The Story-Telling Animal, Now With More Pictures and Sound

One of the things that I think is so exciting about the continually-increasing power of the personal computer is the way it opens up the field of personal creativity.  Sure, a basic word processor is fine if, like myself, you do your expression through the written word.  But what about those who want a little more audio, a little more visual?  What about graphic artists, and visual artists, the budding director or animator or cinematographer?  Well, more and more nowadays, the personal computer is just as capable of letting them express themselves as me and my word processor have been since, well, since as long as I've ever had a personal computer.  Word and Notepad and the like aren't exactly the most processor-heavy programs out there, after all.

One of my favourite movies is a short anime from a few years back, called Voices of a Distant Star.  It's a story about love and separation and long-distance relationships, and since this is anime, it's also a story about space battles and giant robots and invading aliens and a schoolgirl.  It's a really beautiful piece, and I most certainly recommend it to anyone who's willing to embrace a certain quiet sorrow in their entertainment; it's not for everyone, but what is?  But the most interesting thing about Voices of a Distant Star is that, while it looks just as pretty as plenty of studio-produced anime films, it was the work of one guy, in his garage, using nothing more than off-the-shelf computers and programs.  Granted, some pretty expensive off-the-shelf computers and programs, but still.  Although no more than a student film, in terms of the funding and technical opportunities available, Voices of a Distant Star was so masterfully done that it was licensed for distribution by ADV, one of the biggest names in anime outside Japan, and got a manga adaptation and a soundtrack release.  Outside of Kevin Smith's Clerks, which cost Smith tens of thousands of dollars and would've bankrupted him if it hadn't been picked up, I can't think of anything else to compare it to.  But I suspect, in the coming years, I probably will find a few new alternatives.

Which is, actually, all just a long-winded way of introducing this video.  It's very impressive visually, though the voice work is a bit rough and the walking animation for the Inquisitor makes him look a touch jerky.  I can't wait to see what comes of this when it's finished; it's already far more interesting than Ultramarines ever managed!


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