Lazy robots and steampunk curios win Media Design School seven awards at the Los Angeles Movie Awards over the weekend.
Dr Grordbort Presents: The Deadliest Game brought home Best Original Score, Best Editing, Best Special Effects and an Award of Excellence in the International section, while slacker robot short animation Shelved took top honours for Best Animation, Best Animated Characters and Best Director.
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Both short movies are directed by MDS senior 3D lecturer James Cunningham, with the animation done by his 11-strong class last year.
Shelved's storyline, which has a distinct Clerks / Mall Rats feel to it, was developed in partnership with screenwriter Kathryn Burnett and based on a painting by Weta Workshop artist Greg Broadmore – who also wrote Dr Grordbort.
Production took 12 weeks from start to finish. The awards won in LA belong to the entire team and their work shows in the final picture, says Cunningham.
"Every six months we do a big team production that's designed around the number of students we have in the class. For started writing in extra robots to the story so each student would have a robot they're working on, a robot they could point to and say was theirs," he says.
Earlier this year Shelved was picked to screen at SXSW and as an Editor's Pick on video hosting site Vimeo. Cunningham says with the success of the short, he's not discounting the idea of doing a full-length feature.
"Kathryn and I are getting together to continue our plotting and scheming. A feature version , if we do one, is very complicated and a massive leap away from a six minute script," says Cunningham.
Right now Cunningham and his 2013 3D class are working on their latest animation, which he says is even bigger than Shelved. No doubt they will try to replicate the success of Shelved and Dr Grordbort – no pressure.