2012 Indy Int’l Film FestivalRating: 3.5 of 5 yaps
(notes on) biology
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“(notes on) biology” is a clever mix of animation and live action about a kid daydreaming through his science class. It would seem that someone did actually pay attention during biology, though, since this movie acts as a quick (five-minute) primer on etoecology, otherwise known as the ability of an organism to adapt to its environment.
This short film comes from Ornana Films, consisting of Danny Madden, Jonathan Silva and Will Madden. According to the credits, Will was the star, producer and assistant director, Danny “directed, doodled & made noises” and Silva “directed the photography.” Sounds like the purest form of collaboration.
The live shots are almost exclusively from straight above the people, so we can peek over the daydreamer’s notebook and watch as his concentration flees and his imagination takes flight. It’s flip-book animation, with deliberately herky-jerky action, as the kid’s mind wanders from the droning teacher and takes on a ride with a “robot elephant.” He flies, he shoots his enemies, all accompanied to the flitter-flutter of the pages constantly being flipped.
Technically impressive, “(notes on) biology” is more like a warmup exercise to a movie than an actual, even short, one. I’d love to see these guys dream up a little bit of narrative to go with their wonderful drawings and see where it takes them. (In other words, they need to adapt as filmmakers.)