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View Full Version : School Rules, Nico Rehberg (Animation)


colt
11-24-2004, 12:34 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/gallerycrits/10678/10678_1101260087_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/gallerycrits/10678/10678_1101260087.jpg)

Title: School Rules
Name: Nico Rehberg
Country: Germany
Software: (Other), combustion, Photoshop

"Sag Mir Wo Du Stehst" or "School Rules" in english is an animation I did with a friend, Markus Dietrich, last year.

It's about a young girl back in the end of the 80s in the GDR, or East-Germany. Because of her attitude and appearance she gets in conflict with the headmaster of her school, by not following the unwritten laws of the states system.
It loosely resembles things we have experienced or witnessed while growing up in that system.

Technically it's a paint-over style animation. We filmed the action beforehand on video and used it to create the animation, drawing first each frame by hand in photoshop and later coloring it in Animo. Backgrounds are also handdrawn in Photoshop. Compositing, fx and touch-ups were made in Combustion.

The whole production took about 4-5 months and had some success, especially in the eastern parts germany or europe.

Ok, here's the film. It's a Sorenson3 .mov. About 28 MBytes.

School Rules (http://www.uni-weimar.de/~rehberg/gallery/pics/school/school_long.mov)


More information about us and our films can be found at my place www.nico-rehberg.de (www.nico-rehberg.de/)

or at

www.maniac-film.de (www.maniac-film.de/) (german site)

Thanks for viewing, Nico

ush
11-24-2004, 12:37 PM
I want to see an Animation but,the link doesn't work for me.
I got error massage.
I couldn't find an animation on your site,but I could see some screen shots
and these look nice.:)
Does link work fine for anybody else?

colt
11-24-2004, 12:40 PM
Fixed it. Thanks for pointing it out.
Seems like the 180 user before you weren't able to just drop two lines that it doesn't work.

Rio Yeti
11-24-2004, 05:38 PM
Nice animation, although when I look at it one question comes to my mind... Why do it in animation ? Would it have been really different if it was just film ?

I think it's an important question to ask before starting a project, is "Why do it with such or such medium ?" Whether it is 3D, animation, clay stop-motion etc... There has to be a good reason.

Have you seen the movie "Waking Life" ? If not, you should check it out, it was fully rotoscoped, like your film, and it is obvious why they used animation... And besides from that, from what I see in your film I think you should really like Waking Life.

Anyway, still a nice work !

Volker
11-24-2004, 07:24 PM
It was pretty cool, but I just had to wonder, what's the point? When it finished I wanted to know more. Was there going to be a twist? What happens next? The whole story was just pretty predictable. I kept thinking..."now what", but then it was over, and I just had alot of questions. The only think that I was thinking was "she deserved it". You gave me no reason to pity her. Just my two cents....

~Zach

mikecarry
11-24-2004, 07:59 PM
I don't understand the story. Things just happen, and then you're left hanging at the end.

colt
11-24-2004, 11:51 PM
Thanks for the comments guys. I somehow saw these questions coming, it's a pretty complicated topic we tried to handle with the film. Not the average funny short you see animated most of the times.

As I said before it's playing in the GDR. A totalitarian regime is controlling the country in a communistic fashion. Life is controlled through various dogmas and citizens with different ideas better keep them secret, since opposition is quickly suppressed.
Now we have the girl, our main actress. She's wearing an FDJ shirt, a youth organisation, but in an improper manner. Her whole attitude is rebellious and liberal (her outfit, the posters in her room, her records).
Thus she gets in conflict with the principal of her school, a man true to the regime, possibly in a higher position in the leading (and practically only) political party, the SED. After being sexually harassed by him (he's just using his power over her, no way for her to fight against him), she flees.
But her escape is futile, because there is literally no where to go. Even the other pupil, a young and educated person you could think, is already taken by the system, giving her over seem to be the right thing for him to do. He doesn't need to be evil, but it's easier for him to comply with the rules. Even if she has done nothing wrong, just wants to be a little different, do things her way. People like him are the base of a system, where husbands spied on their wifes, and you never knew if your best friend reported your every move to the "secret service" - the Stasi.
We don't want to give solutions. We want to create questions. Make you think. Why did people what they did? How could a system like that work, formatting young peoples minds over so many years? Is it happening again? Look around you.


As for the asthetic reason of doing it paint-over style. Well, why do you see so many photo-real cars, women, guns, houses, ... etc. here. Can't people just go out and take some pictures?
But that's not a reason. Doing it animated creates a little more distance to the reality. Your view is more abstract onto things. People tend to think different about stories presented in animation, because they seem more unreal to them. It makes it easier for people here, who lived in that time, to take a third persons view onto it. On the other hand, they don't expect such a story from an animation (animation is for kiddies, yeah), giving it a double impact onto their minds.
Furthermore the visual language is clearer. Details are there, because we want them to be there, and to be seen. The background is pretty stereotyped, giving a symbolic picture of a school in that time. Same goes for the characters. You get total control.
And from a production standpoint, a film with that look (and in cinema resolution) you couldn't have done with just two people and no money. We needed no "real" location, no props, no light ... etc. Only time.

