Recently, Absolut launched Transform Today, a global campaign based on looking into the creative process of four established artists in a range of different fields, as a way to inspire others to explore their own creativity. #NextFrame, the first project in this campaign, began in early February, and allows one of the artists to work on a project in a way he ever has before. The project creates a new experience where he solicits ideas from people around the world as a way to collaborate and incorporate them into this creative process.
#NextFrame was a truly global collaboration. The project allowed people from many different countries to send in their story ideas through Facebook to co-create “Dark Noir,” a 3D animated short film by accomplished Brazilian graphic novelist Rafael Grampá. In a world so vast and intricately connected by social media, this is a brilliant new way to go about creating art, as well as inspiring people to tap into their imagination and rummage through their creative caches.
Since part of #NextFrame‘s goal is to push the boundaries of the artist, this unique collaborative project marks the first time Rafael Grampá has had his 2-D illustrations animated into a 3-D film. Red Knuckles Animation, a UK-based animation duo comprised of Rick Thiele and Mario Ucci (known for their work with Gorillaz) realizes Grampá’s incredibly detailed and polished comic book storyboards and rendered them into a brilliant piece of animation. All of the goals of the campaign were met in that it connected this brilliant Brazilian artist with the creative input of a multitude of people from over 20 different countries, creating a unique collaboration that allowed everyone involved to explore new aspects of their creativity.
“Dark Noir,” the final animated short film, will debut in Berlin on March 14th at MADE, an innovative Absolut-sponsored culture space founded by German artist tadiROCK, partner Nico Zeh, and their team. MADE is a unique venue for artists where collaboration, innovation, and demonstration are encouraged and championed: it can be a gallery, workspace, studio, culture space, performance stage, and laboratory. But above all it’s a place where artists of all ilks can share and create. #NextFrame serves as the first example of a fresh way to create art and advertisement with the assistance of social media.
So what would Vincent Black, Grampá’s character drink? How about an Absolut Vendetta?
An interview with Grampá:
What has it been like adapting your story to the suggestions of a global audience of over 20 countries?
It’s like having thousands of suggestions and paths that your story could follow. For my story to work, I created a very clearly-defined universe and a filter with my style so I could preserve and maintain the atmosphere and aesthetic that I wanted for the film.
What has been the most exciting part of transforming your ideas into a 3D animated film?
I’m making the transition from cartoonist to director. A translation of my art from 2D to 3D. I already explore my style through image, sequence and space. Now I’m experiencing telling my stories with image, movement, time and sound.
What was it like collaborating with the animation studio, Red Knuckles, as you brought to life 3D animated versions of the characters and world that you imagined?
I can say that Red Knuckles is the most promising animation studio that’s emerged in recent times. The idea of Rick Thiele and Mario Ucci, the creative directors of Red Knuckles, is to do collaborations with artists who are renowned for their vision and style, translating all this into 3D animations. They’re passionate about what they do, and that makes all the difference. Rick and Mario led this project with great sureness of touch and respect for my style. I can see my hand in every scene of the film and that’s thanks to both of them. They are great artists, and they are two of the best in the field of animation. I can see Red Knuckles as one of the biggest animation studios in the very near future.
What other ways do you see yourself transforming your work and pushing new boundaries in the future?
Doing cinema was always part of my plans, and it’s one of my objectives for the future.
How has Absolut supported your ideas throughout the creative process of the whole project?
Absolut invited me to take part in the global campaign, and during our first conversations they already told me that they had the idea of doing collaborations with artists on special projects. #NextFrame emerged after a lot of meetings, and during that whole time Absolut always stressed that this project would be completely my own, as author.
Do you see yourself seeking out more opportunities to collaborate with other artists or creators?
As a cartoonist, I intend to continue writing and drawing my own stories, without anyone else’s input. As a script-writer and director, I’m going to seek to always be involved with the most talented people that life puts in my path.
What was your inspiration for the ‘World of Ideas’ that the #NextFrame story takes place in? How did you come up with each of the characters?
That’s exactly what this short animation is about: where ideas come from. I think people are the instruments of their ideas, that we’re their servants in this world. Otherwise, what is our aim other than to achieve things? And everything starts from an idea. Just as the purpose of a spade is to dig holes, ours is to bring our ideas to life in this world. But a spade doesn’t dig a hole on its own; it needs a strong arm to use it. This film asks the question: Are the ideas that we have really our own or are we merely instruments in the hands of unknown forces? The name of the film, DARK NOIR, makes reference to Plato’s Theory of Forms, which says that our reality is merely a dark shadow of an intangible reality made up of ideas. From that starting-point, I created Vincent Black, a mysterious guy who has the gift – or the curse – of seeing the beings that live in this other reality, the World of Ideas. These beings are the Daimons, who plant ideas in humans’ minds, using us to carry out their whims in the material world. And in the end, the film ends up being a metaphor about the creative process and each character represents an element of that process.
Do you have any plans to continue the story of characters from the #NextFrame story?
I think I’ve created a very rich universe, with infinite possibilities and complex characters. Obviously I have plans to expand it.
How can you get involved?
Sponsored by Absolut