Cisma: Criolo “Duas de Cinco”

If Spike Jonze’s vision of the future in Her was too sunny for you, try on Denis Cisma’s decidedly bleaker take in this short film inspired by Criolo’s latest album, “Duas de Cinco.”

Set in the south side of São Paulo, where Criolo grew up, the short involves 3D printed weapons, futuristic drugs and the inescapable dangers of poverty. The film seems to agree with the old adage: the more things change, the more things stay the same.

From the release:

From the start, the director imagined a record of the Brazilian’s “favelas” in the future, 30 years down the road, in 2044. This idea was too ambitious to materialize without large sums and Criolo is an independent artist, but became possible with the support of the Grajaú community and the production team.

Nearly the entire cast is made up of friends of the singer and people who live in the neighborhood, most of whom had never acted before. The main cast includes Daniel Dantas, Morgana Naughty and Léo Loá, young students chosen with help from the drama teacher of CEU Jaçanã public school, named Tiago Ortaet.

Produced through Paranoid, Clan did an admirable job handling all post-production.

cisma-duas-de-cinco_0005_Screen Shot 2014-03-21 at 6.51.46 PM
cisma-duas-de-cinco_0000_Screen Shot 2014-03-21 at 6.53.25 PM
cisma-duas-de-cinco_0001_Screen Shot 2014-03-21 at 6.53.12 PM
cisma-duas-de-cinco_0002_Screen Shot 2014-03-21 at 6.52.49 PM
cisma-duas-de-cinco_0003_Screen Shot 2014-03-21 at 6.52.25 PM
cisma-duas-de-cinco_0004_Screen Shot 2014-03-21 at 6.52.14 PM


Main actors: Daniel Dantas, Morgana Naughty and Léo Loá
Direction and screenplay: Denis Cisma
Production: Paranoid
Photography director: Will Etchebehere
Post-production and visual effects: CLAN vfx
Assembly: Fernando Stutz and Marilia Ramos
Soundtrack: Duas de Cinco – composers: Criolo, Daniel Ganjaman, Marcelo Cabral and
Rodrigo Campos | Cóccix-ência – composers: Criolo, Daniel Ganjaman and Marcelo
Recording and editing studio: Oloko Records
Production coordination: Andrezza de Faria, Luciana Oppido, Gabi Hahn and Marina Blum
Production director: Silvio Bettoni
Post-production coordination: Andreia Lopes and Roberta Bruzadin
Coloring: Fernando Lui
Graphics: João Schimidt
Composition: Gustavo Samelo
3D supervision: Luciano Neves
Executive production of post-production: André Pulcino
Executive production of post-production assistant: Diego Souza
Assistant director: Camila Andreoni
Art director: Olívia Sanches
Art assistant: Clarice Cunha
Stagehand: Igor Apoena
Art clerks: Felipe Santana and Marcão
Wardrobe: Marina Vieira
Wardrobe assistants: Vinicius Couto and Tainara Dutra
Objects production: Bella Yumi
On-location production in Grajaú: Bruno Camargo
Machinery: Israel Basso
Gaffer: Marcelo Pinheiro
Cameraman: Thomas Dupre
Camera assistants: Joana Luz and Cris Zurrilho
Direct sound: Rene Brasil
Make-up designer: Denise Borro
Make-up artist: Lilian Berzin De Oliveira
Casting producer: Barbara Catani

Art&Graft: “Trip” The Virgin Atlantic Safety Film

Long ago, Virgin Airways embraced the simple fact that no one pays attention to the poor flight attendants as they drone on mechanically about oxygen masks and flotation devices.

Why not use that time to share something genuinely entertaining, something that communicates the necessary safety information and conveys the playfully chic persona of the Virgin brand?

Take a Trip

The latest in Virgin’s flight safety film series, “Trip,” comes from Art&Graft. At over 5 minutes long, it’s an ambitious project. But the premise behind the film gave the team essentially unlimited creative freedom.

At the film’s opening, a drowsy passenger slips into a dream state while the flight attendant recites her safety spiel. We follow the passenger through a series of surreal vignettes inspired by genres of film, everything from sci-fi to westerns. Each scene communicates a core safety tip before moving on to the next unexpected scenario.


Art&Graft shares a bit of their process on their website:

To bring our ideas to life, the A&G team combined an illustrative approach with exciting 3D and 2D animation techniques. All the character animation was produced using a traditional frame-by-frame technique – very labour intensive, especially when creating a 6 minute film, but the results look beautiful and are extremely rewarding!

Elements throughout the film were modelled in 3D; allowing us to ’wrap’ our illustrations around these models to keep the illustrative feel yet giving the scenes fantastic depth and space. This allowed all the camera angles to be planned out and ensure the 2D characters could then be animated in each scene with the addition of further textures and casted shadows.


Other Virgin Airways films

Virgin Atlantic Flight Safety Video (2008)

Virgin + method “We’re All in This Together”

Modern Love: Under His Misspell

NYC-based designer/animator Joe Donaldson was commissioned by the New York Times to create an animated interpretation of “Under His Misspell,” a column penned by Jessie Ren Marshall for The Times’ Modern Love series.

For several years, Modern Love has been a place for guest authors to share “deeply personal essays about contemporary relationships, marriage, dating [and] parenthood” — but the addition of animation is a new development.  