Okay, I hope this clarifies some question. I know it's hard to understand if you didn't experience the time before 1990 over here.
Again, thanks for your interest, ask questions if things remain unclear, and please bear with my english :D

Nico

Rio Yeti
11-25-2004, 12:11 AM
As for the asthetic reason of doing it paint-over style. Well, why do you see so many photo-real cars, women, guns, houses, ... etc. here. Can't people just go out and take some pictures?

That's not a good reason. Because I think people doing photorealistic images with no other intention than doing photorealistic images are wrong, and should learn how to take pictures.


But that's not a reason. Doing it animated creates a little more distance to the reality. Your view is more abstract onto things. People tend to think different about stories presented in animation, because they seem more unreal to them. It makes it easier for people here, who lived in that time, to take a third persons view onto it. On the other hand, they don't expect such a story from an animation (animation is for kiddies, yeah), giving it a double impact onto their minds.
Furthermore the visual language is clearer. Details are there, because we want them to be there, and to be seen. The background is pretty stereotyped, giving a symbolic picture of a school in that time. Same goes for the characters. You get total control.
And from a production standpoint, a film with that look (and in cinema resolution) you couldn't have done with just two people and no money. We needed no "real" location, no props, no light ... etc. Only time.

Ok this is the answer I had foreseen. It could be summerized by "It creates a distance to it" (that and the money issue of course...).
No need for more explaining on that matter.

And you didn't answer me about the movie "Waking Life". Sorry to insist on it, but you should really see it :wise:

ush
11-25-2004, 01:40 AM
I watched it before I see other comments and opinions.
And I got almost the same idea as others that I can't understand the story.

After I read some comments and explanations,I almost got it,but I coudn't get everything.


I know it's hard to understand if you didn't experience the time before 1990 over here.
May be this is the reason.:D
And I live in Asia,so different culture.

Anyway,animations are so great and quality is really good.
I think it's really hard to do this all handpainted even you using rotoscoping.
Nice job.

colt
11-25-2004, 11:22 AM
Rio Yeti: Yes I have seen it, or better I tried seeing waking life before doing this film. I must admit I couldn't sit through the whole film. The technic was nice, even if different to our approach, but the story just didn't hold me. If not for beeing the first paint-over style film, I guess noone would have talked about this film, even though some philosophical insights are quite interesting.
The constant change in style and the always moving picture elements are a little too much. I know, it resembles the different perceptions of life or mind, but it's really surreal, something we didn't want.
Did you see the Kid's Story in the Animatrix, I really like that kind of paint-over. It's more of a prototype for our work. But it's made on paper, something we couldn't afford, with all the printing and scanning.
There's even an animated series starting in paint-over style, coming from france. Called Delta State. http://mag.awn.com/index.php?ltype=all&sort=date&article_no=2264

Maybe paint-over is loosing a bit of it's bad reputation. :eek:

MikaelPersson
12-08-2004, 12:41 PM
Interesting short this. Nice to see someone trying to tackle the more difficult parts of life.
I liked the way you two had made real life stylised. In my eyes this works a lot better animated like this and not filmed. This way it is real enough for anyone to imagine themselves being there, it would have been a different matter if you hadn't rotoscoped it and made it in a normal 2D style.
I didn't really understand the previous comment of "she deserved it". eh? No one deserves treatment like that for being themselves.
Why is it that people expect a full plot with twists and real resoultions? Why can't things just be shown as they are? Does that follow from over exposure to Disney and simplified kids animation?
The fact that she wore a party uniform was lost on me until I read your post. I guess a lot of people outside of Germany will also miss it.

Thanks for showing us!
cheers.

Bentagon
12-12-2004, 10:03 AM
The story wasn't very clear to me. Why did she get that treatment? I know why, now I've read your explenation, but I think you should've made it more clear in stylized environements, etc. that it was placed in Germany in the 80's, and that the country was lead by such a regime, and such ideas.

- Bentagon

bassaminator
12-12-2004, 10:22 PM
pretty - I don't know that shocking is the right word - but affecting to someone coming from an authoritarian/totalitarian regime. I don't think it needs more showing of place- the setting, the flag in the window, the "attitude" of the man behind the desk, the uniform, and of course that slow pan up the body are enough to point various parts of the story. more would be overkill for a visual story.
I esp. like the body language of the man behind the desk before anything bad happens. That slow, sluggish flaunting of power way of moving, like the person before him is an insect- hehe, I've met many people in that position, it is so familiar.
To all who think she deserved it- remember, it is an almost biological instinct to obey authority, and to side with the "upper" in the hierarchy against the "lower". This is- at least partially- motivating the young man who gives her away. Of course, some of us are fortunate enough to *not* know first hand how bad authority can be.

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