17th DigiCon6 ASIA Supreme Short Movie Contest: “Tokyo Cosmo” by Takuya Okada

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There are millions of people living in Tokyo, and most of them moved from somewhere else to Tokyo in order to find work in the bustling city. Among these millions is a large number of people who choose to forgo a long commute and live on their own in a tiny apartment, so we’re sure many share very similar experiences at home.

A whimsical CG film entered in the 17th DigiCon6 ASIA Supreme Short Movie Contest has captured a ton of popularity for its animation style, which many say is reminiscent of a Pixar movie. But what really sets it apart is the fact that the short film shares Pixar’s playfulness as well.

Created by Takuya Okada, this short movie starts off with a normal “end of the day” scene that we imagine any officer worker in Tokyo would recognize, but it soon turns into a magical journey through a runaway imagination.

These dream-like sequences are probably a product of a worker’s incredibly tired mind, since we all know how long the average office worker’s day is. Still, it’s a treat to see the crazy adventures that play out in our mind animated in such an exciting way! The 17thDigiCon6 ASIA Supreme Short Movie Contest is being run by TBS in Japan and this particular short film is an audience choice entry. Voting ends on November 6, so if you enjoyed watching it, make sure you give it your support on their voting page (click the pink box).

You can also check out Takuya Okada’s YouTube page for other videos.

Studio Ghibli’s Hayao Miyazaki hard at work on first ever CG short


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Hayao Miyazaki, the world-famous (supposedly retired) director and face of Studio Ghibli, is currently working on his first ever fully computer-generated movie, it has been revealed.

Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki announced earlier today that retired director Hayao Miyazaki is hard at work on a brand new short animation for the studio. What may come as a surprise to many of the veteran director’s fans, however, is that this time round the production will be entirely computer generated.

The short film, which is to be screened only at the Studio Ghibli Museum located in Tokyo’s Mitaka City, is expected to have a run-time of just 10 minutes, but in true Miyazaki style will take approximately three years to create.

It is apparently based on an idea for a feature-length film which Miyazaki had back in 1997, prior to the release of Princess Mononoke.

Little else is known about the production at this time, but Suzuki mentioned during his announcement of the project that, far from being intimidated by the new digital medium, Mr Miyazaki was positively “fired up for the challenge”.

Meet Moana: Disney announces its Ffrst Pacific Islander princess


On the heels of “Frozen” frenzy, Walt Disney Animation Studios announced its first Polynesian princess, a spirited and adventurous teenager named Moana, in Disney’s 56th animated film of the same name. Moana will also be the first Pacific Islander princess from the studio.

Described as a CG-animated comedy-adventure, and set in the ancient South Pacific world of Oceania, Moana’s adventure takes her on “an action-packed voyage, encountering sea creatures, breathtaking underworlds and ancient folklore,” according to Disney.

The film will be directed by Ron Clements and John Musker who also directed “The Little Mermaid,” “The Princess and the Frog,” and “Aladdin.”

Moana is indomitable, passionate and a dreamer with a unique connection to the ocean itself,” Musker said. “She’s the kind of character we all root for, and we can’t wait to introduce her to audiences.”

Most exciting to Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) audiences who welcome but are sometimes wary of representation from mainstream outlets is that the screenplay was written by the talented and funny Maori-Russian-Jewish New Zealand writer, director, actor, comedian, and painter Taika Waititi.

Waititi is the director of the 2010 film, “Boy” — which won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and is the highest grossing local film ever in New Zealand, and the 2004 short, “Two Cars, One Night” — which was nominated for an Academy Award. He also played Tom Kalmaku in the 2011 film, “Green Lantern.” He also wrote the 2003 play, “Untold Tales of Maui,” a clever updating of the many legends of the trickster demi-god Maui.

Moana,” the movie, is expected to be released in 2016.


Lady Gaga goes gaga for Hatsune Miku, makes virtual idol her opening act


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With Lady Gaga’s rehabilitation from hip surgery apparently having progressed enough that the pop star is ready to contend with a grueling performance schedule, she’s about to kick off a world tour celebrating her third album. But with millions of eyes on Gaga, she needs an opening act with a fan base large enough to do justice to the scale and importance of the six-month event, dubbed ArtRAVE: The ARTPOP Ball.

Fittingly for a singer who’s made a name for herself with her provocative stances on image, perception, and reality, before Gaga takes the stage, concert goers will be entertained by a vocalist who doesn’t even exist in three-dimensional space: virtual idol Hatsune Miku.

With less than a month until the tour starts, Gaga herself made the big announcement through her personal Twitter account, when she tweeted the following on April 15.


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Hatsune Miku is opening The ARTPOP Ball,” wrote Gaga, who also linked a video of the aqua-tressed vocaloid performing “The World is Mine,” one of her most representative hits which was also used by Toyota in an American commercial for its Corolla sedan.


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Two things are notable about the May 6-June 3 timeframe Gaga mentions Miku will be serving as opening act for. First, it doesn’t include the very first stop on the tour on May 4 in Fort Lauderdale. While this certainly detracts from the amount of international exposure Miku will receive, every venue within that span is in either the U.S. or Canada, so this is clearly not just a move to encourage fans in Miku’s native Japan to buy tickets. ArtRAVE: The ARTPOP Ball doesn’t swing through Japan until August 13, when the tour makes its one and only stop at Chiba Marine Stadium, for which the opening musician has yet to be determined.

The collaboration is a gigantic opportunity for Miku to win some fans on just about the largest music stage imaginable. For any other singer in this situation, we’d be worried about her ability to perform under such intense pressure, but somehow we have a feeling the virtual idol’s vocal performance will be in keeping with the amazing consistency she’s known for.

Source: Yahoo! Japan


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Lady Gaga goes gaga for Hatsune Miku, makes virtual idol her opening act


Artist Profile: Tetsuka Niiyama creates “Jewels of Sea” through CG

This CG movie by Tetsuka Niiyama depicts saltation and growth of life in the sea using jewelry as the motif for illustrating the theme “Jewels of Sea.”

It creates mystifying and attractive scenery by the ores resembling creatures of sea and its transforming refraction and reflection of light that are affected by the organic moves.