"D.A.N.D.Y."

Completed October 10, 2005
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D.A.N.D.Y. was our second short film produced at Redrover Studios Ltd., following the success of Plumber. It was begun in 2005 and because I left the company shortly thereafter, the work shown here consists of my production on the short during that time. Since then, D.A.N.D.Y. has continued to be developed although it is now far from what the original concept involved, a concept initially thought up by one of the staff members.

The original storyline behind D.A.N.D.Y. was to depict a planet, completely constructed from metal, which is one day visited by a stray asteroid. Once the asteroid crashes, we see it has brought along a single dandelion, the likes of which the robots have never seen. Chaos ensues as the alien being is immediately deemed as a threat to ‘national security’ and the police are called in. The outcome is a massive swat team stand-off with a catastrophic end when one of the junior policemen trips and fires off his blaster, resulting in everyone blindly firing and killing one another.

As the crisis escalates, the military are called in. We show parallels of the forces being gathered, as the dandelion seeds spread across the continent and grow new dandelions. This leads to an epic battle between the military and the dandelions which ends in a dramatic explosion caused by a friendly-fire bomb drop.

As the robotic world panics at the growing severity of the problem, the president delivers a speech and promises to eradicate the threat by using “Weapon H”. Much to the protest of the inhabitants, preparations are made to deploy this mysterious weapon. We come to the climatic end of the film at which time the president presses the launch button and Weapon H is deployed: Water (H2O).

The irony, of course, is that water is totally destructive to the mechanical beings while at the same time, is the missing element to make the dandelions flourish. The final shot of our planet presents a post-apocalyptic shot of the once-beautiful metallic world that has been completely rusted up and overrun with yellow, healthy dandelions.

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My role on this film was co-director although I had a lot of hands-on involvement as well. Originally, the story was just over five minutes long but after realizing that we were not going to be able to complete this much work alongside commercial production, I boarded a 40 second “Assembly” sequence which depicts a civilian robot being converted into a military droid. While it still contains a beginning, middle and end when seen on its own, the result is nowhere near as dramatic as the original script.

We created an animatic of this sequence and approximately 5 shots were completed before I parted from the company.

The character designs were developed by the entire team. That is, everyone created his/her vision of what the robots would look like, and then these were gathered together and a final design was created from them. You can check out the final print here.

Once the character was modeled and rigged by Ben Pilgrim, I took it for texturing, lighting and rendering. I created six different versions of the robots; the clean civilian, the rusting civilian, the rusted civilian, the police, the military and the EPA. Because we wanted to ensure all the robots looked alike, we created different suits and props that could be fitted on each one.

In the images section (and video), you will also see a bar sequence. Initially, we had decided to start the film in a bar environment. Chris Crozier, Ben Pilgrim and Mike Oliver modeled the entire bar, and once again, I textured, lit and rendered it.

Finally, the first five shots of the “Assembly” sequence were begun and these were animated by Kyle Dunlevy. Again, I textured, lit and rendered the sequences which were then composited by Brad Husband.

You can check out some of Kyle Dunlevy’s awesome animation tests on his website by clicking here, here, and here.

This short was created with 3dsmax 6.0, rendered with VRay 1.09 and composited with Combustion. It was edit on Avid.

Credits

Directed by Richard Rosenman, Andy Knight.
Produced by Randi Yaffa.
Edited by Scott Bucsis.
Sound design by Scott Bucsis.
Modeled and rigged by Ben Pilgrim, Mike Oliver.
Animated by Kyle Dunlevy.
Backgrounds and props by Chris Crozier.
Special effects by Mike Oliver.
Textured, lit and rendered by Richard Rosenman.
Composited by Brad Husband.

Produced at Redrover Studios Ltd.

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