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“Salesman Pete”

I posted the trailer to “Salesman Pete and the Amazing Stone from Outer Space!” last June. The entire film is now online. It’s directed by Anthony Vivien, Marc Bouyer, and Max Loubaresse, who dropped out of the French animation school Supinfocom to produce this film. The short is basically an extended chase scene, which is a common theme in many contemporary French student films, and unfortunately it lost my attention a quarter of the way through, but I do appreciate their aesthetic accomplishment. These guys approach computer animation with an illustrative sensibility, and in the service of engaging personality animation and storytelling, their style could be something amazing to watch. Learn more about their film at

  • Andrew

    Beautiful jibberish!

  • I loved the art direction, specially the colors and the character designs!
    Lately ,the european designs have been a strong inspiration to my work! Also, I felt that the soundtrack is a strong point too in the film, having garantee of nice mood! Congratulation to all the guys who worked on it and thought “out of the box” about a CG animation piece!

  • Z

    “The short is basically an extended chase scene, which is a common theme in many contemporary French student films, and unfortunately it lost my attention a quarter of the way through, but I do appreciate their aesthetic accomplishment.”

    True that! It looks like Burning Safari meets Team Fortress 2. Definitely beautiful to look at but it gets incredibly boring. I got to the middle and had to skip to the end.

    These Supinfocom and Gobelins students are really good at making incredibly beautiful looking shorts. But we forget all about them until the next batch of incredibly looking shorts arrives :B

  • Thomas

    Can someone please explain to me where the “boring” part is or when it supposed to become “uninteresting” because I thought the whole thing was incredible and kept my attention. It’s wackiness reminded me of that CG kids show shown awhile back about that little kid and blob thing where they have to help the super hero get his cape back. It’s like a quick fast humor, not that I always like that, but it’s good to be blown away by it once in awhile.

  • james madison

    Nice and energetic and inspirational to see independent work. I like the way they broke into the films black borders.

    Good job.

  • Chuck R.

    I agree with Z.
    Some really nice eye candy there, but I felt drawn into the art, not into the characters or the story. Halfway through, I found I didn’t have a clue as to what was going on, and I stopped watching to read the comments and find out if I was alone. There is talent at work here tho. —no question.

  • Boy, I thought Salesman Pete looked good from the trailer but wow! I feel like I should pause it every few seconds to just look at the layouts!

  • Sam

    I hate to say this, because a lot of work really went into this that I can tell, and that I did looked forward to watching the entire thing for a while.. But I am very.. disappointed. I actually zoned out for a while and started to read the comments too like Chuck R did.

    The pacing is terrible, there was no air for me to breath in the entire short. Too much information, too much random stuff going on at the same time, and lacking personal touch to the personality of the characters.. Acting and the like.

    Graphically, beautiful. But I’m not sure at all what happened, I get the beginning and the ending but I don’t really know what’s the point of it than a constant show off of beautiful pictures in my face.

  • Karen

    Artwork is nice, but it’d be nice if it had more variety in it’s presentation. It’s a bit all over the place. Fun to look at, but fast outstays it’s welcome.

  • What an entertaining, amazingly executed short!! 1:30 HAHA! Laughed so hard! Pete can certainly drive a car.
    Haters! Are you kiddin me?

  • Very much like the shading/texturing style of Valve’s Team Fortress 2.
    Very attractive.

  • pip

    The art and animation looks really good but, it feels like they haven’t put much thought into the plot.
    there’s no reason why he should be a salesman he could have been just a regular guy, since he doesn’t use any of his “salesmanship abilities” to capture the stone.
    Also, the “comic relief” parts had very bad timing and weren’t funny at all.

  • I also zoned out, but persevered just for the eye candy. One of the best looking cg shorts I’ve seen in a long while. Too reminded me of Burning Safari. But, as mentioned already, the pacing and never-let-up-action became a monotony. I’ve noticed a lot of current shows and cg features (planet 51 for example) have a lack of pace variation. I’m wondering if kids are just more attuned to this. I vaguely recall parental figures offering the same criticisms of pace for shows from the 80s.

