So where's the report on the Elephants Dream premiere you ask? Truth be told none of us could be there; I was in the plane on my way to my vacation and the other BlenderNation editors simply live too far away. Our designated reporter who did go has gone missing off the face of the earth after the event. I guess the afterparty was THAT good :)
No worries though; many reports have already appeared on the web. I'll give an overview of them here.
All of the reviewers agree that the movie is excellent: it is expertly made and it compares well to big-leage animations. The music and sound effects are stunning and the characters' voices fit them well.
I think it's safe to say that nothing like this has been made before with Blender, or with any other Open Source graphics software for that matter.
Roel Spruit wrote the most complete review on BlenderArtists.org:
The movie itself...well what can I say, it was visually stunning. I have seen a lot of animated movies before, but I can honestly say Elephants Dream blows most of them out of the water. The months of work the orange team put into this movie was certainly worth it. I can fully understand why the team opted for a movie set in a surreal environment; this gave them a lot of freedom to show off their talent and the tools they used to make the movie. Everything from the texturing to the lighting was amazing to look at.
There are also many comments on Elysiun. Patdog writes
The look of the film is excellent, original and inspiring. The created world is strangely mechanical, and yet organic. It is a rather dark tale, and maybe not everybodies cup of tea. If you're up for some full blown drama it delivers - certainly on the big screen, with explosive sound and Jan Morgenstern's great soundtrack.
Indeed, Elephants dream was awesome. When I saw the beginning how they did the matrials, shaders, modeling and creating a certain mood, it was just awesome. The quality was top-notch, was this actually created with blender?
Wybren van Keulen:
After months of hard work by the Orange team, they blew us away with an impressive adio-visual spectacle!
Having said all that there's some criticism as well, mainly on the story. From what I've seen in the studio before the premiere I have to agree: the story is not very accessible and the dialogs are sometimes a bit unnatural.
However beautiful the movie was, most of the people present agreed that the storyline of the movie was not very well suited for the casual viewer, the orange team admit that this was on purpose. To put it bluntly, if you look at this movie once you'll probably be stunned by it's beauty, but it will leave you slightly unsatisfied. The storyline almost demands you to view the movie several times. I saw the movie a couple of times over the course of the weekend and each time I looked at it differently, there are several ways to interpret the story it tells.
Found Tygo Gernandt voice excellently fitted to his character, but unfornately Cas Jansen role sounded too much like a made up voice. The character animation was however everything we could be jealous of, though some movements just in the very beginning I thought a bit odd. Well will be watching it again soon. That's enertainment :-)
But as each movie there were some few critics I have. The character animation at the beginning was quite odd, but that didn't bothered me. And on certain times I was like, whoow what's going on, that's the actual story? At the end of the movie I knew what exactly the message was, but it took me a long time to figure it out.
Following the premiere there was a party in the club named 'Blender'. Blender and Blender had never worked together before and the owner of the club was so excited about this that he came over to the studio to get inspiration for special Elephants Dream snacks and cocktails.
All of the reports are pretty vague on what actually went on during the party so I'll take that as a good sign :)
Roel has the most coherent summary:
Cigars and whiskey, Orange cocktails, snacks, sexy bartenders, Orange team members being massaged by finish coders, Drunk and tired Australians, walking into a club with your own booze and asking the bartender for a bottle opener, sippin' from a bottle of wine on your birthday. Riding someone else's bike in the middle of the night through Amsterdam, Crashing on someone's couch because you're too tired to take the train home.....
If you have your own photos of the event online, please post a link in the comments!
See it for Yourself!
If you want to see Elephants Dream on the big screen, you still can! It will be playing at the Dutch Institute for Media Art (Montevideo) until April 28th.
March 30 - April 7: tuesday-friday 13.00 â€“ 17.00
April 8- April 28: tuesday-saturday 13.00 - 18.00
Admission fee: €2,50 (students €1,50)
For more information, please see montevideo.nl
Get the DVD
One last thing: all the contents of the movie will be freely available online soon. Still, if you want to be amongst the first to see it at home and if you want to financially support this project, you should get the DVD. You'll do that, right? As in, right now? :)