“Our Son” by Eric Ko

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 IDEA

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.

TOOLBOX

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.

INSPIRATIONS

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!

FILMMAKER WEBSITES

Personal website: Crybird.net
Vimeo page: Vimeo.com/EricKo




The Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival is made possible by the generosity of our presenting sponsor JibJab.


  • Will

    Love you Eric! :D

  • Enrique Aguilar

    Thought it was from Misaki Uwabo, reminded me a lot New Tokyo Ondo. Then I read below, congrats Eric.

  • http://okreza.blogspot.com/ reza

    hell yah, super fun, loved to hear that you kinda just went for it during production. sound design was as fun as the animation

  • khan8282

    I like exploring that razor thin area between traditional storytelling and forcing you to analyze and pick apart the themes on your own. I have to admit I have an attention deficit or something that makes it hard for me to make it through more than 2 minutes of abstraction without a definite theme or story to follow, but this short hits you with just enough character info in the last minute or so to pull me back in. And the images are fun.

    Props to my favorite moment: The main character and his friend experiencing freefall in their sleeping bags while their tent goes ballistic :)

  • Artūrs Bunts

    although this is one of the best animations on the web, it is too similar to new tokyo ondo, and i just can’t like or respect that