The Power of Subtle Filmmaking

Adam and Dog – Oscar Nominated Animated Short Film

Adam and Dog is a beautiful example of the power of subtle filmmaking to convey complex ideas with simple metaphors, which is probably part of the reason it’s also nominated for an Oscar. It took director Minkyu Lee nearly three years, with a lot of help from some dedicated friends, to create this 15 minute hand drawn film. Give it a watch and then check out Animation World Network’s interview with Minkyu who shares his insights on what its like to produce and direct your own short film as well as how he handled the delicate narrative balancing of the faith foundations of the story.

I really wanted this to be a performance driven film, much like a character study.  Part of the reason why is because we [all the animators on the film] felt like a lot of animated films these days are too plot driven, always trying to keep the energy up rather than letting the characters be who they are.  We wanted to portray moments in life rather than trying to get a fast paced story moving forward. That’s precisely the reason that the animators wanted to work on this film.

A Thought on Subtlety

What I love about this film, other the stunning imagery, is the subtle way in which it communicates the themes at the heart of the Christian worldview about the relationship between God and man, what happened when that was broken and the grace that restores it. But you might not pick all that up if you don’t know much about the first book of the Bible from which the story gets its thread or the rest of the biblical narrative that follows. Here it’s all told with metaphor, poise and wit, which is exactly what great cinema does best.

Adam and Dog

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