The short film is the second original work to come out of Gnomon Studios, and is co-directed by Shane Acker, whose animated short 9 was nominated for an Academy AwardÂ® for Best Short Film in 2006. Acker’s Plus Minus co-director Aristomenis (Meni) Tsirbas is best known for his work on the award-winning animated films The Freak and Battle for Terra, which were honored at the Sundance Film Festival and the international Giffoni Film Festival.
Shane Acker approached Gnomon Studios in September 2009 with the idea for Plus Minus. His vision – set within a post-apocalyptic inferno of territorial fighting between demonic forces of art and commerce – demanded deft talents and stunning visual artistry to bring the subtle yet deep plot line to life. Teaming with the industry-leading instructors and aspiring artists at Gnomon, Acker worked with Tsirbas, “Green Lantern” visual effects supervisor Tefft Smith and Gnomon students to create the film, training them on the intricacies of a professional style production pipeline.
“The idea for Plus Minus began as just that, an idea. What it has become, however, exceeds even my original expectations for the project,” said Acker. “Plus Minus is a joint effort — the result of collaborating with Meni, Tefft, the staff at Gnomon Studios and the students at the Gnomon School of Visual Effects. As both students of Gnomon School and members of the Gnomon Studios team, these individuals have learned to work at the forefront of digital production. These valuable experiences can be seen in their distinct contributions to the film which were vital in creating the end product.”
Established by the Gnomon School of Visual Effects, the industry leader in professional training for artists in the entertainment and design field, Gnomon Studios prepares advanced Gnomon students for their professional careers by working on projects, such as the recent feature film “Green Lantern,” in a studio environment under the guidance and mentorship of production professionals. Gnomon sets itself apart from other visual effects schools by requiring all faculty members to be active members in the field. In doing so, the school ensures that its students are industry ready upon graduation while allowing Gnomon Studios to produce professional level products using its internal talent.
“Plus Minus is a unique, beautifully animated and powerful film. Projects like this give students invaluable work experience in roles directly linked to their career aspirations,” said Alex Alvarez, founder and director of Gnomon School of Visual Effects. “Through internships at Gnomon Studios, our students are able to collaborate with talented directors like Shane and Meni on professional productions like ‘Plus Minus’ in a realistic studio environment, preparing them for the work they will do once they leave Gnomon.”
In an effort to provide an authentic training experience, the structure of Gnomon Studios mirrors professional visual effects shops. Through projects like Plus Minus, students take on various roles — ranging from concept artists, animators, art directors and producers — all while still being students at Gnomon. Each project’s director fills the role as the external client, following industry production standards, while serving as mentors alongside Alvarez and other Gnomon instructors to help guide students throughout the production process.
Plus Minus is set for its worldwide release online later this year. To view the trailer or link to it for your readers please visit: http://www.plusminusmovie.com.