SANTA CLARA, Calif., Nov. 20, 2009 - "Live Music," an innovative new animated short film from Mass Animation and sponsored by Intel Corporation, opens in select theaters nationwide today, marking a giant leap in the growing area of collaborative content creation.
Brought to life by Intel, this pioneering wiki project empowered animators from around the world to collaborate using a unique application built on the Facebook Platform. "Live Music" is playing in 400 U.S. theaters with TriStar Pictures' animated feature "Planet 51."
In the first-ever "day and date" theatrical and download distribution, "Live Music" is available today for download from iTunes and www.myxer.com for the mobile platform. Fans can also visit www.myxer.com to download free "Live Music" ringtones and wallpapers.
The final film reflects the creative work of 51 animators from 17 countries. The unique production of "Live Music" through the Facebook Platform attracted a diverse group of global animators who brought their talents to the project. Said Jim Donovan of Colorado, "'Live Music' is the most rewarding project I have worked on as a 3-D artist." Another animator whose work made the cut, Sarah Knight of England, said, "I was grateful and excited to be included in such an awesome experiment." Adding his comments, Florida resident Zach Hansen said, "I am going to be the first out of my class to have their name in credits in movie theaters, and that is very exciting for me."
"In the making of 'Live Music,' we saw clearly that there are lots of talented artists around the world who don't have access to traditional animation opportunities and who were excited about working on this innovative indie project with us and our visual effects partners at Reel FX," said Yair Landau, founder of Mass Animation and former vice chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment. "We are incredibly grateful to all of the talented animators and artists around the world who joined us on this journey and look forward to collaborating on Mass Animation 2.0."
An international jury of animation experts selected the best shots to be considered for the film. As director, Landau had the final say as to which submissions made the final cut. Animators whose work made it into the finished product received on-screen credit and cash compensation. In addition, animators whose creation was rated best by the community on a weekly basis received cash prizes from Dell and Intel with which they could purchase Intel® Core™ i7 processor-based Dell Studio XPS systems.
"Empowering people with the technology that enables them to achieve their full creative potential has always been a driving force at Intel," said Deborah Conrad, Intel vice president and general manager, Corporate Marketing Group. "Our support for Mass Animation, as the first collaborative, worldwide effort of its kind, is part of our long heritage of cultivating innovation and collaboration in its many forms around the globe."
Produced by Landau and Jacquie Barnbrook, "Live Music" is a 5 1/2-minute computer-generated animated short inspired by Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" and early CGI films. Set in a musical instrument store, the story follows Riff, a rock 'n' roll guitar, who, as Landau describes it, "falls in love to the wrong song but ends up with Vanessa, the classical violin of his dreams." The story is conveyed through the universal language of music, allowing the expressions and actions of the characters to be instantly relatable globally. The instruments are brought to life through original compositions and familiar rock tunes played principally by legendary guitarist Steve Vai as Riff and acclaimed violinist Ann Marie Calhoun as Vanessa.
Along with Intel and thousands of participants in the project, Mass Animation's partners in making "Live Music" included Dell, Autodesk and Reel FX.