September 24, 2006
In July at the Fantasia festival, Robert Morgan was thrilled that his films were being shown in a festival venue rather than online, even though this was where most of his viewers watched his work. For many viewers, his films--originally designed to be screened in a theatre--were now reduced to the "viewfinder" you create when you stretch out your fingers to make a square when composing a shot on the fly.

While online and email dissemination of films that can easily be viewed in QuickTime, Real Player and other application have been a boon for producers and viewers alike, some of the films, like Morgan's Cat With Hands are now easier to see and have gained a wide audience, but weren't originally created for viewing in the manner most Internet users end up seeing it. Depending on where they see the link, the audio and video compression may also leave something to be desired.

Nevertheless, there are numerous animation shorts available online, but the quality varies, and there is a lot of filtering to do. This year's Internet Competition at the Ottawa International Animation Festival included some of the more interesting selections in the past year of the countless animation shorts available online. Also, the competition was composed of shorts that were made for the Internet, specifically.

The line work in Prey is uncomplicated and there are no backgrounds. It is a simply told story with good timing overall, and that is what makes it work.

Morning Star, last week's Flicker Pick, is part of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Web animation series, Dust Echoes.

Ryosuke Aoike's premiere of the "Mushy Rooms" episode of Perestroika was very funny. Although self-contained, it made me eager to see more episodes in the series.

It's Jerry Time's The Brute and Jailtime for Jerry, and JibJab's 2-0-5 feature collage-style cut-out animation that seems to work well for each.

I'd already seen some of these shorts on my computer screen, but even with a decent audio and video setup, I must admit that there was a vast improvement viewing them on a large screen (and it didn't hurt that there were a lot of other people to experience it with). Many of the shorts in the program had their Canadian and International Premiere this weekend and will soon be available online.

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