Apotheosis: today's must-see animation

Computer Arts (CA): Who are you and what do you do?

Alex Gee (AG): "We are Alex Gee and Pujesh Joshi; animators/designers based in Brisbane and Sydney, Australia. After studying animation together at the Queensland College of Art, we formed a collaborative partnership in Filmmaking and Art Direction. Our aim is to take conceptual ideas and bring them to life in a visual way."

CA: How did you come up with the idea for the movie?

AG: "We took a lot drugs. No, but seriously, we did a lot of research into religious and philosophical beliefs surrounding the passing from death into the afterlife and the cycle which it continues. We did actually experiment with natural psychedelics and hallucinogens throughout the making of the film - as many of the cultures we investigated were known for using them in their religious and spiritual ceremonies."

CA: What was the aim of the project and how long did it take from start to finish?

AG: "Our aim was to create a visually impressive film with a subtle but evocative narrative. It took about 500 cans of Red Bull, from start to finish."

Concept drawing from Apotheosis by Alex Gee and Pujesh Joshi

Concept drawing from Apotheosis by Alex Gee and Pujesh Joshi

CA: How did you decide on the look and feel of the finished film?

AG: "We wanted to create a really strong atmosphere with the design, stripped bare of anything particular to time or place. We're skilled in CGI animation, but both agree traditional animation is more elegant, so the look and feel of the film evolved from the reduction of a complicated workflow into a simplified aesthetic."

CA: Talk us through the animation process, any special techniques you used, etc?

AG: "Our process was surprisingly fluid. We wanted to have the freedom to edit right up until the last minute, so we worked with 'roughs' for the majority of the production - a lot of which we felt worked better than the cleans, and made it into the cut. In keeping with a 'traditional' aesthetic, we animated "on 2s" and only rendered every-second frame to conserve time and hard-drive space."

Concept sketch from Apotheosis by Alex Gee and Pujesh Joshi

Concept sketch from Apotheosis by Alex Gee and Pujesh Joshi

CA: How many people worked on the project and what were their roles?

AG: "t was only the two of us who worked on the project, and it's hard to separate our roles as we worked so closely together - literally watching over each others' shoulders. Pujesh's initial concept sketches set the path for the art direction, and I took all of our collective decision-making and rolled it up into an edit. The music is the work of Travis Taylor, who provided us with a library of his live performances, which we cut from hours of tape, and assembled into a score."

CA: Can you share some examples of other work you've done?

AG: "We're both working across a variety of projects, commercial and personal, and you can see both old and new work on Pujesh's website and on my own, The Fotoguzzi"

You can watch the video here:

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