2006 to 2012 - Character based CG Animated Short Film
In 2006 I started devleoping a short computer generated film called 'Devils, Angels and Dating' purely for the love of animated filmmaking. The goal of the art and tech in this project was to produce a film that's so unique and beautiful in every frame that it would catch the attention of someone browsing the internet. Then the charm of the story, characters and animation would keep them hooked for the short running time leaving them wanting more. So this film was made with the internet in mind, fully aware of modern interests and trends.
This was a world wide collaborative effort with a team of talented volunteer artists and animators that worked together on our own dedicated social network. What's more is that everything we did was available for the world to watch during production, and still to today you can delve into every aspect of the film's creation to see how things were done at our development site. Want to see how a shot was created, including all the animator's and supervisor's notes? It's all there.
The film was released onto YouTube in January of 2012. Since then it has attracted over a million views, a good number of festival screenings, an Award for 'Best Short Film' at the Burbank Film Festival, another for 'Best Animation' at The Indie Fest, a Nomination for 'Best in Festival' at AnimMazSpot, the Orson Welles Award and it was screened at the Holly Shorts Festival taking place at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. A Director's Cut was released on Vimeo in October of 2012.
Cupid, Devil and a rather sexy young judge, jury and executioner in the form of Death gather in the After Life War Room, just past Heaven's Gates, to attend to their daily routine of manipulating our lives down on Earth with modern techniques that would put our internet dating generation to shame. Each of them, reluctantly compelled to play out their role in the game of love and life in order to maintain the balance. There's an unspoken attraction in the room and their true contradictory personalities are gradually revealed to each other, when someone gets a bright idea and re-purposes their high tech weapons to turn the tide of war and flip everything on it's head. This is a love triangle with cosmic repercussions!
These video playlists are constantly being updated
Frustrated and chauvinistic, resentful about the ironic nature of his job. Frustrated and chauvinistic, resentful about the ironic nature of his job.
Cupid was a world weary old man who knows all the tricks. He's spent his youth pursuing ladies then reluctantly fixing them up in order to maintain the balance of the world. So he's missed out on a romance of his own, and he's looking for a partner but the tricks are all he has and he doesn't know anything more than that. There aren't many 1000 year old single angels; most of them have had their breaks in love at some point in their existence. So it's frustrating for him and he's slipped in to a bit of a chauvinistic rut, easily swayed by any perceivable new hope he can get his hands on but rarely using it in a new way. He is well beyond hating his job and wants something on the side to spice his existence up.
Devil is new to this job as he’s replacing someone else that had been there for a long time. So Cupid was number three in the room, suddenly he’s number two and after so long at the bottom of the pecking order his ego has shot up and he’s getting cocky, perhaps even shooting for number one; Death. But deep down he's a lonely soul and isn't very good at hiding it any more, to the point that he's getting a little too friendly with Death. Death can be quite scary at times, so he knows when to stop... most of the time.
He’s the most cunning of the three, and bored of his work he’s more than capable of multi-tasking and teasing the other two, or flirting with Death at the same time as coupling people up. In fact the more he can do to avoid paying attention to the work he’s doing the better he feels.
Devil is young and new to the afterlife but doesn't exactly fit the mould he's been cast into. He wants to find love but he's way too shy to do anything about it. The trouble is, as cute as he may be, he's a devil, so no-one trusts him and he's become very insular. His job is to balance out Cupid by breaking up the matches he makes, but he's not well suited to it and resists it. He's found satisfaction in the perfection he brings to the small things in his life and almost manages to push his job out of his mind most of the time. But this dual life is beginning to show between the cracks; he twitches and shakes the more he tries to control himself.
He’s smart, but single minded. He can focus on things but he will be easily distracted. He’s gullible and naive and more than a bit uptight. He fancies Death but would never normally do anything about it. He’s intimidated by Cupid, and tries to keep a low profile. He hates himself for the role he is compelled to play out, i.e. breaking up the couples Cupid makes. He’d much rather do something else but he can’t stop himself, it’s in his programming... if someone isn’t doing it, he feels compelled to fill in the void.
Devil started out as a teenage centre piece for my CG Short Film, when I dropped the Doorman Character. He's now become a cute devil, and he's designed to stand opposite an older Cupid. I didn't want him to have the obvious horns, so I worked his hair into a horn shape instead. Along the way I realised the hair and his face forms a strong heart silhouette which speaks more to his concealed inner personality.
Inadvertently sexy and sympathetic to Devil's plight.
Death is a career girl, judge and executioner, who's been so focused on the task of delivering death that she's not found time for guys that don’t live up to her standards. In fact she secretly hates her job now and resists every death she must bring, but can't stop for the sake of her compulsion to maintain the balance; she’s the only one with the bigger picture and knows her role in the cycle. She gets quite upset when she has to deliver death but usually hides it well. She doesn't realise she's hot and hasn't really mastered the art of a feminine allure, thanks in a large part to her job. She's looking for something different in her life, a change that brings balance in both the world below and her heart.
She’s actually protective of Devil since he’s the new guy, and defends him from Cupid’s cockiness. She’s also secretly sympathetic to Devil’s pain, but can’t betray it for fear of showing weakness. She’s number one in the room and has to keep order. She’s very smart, and more than capable of fending off Cupid’s advances with dignity and a smile. She’s not at all insecure. She’s not much of a fan of Cupid but she knows she can’t get rid of him as he’s the only one keeping life going, and that’s very important to her.
Death is the newest character to the story and ends up being the love interest for both Cupid and Devil, but she's no damsel in distress and could take them both on if she were to succumb to her instincts. However her resistance to Cupid has distracted her from Master Devil's hidden charms so far and she’s just beginning to fall for him.