This morning we continue Cartoon Brew’s Student Animation Festival with the online debut of Eric Ko’s Our Son (우리 아들) which is a graduation short produced at the Rhode Island School of Design.
Notably, Eric’s short marks the second time he’s been selected for our festival; his junior year film Troubleshooting was featured in last year’s festival. Our Son is an evolution of his distinctively spare geometric language while reaching new heights of filmmaking ambition and confidence.
Ko is fascinated with the idea of speed in this film, and he skillfully manipulates the cinematic space to create a fast-paced and exciting animation thrill ride. The driving percussion-oriented soundtrack lends to the sense of urgency. The film flirts with abstraction, but remains grounded in a narrative universe that is both resistant to (and demanding of) interpretation by the viewer.
Continue reading for comments from the filmmaker:
The transition from carefree irresponsibility to reality is often instantaneous. Based off of a few precious memories of growing up with a best friend in a place that offered very little and the relationship I have with my heritage, I wanted to work on a film that took me on an adventure during its creation, with hopes that it would take the viewer on one as well.
I used Flash and a tablet to animate. For the music and sound design I worked in Ableton Live.
CHALLENGES & LESSONS LEARNED
I wanted to make a film that embodied impulsive, frantic adventures; with that said, having a storyboard seemed to be an ill limitation. At first I had plenty of boards drawn up and ideas down on paper, but after the first few seconds of animating I threw it all out. All I had left were the bigger ideas that I kept in the back of my head as I worked. At a certain point I was simply putting one image in front of the other without knowing what came next, which was fun for me. Once something stopped being fun, I stopped and changed it. I think realizing to make sure I had fun was the most important thing.
I looked up to independent animators such as Lei Lei and Misaki Uwabo. I did some really basic research on Korean culture; I think my vague understanding of my own heritage and the disjointed humor I get from it particularly inspired me. Also, retro side-scrolling spaceship games such as Gradius interests me a lot, where a lot of strange visual motifs went unquestioned because it’s an arcade game. While animating I listened to a lot of Louis CK interviews for laughs and really loved his attitude about creative freedom. Echo Park by Willamette was my favorite album to listen to.
WHERE YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS
Making more short films!
The Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival is made possible by the generosity of our presenting sponsor JibJab.