Missing Persons O'Donnell was full of specific examples from Dragon Ball Z to Princess Mononoke and My Neighbor Totoro. "Almost every scene has a visual reference to something, but it's difficult to see them objectively now," he explained. "Two marshland scenes which book-end the film were an attempt to approach the sense of reverie Miyazaki achieved in the nature scenes in Princess Mononoke and My Neighbor Totoro."

"The frames we studied when programming the shading system were My Neighbor Totoro and DBZ; it was a particular revelation to notice that the shadows on Piccolo's face weren't just darker, the color was saturated. Disney may do this, for all I know, but despite their production values, I've never been impressed with the composition of a Disney frame."

"When writing the script, my brother and I fixed on a particular Dragon Ball Z scene as a prototype for the kind of submerged exposition we most admired and aspired to. It was mid-Saiyan saga, a severely bruised Gohan slumped against a rock in the desert, babbling in a stream of consciousness about how he'd like to invite Piccolo to his birthday party, but he doesn't think his mother would stand for it, Piccolo squatting grimly a few yards away, motionless and mortified--obviously the cause of the bruises, although no fight was seen. (It's a perfect scene, really--it conveys the entirety of both characters' personalities without a single word of exposition, the foreground completely inert except for occasional eyeball flits.)"

Missing Persons has already received praise from those that have seen it, Quotes from Variety's Dennis Harvey are spread through the press release, inlcuding, "...a refreshing oddball stew of parodic noir, police and sci-fi elements as sifted through deadpan surrealism," and "...striking to look at and cryptically hilarious in numerous weird fantastical-banal details. (Computo's oddly dapper persona and mobility/grasping abilities are just one source of consistent entertainment.)"

SYNOPSIS:
A chronicle of the intersecting lives of four lost souls haunting the fringes of Coney Island's 60th Precinct. John Funn, a lonely Missing Persons detective at the frayed end of a once promising career, hitches his wagon to the rising star of a strange and impressionable young sergeant named Snookie. Computo, a World War II Army surplus robot, and Crazy Legs, an horrifically injured streetfighter, eke out a desperate living hawking mislabelled narcotics, while patiently await ing happier times. Woven throughout the unraveling of these two dysfunctional partnerships is the story of a bizarre Missing Persons case involving a mysterious half-drowned man living one foot below the surface of the Atlantic ocean. A tale told in a cycle of interlocking absurdities--played almost alarmingly straight--MISSING PERSONS is an entirely CGI-generated 3D animated film, rendered in "toon-style" using custom software.

Tickets are $10, more details are availabel at the Brooklyn International Film Festival at http://www.wbff.org/2002/films/detail.asp?cid=1&fid=164.

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