My top ten movies of 2012

It’s still January, so I guess it’s still not too late to post a list with the films I liked the most last year. I could have and probably should have posted this list earlier, but I was still making up my mind where to put Cloud Atlas, which in the process gradually moved its way up the list. It wasn’t very successful at the box office, but I really enjoyed it a lot and the basic humanity at the story’s core touched me profoundly. Anyway, without further ado, here’s the list (with 1, 2 and 3 being so close, they’re practically interchangeable):


01 Drive
02 Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
03 Cloud Atlas
04 Searching for Sugar Man
05 Shame
07 Skyfall
08 Avengers
09 Argo
10 Jane Eyre/Life of Pi


The biggest disappointment by far was Prometheus, a gorgeously photographed and beautifully designed movie with the most perfect visual effects I have ever seen in a film but sadly a very underdeveloped script and poor directorial choices.


The worst films I had to suffer through in 2012, I saw due to frequent visits at the Streits movie theatre’s sneak preview that frankly had a horrible run last year. These films I loathed for various reasons, but most of all their incredible cynicism and disrespect for even the most basic aspects of humane behavior:
Ted, Killing them softly und The In-Betweeners Movie

Making-of * Familie Windscheidt

Last week «Familie Windscheidt» finally aired, a tv drama I made the titles for at the beginning of this year.
It tells the story of a patchwork family facing the woes of burnout and depression while dealing with the struggle of everyday life.



The brief was fairly straightforward. Early on the producers and the director had made the decision to work with old pictures of all the principal cast and to perhaps construct a family photo album of sorts. Since the pictures had to be collected to equip the set before shooting started, everything was ready for me to start working when I joined the project.

The main focus of the title sequence was to illustrate the previous history of the characters, to suggest a common backstory and the growing together of the patchwork family.
As the pictures of all the actors differed wildly in composition, colour and perspective, it would have been too time consuming to photoshop figures together, so I opted for a collage of fitting images to illustrate the passing of time and show the characters grow into their current selves.




As this approach was considered a little too reduced and too hard to follow, I redeveloped the concept, keeping the decpition of the passing of time, but adding an extra dimension. Now we watch the Windscheidt family make their house their home, as we all do. The title sequence shows empty living spaces and their evolution, from the moment a family moves into an empty house and fills it with books, holiday souvenirs, personal items, and just stuff we all have lying around somewhere on our book cases, cupboards, bedside tables and of course on our refrigerators. I quickly produced two layouts at home, along with a proposal for a main title screen (that was ultimately rejected as to faint, the shadowplay made it into the final version, though!)




Initially we wanted to connect the sequences with small scenes adding to the image of time passing and the family growing together. These scenes however were cut to make the sequence more coherent (and due to timing restraints as the title would have exceeded the allowed 30 seconds with those scenes.)
One example is this layout for a sequence in which we would have watched the two kids, Flo and Marie, grow over the years preceding the events in the movie.



Extra tidbit:

After everything was done and I had completed the entire sequence the director and the producer noted that Anja Kling’s (the mother in the film) sequence showed toys and child items whereas Hendrik Duryn’s screen was a little too devoid of things alluding to his role of caring father, so I quickly added an old teddy bear to the background through the magic of blue screen! It hasn’t left my office since, considers itself a star and now lives on my sofa.


Dumb ways to die

It’s a little old and has been posted to just about every facebook wall in the world, but still, animator Julian Frost’s hilarious PSA is absolutely brilliant, so if you shouldn’t have seen it, here it is:



Julian Frost for McCann Melbourne