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Why the best "Best Animated Short Subject" nominee won't win.

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  • messy1
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    #1202010635

    Last summer, at the Ottawa Animation Festival, I saw a Virtual Reality animation called Pearl, a 360-degree short film released as part of Google’s Spotlight Stories project.

    It blew me away. This is the future of cinema. It told a story, and it did what VR was supposed to do, put you in the middle of the action. You had to put on the goggles and headphones to see it, and that’s fine, it’s the way we’re going to watch movies in the ’30s and ’40s. We have to start somewhere.

    In the early 1930s, a one-reeler called La Cucaracha got an Oscar for Best Short. It wasn’t very good in and of itself, but it was the first film to use 3-strip Techicolor, and as such looked georgius. So it was, for the time, a technical marvel.

    Pearl is that sort of film. The people who make the nominations pretty much all saw the 3D version, but the people who will vote on the Oscar itself won’t see it. They will see a  “cinematic” cut down version that’s nowhere near as good. People will wonder how this nice, but by no means great, little  film earned a nomination in the Best Animated Short  category.

    So it will lose. Which is sad.

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    Riley
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    #1202010795

    The forced-viewpoint version is nothing special indeed.

    The 360 one is on YouTube, but I have not experienced it with a headset.

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    GusCruz
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    #1202010842

    This is the future of cinema

    I disagree about this. I also disagree that it is the best nominee – my favorite is Blind Vaysha. But I probably rank it second or third. I know two members on the Animation branch who do think Pearl is the best. But the populist choice is Piper.

    Borrowed Time is bad.

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    Riley
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    #1202010864

    The worst!

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    Filmatelist
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    #1202012675

    Well, I haven’t seen the 360 version, but did see PEARL in the theater a few months ago and thought it was brilliant storytelling, and leagues better than PIPER or BORROWED TIME (which rely more on technology and simplistic emotion button-pushing).  I haven’t seen the other two but will this week.

    But I am inclined to agree that it probably won’t win, simply because the best one rarely does.

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    GusCruz
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    #1202012897

    Well, I haven’t seen the 360 version, but did see PEARL in the theater a few months ago and thought it was brilliant storytelling

    I frankly don’t even know how it would play in 2D. Can you explain?

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    Filmatelist
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    #1202012918

    Well, I haven’t seen the 360 version, but did see PEARL in the theater a few months ago and thought it was brilliant storytelling

    I frankly don’t even know how it would play in 2D. Can you explain?

    Since I don’t know what the VR/surround version was like, I can only say that the film I saw does take place exclusively inside a car, with passages of time conveyed in synch with the music.  There’s lots of camera pans to view action in all directions (through the windshield, windows, back window, etc.) and from what I recall, it’s mostly dialogue-free, letting the action and character dynamics do the “talking”.   I’m guessing that while the VR invites an immersive experience that allows you to concentrate on what you want, the 2D version specifically guides your attention to where the director thinks the main story is taking place.

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    pulp50
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    #1202012943

    I hope it doesn’t, I don’t want to start being expected to wear goggles to watch a film any time soon.

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    GusCruz
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    #1202012955

    I hope it doesn’t, I don’t want to start being expected to wear goggles to watch a film any time soon.

    The movie is strictly an experiment. Art is about experimental creativity. I do think Academy members are very conservative, so they might agree with you

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    PJ Edwards
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    #1202013528

    I hope it doesn’t, I don’t want to start being expected to wear goggles to watch a film any time soon.

    Too late. 3D films have already become the norm.

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    Filmatelist
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    #1202013673

    I hope it doesn’t, I don’t want to start being expected to wear goggles to watch a film any time soon.

    Too late. 3D films have already become the norm.

    But you’d be hard-pressed to find a 3D screening of a film that’s not also playing in a 2D version, so hardly ubiquitous.

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    Atypical
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    #1202013852

    Just saw the Animated Shorts tonight! Still gathering my thoughts on them, but quite the underwhelming roster of nominees this year. 4 nominees in less than 30 minutes, some “highly commended” shorts that were better than the actual nominees, and then that last one, gawd. I was curious about this thread on what’s this undeniable winner from the nominees this year, and the OP says it’s “Pearl”? Granted I didn’t see it with the Google VR headset thingy, so I was at a disadvantage at watching this in a way the makers didn’t intend. But the story and animation are both really basic, so unless this new technology is a miracle worker or something, I’m ranking it fifth. I think there is a clear consensus winner here, though I’m hoping for a needed upset instead.

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    GusCruz
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    #1202013900

    Just saw the Animated Shorts tonight! Still gathering my thoughts on them, but quite the underwhelming roster of nominees this year. 4 nominees in less than 30 minutes, some “highly commended” shorts that were better than the actual nominees, and then that last one, gawd. I was curious about this thread on what’s this undeniable winner from the nominees this year, and the OP says it’s “Pearl”? Granted I didn’t see it with the Google VR headset thingy, so I was at a disadvantage at watching this in a way the makers didn’t intend. But the story and animation are both really basic, so unless this new technology is a miracle worker or something, I’m ranking it fifth. I think there is a clear consensus winner here, though I’m hoping for a needed upset instead.

    Did you watch them at the Academy screening? In what order were they presented?

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    Teridax
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    #1202013907

    Just saw the Animated Shorts tonight! Still gathering my thoughts on them, but quite the underwhelming roster of nominees this year. 4 nominees in less than 30 minutes, some “highly commended” shorts that were better than the actual nominees, and then that last one, gawd. I was curious about this thread on what’s this undeniable winner from the nominees this year, and the OP says it’s “Pearl”? Granted I didn’t see it with the Google VR headset thingy, so I was at a disadvantage at watching this in a way the makers didn’t intend. But the story and animation are both really basic, so unless this new technology is a miracle worker or something, I’m ranking it fifth. I think there is a clear consensus winner here, though I’m hoping for a needed upset instead.

    How would you rank the 5, in terms of YOUR own personal preference? 🙂

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    GusCruz
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    #1202014168

    That’s weird! Why were they showing non-nominated shorts?

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