Today at 9PM Pacific, tune in to SCIFI.radio to hear veteran animation director Christopher Dante Romano speak with us about his new short subject, MONSTRO!.
Written and directed by Christopher Romano, MONSTRO! is a 10 minute, computer animated film starring Pili Montilla. The film was created using the advanced visual effects software called Houdini. Rigging and animation; hair, cloth, water, and smoke, lighting and rendering were all done in Houdini. In fact, every shot was rendered using Houdini Mantra in one pass, with depth of field and motion blur calculated at render time. All with a small crew that never numbered more than 3 animators at any moment.
Romano studied painting in school, but fell into the emerging world of computer animation shortly after graduation. He worked on The Amazing Spider-Man, X-Men 2, Serenity, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Tron:Legacy, and many other films as animator, lighter and FX artist. His first independent films appeared on MTV’s Cartoon Sushi, on retail video, and in multiple film festivals. As a commercial director at DUCK, his anime-style spot KCRW Timebomb grabbed the attention of development executives. When looking to create MONSTRO!, Romano turned to Side Effects and Houdini to help facilitate his vision.
“I wanted to create a film with an adorable, stop motion feel. Something that looked smaller in scale and felt nostalgic. Very tilt-shift. And I wanted the production to be top notch. Using Houdini was a no brainer,” says Romano. “I’m very familiar with Houdini’s tools and procedural workflow. Once the edit came together, I knew I could easily keep adding more – more cloth, more hair, more water and more smoke. I could do whatever I wanted.”
Watch the trailer. MONSTRO! is a sort of love letter to cheesy sci-fi of the 1950’s as well as stop motion animated classics like Mad Monster Party. It’s is a love story of monstrous proportions.
Oh yeah, Chris. I went there.
Monstro has already one a cluster of awards in animation film festivals, and is making appearances in more festivals and at major pop culture conventions all over the country. Digital distribution is planned.
Susan Fox and Gene Turnbow host.
Chris Romano runs an animation company called Toonlet Animation:
- Toonlets on Tumblr
- Toonlets on Twitter
- Chris Romano on Google+
- The Toonlets channel on Vimeo
If you miss tonight’s broadcast, it airs again on Sunday at 4PM Pacific, and at additional times throughout the week. See our What’s On When schedule page for details.
The Event Horizon – it’s Sci-Fi for your Wifi.
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I saw this film at Topanga Film Festival in July. It was really entertaining and well done.