“Apache” by Ned Wenlock

Apache

Circular continuity is one of animation’s oldest concepts — think phenakistoscopes and zoetropes — so it takes a certain amount of creativity to build on the idea. Ned Wenlock, from Wellington, New Zealand, offers a fresh approach in his music video “Apache” for Danger Beach. The digital “paper-roll” concept isn’t used to fulfill any particular demand of the story, and as such, it comes across as a bit of a gimmick, but the appeal and novelty of Wenlock’s approach is worthy of recognition. I fully anticipate seeing his technique ripped off by multiple ad agencies within the next few months. Rodney Selby did character animation on the piece. Wenlock speaks about some of his ideas for the video on his blog.


  • http://www.enigmation.de slowtiger

    Wow, this is great. (And, for once, the music is good, too.) Good choice of colours. I like it how he trades readability for style, makes it worth to watch more than once.

  • Emm

    Beautifully done!

  • eeteed

    cute and clever!

  • Phil

    I love it! It would be great to see on cinema screen!

  • http://www.daintyproductions.com DAINTY

    I really enjoyed the animation. Music was great, characters looked nice, and overal very unique style.

  • http://Www.cartoonsaloon.ie Tomm

    Really excellent . Love it.

  • http://www.coffeeroll.com JPDJ

    That was just great.

  • Conor

    Love it. Simple, well constructed, some charming character designs, great sense of color. Love the music too, but I’m kind of surprised at the existence of a guitar rock instrumental track titled “Apache” that has nothing to do with the old tune by The Shadows, aside from the western themes.

  • Bud

    WHOA! THAT’S inCREDIBLE!

  • http://www.mukpuddy.blogspot.com Mukpuddy

    Awesome work Ned!!!

  • Oranges

    Nice really liked this! I can also see this being ripped off by ad agencies at some point, but it happens to every original idea at some point.

  • Gerard de Souza

    This is great. “Gimmick”. Ha. As if it’s just that easy.

  • The Gee

    “The digital “paper-roll” concept isn’t used to fulfill any particular demand of the story, and as such, it comes across as a bit of a gimmick…”

    I agree that it doesn’t seem to serve the story as it is and comes across as a creative/design choice.

    I’d prefer to look at it as a just a technique rather than a gimmick.
    It forces the eyes to stay in one area of the screen. Obviously even when there are close-ups, you don’t need to focus outside of that area.

    Perhaps it could have been done with cutscenes in ways we’d expect but it is just too darn good to ask for an imaginary alternative. Experiencing gimmicky stuff often leads to acknowledging a method which might be just as valid and effective.

    • Gerard de Souza

      To me it serves the story as a representation of time. We can appreciate the “progress” as we see it evolve (what it’s changing to from what it’s changing from) better than if it were a “side-scroller”, let’s say. I guess Mr. Wenlock’s reason is really what matters, though.

      • The Gee

        Time?
        True. I can see that. I had intended to wax on about the symbolism of circles but I spared anyone from reading my meanderings. But, admittedly Time does seem like a good reason why.

        You mentioned “side-scroller”s …that thought did enter my noggin, too. That would be a manner in which it could have played out. (imaginary alternatives…yeah, yeah. I considered at least one.)

        For what it is worth, I didn’t read his production notes. I tend to avoid stuff like that, even on DVDs. The work should stand or fall on its own or because of how it seems to me.

        Don’t know if that’s fair or not; I’d like to believe it is and that good art doesn’t need a lot of footnotes to be understood or interpreted.

  • http://carolwyatt.blogspot.com Cwyatt

    Brilliant!

  • Norton

    Well executed and with good taste. A rarity.

  • Conor

    I don’t see the rotating backgrounds as a gimmick, so much as a representation of the cyclical nature of the music. Think about it, at the center is that one galloping surf rock riff repeated over and over, and then various other themes and melodies come in, fading in and out of the background, but as soon as the music starts adding things without taking others away, and the new tones change the feel of the song (1:40), the scenery rotating on the y-axis is relegated to the background, and the more modern imagery, representational of the modern indie rock elements being integrated into the music, comes the foreground, rotating on the z-axis, and at the end, (around 1:55) the cyclical nature becomes less obvious in both the music and the imagery, then at 2:10, the auxiliary riffs drop out, and we’re left with the single riff, the original character, and a simple rotating background.

  • http://chuckrekow.blogspot.com/ Chuck R.

    Really Great!