The Lift explores the consequences of one very common behavior of not holding the elevator door open for someone rushing to get on or worse, lifting your finger and actively pushing the close button. In this film, an elevator interaction between the two lead characters goes wrong, prompting a young woman to learn about being insensitive and to be more considerate in the future.
The Lift seamlessly marries traditional animation and 3D background illustration into a modern day moral tale that any city dweller should heed. A mix of realism and fantasy helps transport the story from the modern world into a fantasy ala Alice going into the rabbit hole to see what’s on the other side only to then learn that her attitude was wrong.
A true labor of love, it took Robert and his team over 4 years to complete this 5 minute plus film that has been screened in over 55 festivals around the world, winning awards in 15 of them. Robert explored working with artists found online, all of whom he had never met and have developed continued working relationships with some of them. In this day and age it’s important to leverage social networking into your business model and The Lift is an example of this trend.
Robert lives in New York with his fiancé and his computer.
I had the pleasure of being accepted to this past year’s 7th Annual Big Apple Film Festival. Its always wonderful to attend a film festival that you can just roll out of bed and go to. Big Apple really knows how to treat its filmmakers. The first night of the festival I attended a party at a Steak House. Two days later they through a sit-down meal in Little Italy. I had a really great time, though the best part is getting a screening at the renowned Tribeca Cinema’s. The end of fest party was also really great, even though I didn’t win anything its always great to attend and excellent to meet so many other filmmakers and talk shop.
Here is a little snippet of me talking about my film, The Lift, then check out the pics.
I am excited to announce that The Lift will be screening at the following festivals:
New Orleans Film Festival
First Glance Film Fest Philadelphia
Atlantic City International Film and Music Festival
Boston Film Festival
Toronto Independent Film Festival
Additionally I just returned from a wonderful weekend at the 19th Woods Hold Film Festival. Kathy, my co-writer also attended. I was lucky enough to have my film screened two times, once at the main screening then a second time at the 20 in 2 hours screening. At the main screening I did a short Q&A with the other filmmakers who were attending.
The festival also did this wonderful filmmaker’s brunch at a house out on Penzance Point which overlooked Buzzard’s Bay. The nightly after parties also made it progressively harder and harder to get up in the morning. We stayed in Falmouth which is just a hop-skip-and-jump away, in fact most days we just biked into Woods Hole for the daytime festivities.
Overall the Woods Hole festival was a class A experience, I had so much fun and all the people who were a part of the festival were just wonderful. There is one thing that you begin to appreciate about well run festivals, communication. Woods Hole never failed to keep me in the loop. I can’t wait to try and submit my next film in 2 years.
My flight was canceled on Thursday so Kathy and I had to get up at 5am, catch a 7:30am flight to Chicago, land then setup. That was the beginning of our trip, little did I realize that conventions are really really draining. It’s a ton of fun to talk to everyone about my film “The Lift” (sorry to keep reiterating it, its good SEO). I met some really wonderful people especially my table mates from Instant Press Comics, thats for showing me the ropes and otherwise commiserating about life, comics and animation. Also thanks Rene for the mechanical pencil!
Other than that I have to once again and always thank Kat, she makes it all possible with her help I could never have gone to the bathroom.
On a final note here is an early comment on my table/film from another blog Warren Peace (thanks for the kind words)
And I also wanted to point out an animated short film called The Lift, which featured some mighty impressive animation that was all done by one person. The plot sounds like a riff on the sort of “old woman curses somebody for wronging her” story of which the movie Drag Me to Hell is probably the most recent prominent example. Neat stuff, and possibly a talent to watch.
Posting an image up from the AIFF website of my film at the top of the films section, looks so nice!
If you are in the area check out The Lift at its first festival screening in 1080p! More details
With the first ever C2E2 only 4 days away I figured I would show off a little bit of the stuff I intend to sell. I just mastered my first run of DVDs. Each DVD contains the stereo and Dolby surround sound versions of The Lift as well as the animatic and rough animation tests. Additionally the disks have my previous 2 films, I Am and II, both of which were college films. I will also be selling well over 20 paper prints and around 6-10 mounted canvas prints.
Just wanted to toss this out there. I just finished working on my new Kohrtoons Studio logo and its logo slate animation for the Lift DVD that I will be selling at C2E2 next week. The animation is my first animation in Toonboom’s Animate Pro.
After 4 years of sweat, tears and late nights, I have FINALLY finished my short film! I created this site as a single place to get more information on screenings of “The Lift” as well as explore how I made the film that kept me up many nights until 2AM. While creating a production blog would have been nice, my day job precluded me from doing both the film and the blog. The 3 posts prior to this were copied from my other site Kohrtoons.com.
Once again I have to thank Kathy Lien for all that she has done and without her help this site would sound like a 15 year-old high school drop out wrote it; I kid of course but she did help craft some wonderful one liners and descriptions.
This week I am posting a much earlier shot from my film ‘The Lift’. In this shot the main character is leaving for work, or what ever she does. As you saw from one of the other later shots I posted she doesn’t make it to where she was going.
Something I haven’t really talked about yet, and I am always asked, is when will it be finished. I am looking to complete this film in early 2010, actually the end of January. I am attempting to submit this film to Annecy which is apparently celebrating its 50th anniversary. If you are interested I took some pictures when I was there in 2003 (Annecy Animation Festival Pictures).
I am posting this new video on my blog a little late this time, a week late actually. I forgot to do this last week, though I did get it up on Youtube and Vimeo. This week I won’t be doing a video as its a holiday in the US.
Shot 51, what you see below is the shot immediately after last weeks, the girl gets pulled down the sewer drain and transported to another world.
Other than that I think I am pretty set on the new title of the film “The Lift”, as my sister Emma says “Once and Never Again” sounded lame. I think i agree.
This week I created an almost 7 minute tutorial showing my process of developing a shot from the animatic to the final video. I demonstrated how I use Flash to create the animation and color the frames, Blender to generate the 3D scenes and After Effects for composting.
On another note the film is currently called “Once and Never Again” though I am considering changing it to “The Lift”. The premise of the film is an elevator experience gone wrong, a cautionary tale about holding the elevator door for people (though you wouldn’t know it from this shot)