I wanted to find out more about Joe’s approach to the project and learn about the New York Times’ thinking behind the series. What follows is an edited version of email conversations with Joe and The Times’ Zena Barakat, who came up with the idea of using animation for the Modern Love series. 

Q&A with Joe Donaldson

Tell us a little bit about where you are in your career.

I typically work in the advertising/motion graphics world, making the rounds at the different studios here in NYC. So much of my time is spent animating other people’s designs/visions that I soon realized I didn’t have a well-defined voice of my own.

It’s been such a wild ride just to get where I’m at that I am extremely grateful to have work doing what I love and being able to support my family. Being unsure of your voice is totally understandable when starting out, but it is something I wanted to change.

Right now, I’m working on making the transition from always animating to having a more active role in a project’s development and design.


How did you find out about the series?

I came across The New York Times’ Modern Love column and a post that they were seeking animators. I immediately reached out to Zena, and we hit it off.

I am extremely influenced by Nobrow and the folk art/print community. I knew it was a direction I wanted to push myself and thought The Times piece would be the perfect opportunity to explore that direction.

The project was pretty simple. It had a low budget, but I could do whatever I wanted. No revisions and no asking for permission.

I received the VO and a copy of the column and had three and a half weeks to develop the story, design and animate it all.


Was that enough time?

I feel I can hold my own when designing for a 15 or 30, but this was the largest design challenge I had ever taken on. So you can imagine it was pretty hectic doing it all on my own. My main goal with the piece was to take a step back and focus less on spectacle and more on telling a story in a simple, stylized way.

Are you pleased with the results? Did you find your voice?

Overall, I’m thrilled with having taken on the project. It was really hard at times but in the end, totally worth it. It even made the home page of The Times’ website which made my mom and dad proud (haha). I still have a long way to go with defining my voice, but this was a great project to help get that started.

Q&A with Zena Barakat, Video Journalist at The Times

The Modern Love series of animations seems to be part of larger trend at the Times to use motion design to interpret/re-imagine content. Is that an organization-wide effort?

It’s not a new thing — for years, The New York Times has produced gorgeous interactive graphics and videos. But you are right that in the last year, we have increasingly used motion graphics in our videos. We are exploring different ways of storytelling.

Was the the animation series for Modern Love something you came up with independently? 

The Modern Love animated video series was my idea, but everyone at The Times has been really supportive.

For years, the weekly Modern Love column in the Sunday New York Times had an interpretative, clever illustration that ran alongside it. Brian Rea has illustrated it for a long time.

Animation was the perfect next step in turning this great column into a video series. I called the editor of the Modern Love column, Daniel Jones, and he was excited about the idea from the start.

What’s the format for the animation series?

I decided that each month we’d have a different animator. I wanted the series to be unpredictable and a showcase of different artists. Just as the column has a different essayist week, I wanted a different visual voice interpreting a Modern Love story every month.

So what’s the process like?

The way it works is this — I interview the columnist, edit the audio of our interview to a few minutes, then I have a sound designer refine it with music and some sound effects. Finally, I hand off the audio to an animator or team of animators. Then as the animator does his or her work, we edit the music and sound effects to reflect the new vision.

I find the animators on sites like Motionographer and by just searching Vimeo. Joe Donaldson was the first animator I chose who came to us to submit his work for consideration.

He did a beautiful job. His animation is charming and interpretive and funny. I love the scene with the cell phone on the bedside table. The flow from scene to scene is beautiful. I love his animation and he was a joy to work with. His attention to detail was amazing.

Is it open to anyone?

For those who want to animate for The New York Times Modern Love video series, they should send reels and some complete examples of their work to: That goes right to me, and people should forgive me if I don’t get back to them right away. I get pretty swamped with emails.

But I would love more voices, more styles, more interpretation. What I always ask for from animators is to be more creative and less literal in animating the story. When animators are telling their own stories using the columnists’ story as a guide, that’s when we see the most beautiful, funny, clever work.

Any constraints or rules to keep in mind?

This animated series won’t ever show a character moving his or her lips to the sound of the audio. My goal is to create a more cinematic, more interpretive and less literal visual experience.

RIP Alain Resnais

Occasionally, one must break the tradition of writing only about work that includes some form of animation, in order to recognize one of the giants of film.

With the loss of Chris Marker in 2012 and the loss of Alain Resnais two days ago, we may be witnessing the end of an era that will forever be inscribed as one of the most powerful and magical in the history of film, and in the history of film-informed mediums. Resnais, whose career sprung from Hiroshima Mon Amour, a film as poignant as it is inventive, often resisted labels and classifications.

Unafraid of tackling difficult topics, he directed Night and Fog, a documentary shot in Auschwitz some ten years after the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps, as well as the bold and mesmerizing experimental film, Last Year in Marienbad. While his films were often perceived as French new-wave emblems, as films about the intermingling of war and memory, about subjectivity and love, about dream and loss, Resnais never made the same film twice. He was a film “auteur” only in the sense that he reinvented himself over and over again, with the same finesse, courage and fearlessness.

His film career may be one of the richest and most diverse ones of the Silver Screen. Exploring every role of production, Resnais seamlessly navigated between the roles of director, editor, writer, even cinematographer. He tackled all topics with intelligence, and tapping into the great minds of writers such as Jean Cayrol, Marguerite Duras, Jorge Semprún and Alain Robbe-Grillet. He was one of a kind.

“Voilà. Maintenant. Je suis à vous.”