David OReilly on the making of Please Say Something

Please Say Something

One of the most interesting animated-related pieces I’ve read in a while: David OReilly discusses his technical and aesthetic approach to the short Please Say Something. His ideas are a polar opposite of mainstream computer animation:

My central idea in constructing the world of the film was to prove that something totally artificial and unreal could still communicate emotion and hold cinematic truth. The film makes no effort to cover up the fact that it is a computer animation, it holds an array of artifacts which distance it from reality, which tie it closer to the software it came from. This idea is in direct opposition to all current trends in animation, which take the route of desperately trying to look real, usually by realistic lighting and rendering, or by forcing a hand-made or naive appearance. At the time of writing, this trend shows no apparent signs of ceasing.


  • Kevin Schreck

    This sounds really intriguing and wonderful. Looking forward to it!

  • pizzaforeveryone

    great lines from oreilly. It doesn’t hurt that his storytelling sensibilities and talents are extremely strong. His films (octocat included) aren’t just clearly and cleverly animated, they’re very well-written. cinematography, timing, it’s all there too.

  • Alex Hirsch

    A brilliant article from a brilliant artist. The clarity of thought, specificity of intention, and masterful execution in this guys work is staggering. A true original. So why are there only two comments?

  • Tim Schuit

    Didn’t really like ‘Please Say Something’, but props to David for trying something different.

  • http://www.hunteachother.com Max W.

    I really loved this film, and I’m usually not partial to CG. I got the feel of what he is writing about while watching his film, so… I guess that means it what a successful film! It is some of the only “refreshing” CG I’ve seen, and made me think of the different possibilities of that technique.

    Also saw him get the award at Annecy, where I noticed he thanked this very website. Now I want to see moreeeeee!

  • http://www.mooseheartjones.com Neil Graf

    I really like David’s work, I think he’s got a rocking style.
    The essay, though..
    I don’t think anyone’s been arguing against making artistic choices. The fact that people have been aiming primarily towards realism with 3d is beside the point. Thats just a fascination that people have with recreating their world, and its a goal that remains unachieved.
    I need to restate that I do enjoy his work, and respect him as an artist. We just need to have these discussions. Cartoon Brew leads the animation conversation, after all.

  • http://www.rohitiyer.com Rohit Iyer

    What really sets OReilly’s work apart is that he doesn’t alienate his audience with his material. His style is not different just for the heck of it, it actually has an internal logic. Not like a lot of the random stuff out there which tries to be rebellious or decidedly senseless.

  • Jorge Garrido

    David O’Reilly is the most overrated and untalented hack I have the displeasure of reading about, and far too often.

  • JG

    Great article. It’s good to know that there are artists who think about it and actually do something to experiment… and even produce very strong work while doing so. CG could certainly use more brilliant artistic minds like OReilly. Not surprisingly, his work is always refreshing. Love every single bit of it (pun intended). Thanks.