File Not Found DVD jacket design!

File Not Found DVD

Hot off the press for festival season! File Not Found has an official DVD design. The outside cover features a colorized version of a design by Monica Chance. It features the MX-93 Robot in a “Metropolis” homage. The interior is bursting with love. In addition to the DVD, careful readers will find bits and pieces of ramblings on technology, salvation, and deprogramming directives.

Check out the trailer for the film below:

file not found – trailer from Maria Sequeira on Vimeo.

MX-93 longs for freedom. Trapped within the constraints of his own programming, a circuitry malfunction sends him into a surreal journey of the self.

File Not Found screening at Peacock Visual Arts in Scotland! Plus Links to Awesome Animated Shorts


File Not Found will screen at the In Motion Animation Festival this weekend at the Peacock Visual Arts Centre for Contemporary Arts in Scotland!

You can check out the fantastic lineup of animation here:

Some great animations I can recommend start with Andreas Hykade’s “Love and Theft” which is a fluid psychedelic trip of a piece. The animation cycles through both familiar cartoon characters and unknown types in a way that keeps you mesmerized to the end. I immediately wanted to sit with a pencil, stack of paper, and light-table and just play! I won’t be able to fly to Scotland for the Festival so I will be inspired via Vimeo here:

“Madagascar, Carnet de Voyage” by Bastien Dubois will also be screening. It’s a delicate, thoughtful travelogue through Madagascar and I highly recommend it! I first saw this at the Animation Show of Shows and had to bring it home with me to watch again and again. A great example animation portraying a personal and cultural experience.

Another fun one that I’ve seen is “Fast Film” by Virgil Wildrich. An homage to old cinema and westerns, it shows a unique style I’ve never seen before. Different movie scenes are played out onto paper-shapes of trains, horses and machine parts. And most remarkably, it was all done practically and without digital effects. If you can’t make it to Scotland, check it out on Vimeo:

And for those adventurous viewers who like things a little off-kilter there’s David O’Reilly’s “Please Say Something” a love story between a cat and mouse set in the distant future. This one is not for kids by the way on account of language. O’Reilly’s work is on the bleeding edge in terms of portraying our digital experience through animation, so give it a shot! The youtube link in HD is here:

I’ll also mention how wonderful the feature length “Paprika” is as a surreal and visually stunning movie. I can also heartily recommend “A Town Called Panic” as a more goofy stop-motion comedy animation (French with subtitles). What an exciting lineup for the festival!!

File Not Found will screen at the Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival

Boston Sci-Fi

I’m really excited to be part of this sci-fi shorts program! The festival is from Feb 8 – 18th and I wish I could be in Boston and check out the other great films. If you are a sci-fi fan on the east coast you can find out more about the Boston Science Fiction Film Festival here:

and join their facebook page here:

Stop Motion Reel

Stop Motion is nothing short of magical. In a media landscape full of digital and computer-generated imagery stop-mo creates wonder, fascination, and interest. I’ve recently been introduced to this world and continue to learn my way around fabrication and animation. I’ve integrated some of these techniques into my own short film in addition to the animation reel below:

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Linda Doesn’t Make Excuses – Puppet Practice

It has been a long time since I animated a stop-motion puppet and was overdue for a practice session. As I rework my demo reels I realized I have an unruly ratio of robots to people and felt something must be done to rectify the situation. Luckily, John Sumner over at Stoopid Buddy Studios was kind enough to lend me several of his puppets to practice with.

Linda puppet

The first puppet is a voluptuous lady in a full dress. Similar to the You Like Me puppet, she is only poseable from the waist up. I fabricated some eyelids for her and decided to use the mouth shapes I had previously created.

I scoured the site and found this:

Linda’s Film on Menstruation (1974) is a hilarious and cringeworthy coming-of-age tale worth watching in its own right, but it also has a great bit at the end where the producers interview people on the street.

Once I settled on a clip, I did track reads in Dragon Stop Motion and spent an evening fiddling with the lighting and setup.

I didn’t get anywhere close to finishing today but here is what I have so far:

The full clip is about 20 seconds and I really hope to get through it in the next few nights. And yes, that’s a popular coffee chain sign behind her.

space age

“no matter who you are, no matter where you’ve been…we’re living in the space age”

whether the inevitability of this statement is true or not, the sentiment is sufficiently pervasive it is worth some examination. what is meant by the space age? it encompasses this projection of the technological achievements of man out into what was the purview of the deities. and with technology come projections not only spatially but projections forward in time. this concept of technology out in space and forward in time holds the promise of a broken world that will soon be “fixed” by man’s ingenuity. … tele-communication, extraction of mineral resources,  maximized production of consumer goods. the Futurist is nearby cheering on: faster, stronger, more. And in this digital age: instant, indestructible, infinite.

the space age indicates a global worldview from which there is increasingly no refuge for the community that wishes to keep the progressivist myth at arm’s length. these usually indigenous communities wish to continue living more directly from the earth, obtaining and distributing resources outside the channels of the governing powers of the western world. indigenous communities have had (and in limited ways continue to cultivate) an intimate and spiritual relationship with the past and the present right here on earth, rather than the tomorrowland technology of a “future out there”.

in many ways the duplicity of this technology concept is appealing in order to maintain the status quo. like religion, technology presents a happy, hopeful picture that is on the brink of attainment-full of promise and redemption. on the other hand, we can never quite keep up with the constant flow of consumer technologies, and in order to participate in this promised land, must keep earning and spending currency. the utopia remains tantalizingly out of reach. similar in function to religion, this love affair with technology as the defining concept for identity will drive behavior,  limit access to information, affect the psychic and spiritual conceptions of self, and in most areas of life subject the greater portion to the lesser few.

“no matter who you are, no matter where you’ve been…we’re living in the space age”

it would seem this is more of a warning and a lament. there is nowhere else to hide, for these ideas and strategies for managing societies, these duplicitious conceptions of technology that leak into the popular consciousness are but another manifestation of the progressivist, the colonialist, the conqueror. like the dedicated missionaries of christendom past, this utopian ideal campaigns around the world, winning the hearts and minds of cultures in all continents. and lurking within its shadows are threats of war, nuclear weaponry, militarization of societies, normalization of surveillance, greater disparity as wealth translates to access (education, food, water, natural space). by hook or by crook, we’re living in the space age.

when i stumbled on this video i was a little bit closer to consciously clarifying to myself what has been an intuitive connection between a variety of influences on the MX-93 film. it is trying to subvert and re-imagine this futurist utopia. furthermore, the religious-like mentality of the participants of Sun Ra’s world follow a kind of egyptian occultism. the power of technology to propel objects through space transforms into the power of the spiritual self to propel consciousness through space. projections “out there” not only move through our reality, but also the further “out there” we go in this film, the more mystical and surreal it becomes.


Nightmare Scene Transition rough layout

These transitions are a brain twister in terms of AE workflow. I want to avoid a very long composition with the transition scene and the two other scenes that bookend it. I’ve uploaded a draft quality version of this pass. Images are from NASA site; robot animated with Dragon; composite and effects in After Effects.

This approach is a modification from the original spiral idea that I had planned. I was hoping for a nuanced indication of both interior and downward movement (into hell) but really I will be happy if the idea of any kind of transformation comes across. One of the feedback points I received recently is that it’s unclear why the stylistic change occurs at this point. I think this transition will help to clear that up. Also I should add that the other half of this transition is not posted – he opens his eyes within the new environment.