  • Amazing piece of work. But, as others already pointed out, somewhat unbalanced. All elements are top notch, but they don’t seem to form a whole.

    If such a small team is able to deliver such quality, I wonder what they would do in a feature? And maybe that’s the intention here: all this detail, all this wonderful production design lets me suspect that it was done to sell the idea for a feature or a series.

  • JG

    I somehow missed the boring part… Sure, the plot is quirky, but not boring.

    And the visuals are just pure eye-candy.

  • Salesman Pete looks great but lacked the key elements of plot and character. In the best stories, the plot and humor come FROM the characters. In this case, Pete & Co. were set dressings to move the action along.

    The bigger problem is that the production team tried to make an “American” movie rather than stay true to their roots and what they know. From a story aspect, it didn’t quite hit the mark. This was especially apparent in the opening narration. It sounded like an American film from the early 60’s – but something was off and it didn’t hit the mark.

    On the plus side, there was a ton of incidental gag stuff going on in the edges of the frame that was fantastic. What they really need is a very good screenwriter.

  • Pete

    A nice visual style but I didnt have a clue what was going on in the story. Had to watch it a few times to get a clearer idea. Was rather boring.
    However, for a student film, the visuals are top notch! Well done.

  • great all over… apart from that american voice which is a tiny tiny tiny hinderance… vive la france!!!

  • Jim F

    It felt like a snippet from an animated series rather than a stand alone short film but the animation and art direction was c’est superb!

  • C

    Just one look at the colors and I knew it had to be French. Is there something in the water there that gives so many artists such an exquisite color sense, and can they send some my way?

  • Jonathan

    While I like chase films quite a bit, I have to agree this is too much of a good thing. I found the shot of the Meat saying “you are invincible” really interesting not only for the great animation, but it was the only moment of character in the film.

    • Jonathan

      Okay, following my own comment. I suggest they retool the entire concept. Make it “Salesman Meat”.

  • It’s really cool to see people using CG in a stylized way, rather than just trying to replicate hyper – realistic textures and such. I do wonder if French students will ever stop trying to perfect the “chase” film…

  • So how do all the cars and trucks and electricity work under water?

    Later, I thought of another film that used alien gunk to turn people into prawns….

  • what in the cel?

    looks really really nice. story was too convoluted and twice as long as it needed to be. characters had no personality, except the steak… i liked the steak. would make an excellent children’s book or video game.

  • The Gee

    I couldn’t watch it all either but I did try to watch it without the sound.

    it is gorgeous stuff. And, a lot of thought and effort went it it it. That’s obvious. But, while the pacing delivered something that could be followed, even without sound, I didn’t bother sticking through the short and bailed after the chase scene started.

    For all that is going on in the design, the animation and the concepts that are there nothing just grabbed me.

    That it didnt’ grab me is not a horrible thing. I am glad that others have remarked that it was lacking something though. Nothing I saw made me want to hear it. That’s unusual. It is as if I didn’t feel that I was missing anything.

    Oh well. C’est la vie and all that.

  • I liked it. Lots of funny gags, especially the steak character. Good animation, pretty colors, nice design work. What’s not to like? Sometimes I think people (especially on comment/forums)look for something to dislike.

  • steppo

    I enjoyed it. Brilliant colors and layouts. I consider the nit picking to be great compliments. Lesser shorts rarely warrant that much intensity.

  • Holy crap! This looks amazing! The design and aesthetic is gorgeous!

    Now, I really don’t want to say this to bash something so beautiful, but… what the hell is going on!? I feel like in their story meetings everyone put out their ideas and they went with ALL OF THEM! I honestly lost interest halfway through and went back to work… which is really surprising given the overwhelming visual beauty of it all… and the fact I’m an animator, eep.

    Sometimes less is more, but with that in mind the fact they did EVERY IDEA that must have crossed their minds is impressive unto itself.

  • Why do the French Film Students kick so much A#$? Their work is always so experimental and a sight to behold. Moving illustrations. Congrats for thinking outside the box. Turn the sound off and enjoy.