<em>Meet Meline</em> <em>Meet Meline</em>

Meet Meline

Meet Meline tells the story of a little girl whose curiosity is sparked by a mysterious creature as she plays in her grandparents barn. It was created independently and “without any budget” by Virginie Goyons and Sebastien Laban. For more information on the film, there is a 12-minute making of video with behind-the-scenes footage, shot breakdowns, exclusive interviews, and an informative production blog here.

  • A wonderful example of doing everything right. I love this film. I really do.

  • Warhead

    Visually stunning, but the apparent lack of story knocks it down a few notches.

  • I really like the first shot with the butterfly. It’s a cool attention grabber.

    It’s an interesting piece, especially for such a small production.

  • Chris Sokalofsky

    What stood out for me on this film the most was the excellent camera work, particularily the very realistic use of steady cam for the shots. I think it really fit the film well. The color was very soft and easy on the eyes, and the sets were nice to look at. The only thing that I felt took away from the film was a rather limited set of expressions that the girl used for her acting choices, but this is usually what happens when you go for realism with human characters.

    On the whole, an excellent job, congratulations :)

  • Mark

    The girl was designed too much like a cross between Japanese cartoon girls (bland) and that creepy little girl in that bluth film All Dogs Go To Heaven. Other than that, it’s impressive for a student film.

  • Great FX animation and a wonderful story idea. I couldn’t get past the character design or the camera movements though. Her hair physics were too flowy and her face was a little too doll like for me. I enjoy the Final Fantasy style characters but she felt like she was still in between styles. Also I found I was too distracted by the Rube Goldberg barn environment, didn’t know what to look at. I would have like to have seen the action pulled back a little and the camera fixed in more shots. However some of the camera moves were very nice especially at the end, but the one just before the end where we are looking down from the attic was confusing because it wasn’t from the creatures POV and didn’t really seem to serve a purpose. It’s a really great film overall, but a lot of things stuck out as odd fits.

  • Sat

    I’m pretty sure it’s not a student film. I think they work in the special effect or animation business and worked on this on their own.
    It’s very beautiful to look at.

  • I didn’t want it to be over!

  • MattSullivan

    I have to agree. The girl looks like she’s 47, and very anime-like. Otherwise, a hell of an effort.

  • Sprat

    Everything about the short is excessive. Unnecessary camera movement, unnecessary music pouring over every moment, unnecessary cuts. They have mastered CG but they have a long way to go to understand basic filmmaking.

  • Awesome lighting/compositing job!

  • Scarabim

    The child’s movements are spastic and not entirely convincing. But everything else was very nice.

  • Uncanny valiant effort?

    Clearly an accomplishment for such a small team, but that can’t be used to excuse some of the weird decisions employed.
    The colour, the depth of field, and the enviromental modeling are all excellent, but as others have mentioned the camera movement is poorly considered and the character is… odd.

    Re the camera: If you pursue realism in an animation, then frankly, you need to follow live cinemas lead in your visual grammar. This is simply how we’ve come to recognise ourselves. The film delivers no insight in that respect, only excess. This is CG’s most common failing, if not animation’s in general.

    Re the girl: She seems to be modeled after ‘Marlene’, the little girl in Advent Children. For me, Marlene was the least successful aspect of that film, since as the most earthly character she had more realism to carry than all those flying bishonen. But I guess these guys are in love with her, and they and I are just at odds on that one as visualists.

    All the same, I question their co-opting of (what I recognise as) the Japanese convention of finding little girls panties ‘cute’. I don’t myself recognise this as part of European culture or visual grammar – but I know it happens all the time in anime, particularly Ghibli.
    Applying it to a European character, and such a realistic one at that? Well.. if the creators weren’t an attractive young couple, I would be all kinds of suspicious.
    But maybe I’m wrong?

  • Adam C

    The camera movement was confusing. It moves and looks around as though it’s a little creature in the scene while the little girl is looking for a little creature, leading us to (somewhat) assume we ARE that little creature but then the same little creature actually appears on screen…

    And it was especially out of place in the blue-lit scene. You don’t build tension by having the camera dart around like that. It should have smooth, calm movements, even if at that point you DO do the creature’s POV thing.

    And I agree on what’s been said about the design and movements of the girl. It all seems a little off. The rendering is amazing though, and I really like the way it ends.

  • ear vomit

    the little girl looked and seemed to dress and look similar to Astro Boy’s sister Uran. I liked the film a lot.

  • tgentry

    I really like the quality of rendering, but there were two major problems with it that I just couldn’t get over. First was the camera work. At first I was really delighted at the natural camera movements in the first shot, but then the camera really started going into overdrive to the point where I just wanted to hold it down so I could actually focus on what was going on. The second, and biggest problem for me, was the story, or lack thereof. It could really be condensed to 2 minutes of chasing and some kind of payoff. After I got to the three-four minute mark I was basically like “I get it, she’s chasing this thing, let’s move it along” Then I started to fast forward through more chasing to get to the end, and there really wasn’t much payoff for watching 6 minutes. Great effort though and it looks really stunning. Best of luck with future projects.

  • OtherDan

    Well, we’re all critics I guess…But, I don’t feel like being annoying today. I thought it was beautifully lit and intriguing. The girl reminded me of the one from Totoro for some reason-in her curiosity I suppose. Very nice and congratulations on such a great job!

  • Yellow Threat

    The girl seemed to be a little glued to the ground, and she’s not cute, she’s quite creepy. But everything else was just wonderful.

  • Yeah, I guess we ARE all critics. I couldn’t even begin to attempt something this accomplished. Every shot was gorgeous. Obviously a lot of love went into this.

    That said, the music WAS overkill. The “short” went on too long for the payoff. I thought the girl’s movements were fairly natural, and that it’s one of the better attempts at bridging the uncanny valley, but—I still don’t understand why animators want things/characters to look realistic? Just use a live actress! It’s supposed to be a cartoon, otherwise why use the medium? It’s the same with Fiona’s parents in the Shrek films, and Zemeckis’ motion-capture atrocities.

  • Interesting choice of camera movements. I got used to the “never sitting still” approach. Though I couldn’t quite sympathize with a character who looks like a Doll. Was she supposed to be a Doll come to life?

  • Meline

    my name is meline wtf?!?!?!?!