But does that diminish the CGI? Of course not.
What's interesting to me about Some Analog Lines is how in talking about the fingerprints, Lowery so freely uses technology to make his point, almost as if he's showing the audience that the computer can too have a soul. He pulls the screen out of the computer and puts it in the air around him, manipulating the controls with his hands, must like he did with his stop-motion animation. He literally takes two clips and splices them together in the air, almost exactly as he does earlier in the projection booth. It's a fascinating marriage of two aspects of the medium that all too often seem to be at odds, fighting over who will survive. What Lowery's effectively saying is that we can take the best of both worlds, we can use the digital wizardry to enhance the tried and true analog methods, and vice versa. At which point we'll really have achieved something.
Web Series - Episode 1
Starring: Nathan Lowery and Anna Lowery
Cinematography by: David Lowery
Written and directed by: David Lowery
4 min/Austin, Texas
It's difficult sometimes to get an accurate sense of a potential web series from just one four-minute episode, but I'll try. The story follows a brother and sister who are, for whatever reason, on their own in the wild (or, at least in the woods near a town with a train). The brother leaves the little girl hidden in the woods while he scouts for an empty house they can inhabit, at least temporarily. At first, you'd think maybe they're just wandering the country, but the brother seems to have set up some sort of trap out of twine (or perhaps he's just putting their food up in a tree where people can't reach it, I'm not sure), so perhaps there's something larger at play. I'm reminded of Terrence Malick's Badlands (1973) and Denis Johnson's novella Jesus' Son, and that's a pretty good start.
Land of Nod
Starring: Michelle Proksell and David Lowery
Written and directed by: Michelle Proksell and David Lowery
3 min/Austin, Texas
Finally we have a music video for an uncredited song. What's most impressive here, besides the shot where the pills rise out of the bottle, is the fact that Proksell and Lowery both play multiple characters in the same scene that interact with each other seamlessly. Rather than the standard move of having them stay in separate parts of the screen, where you can easily edit the performances into one shot, these characters pass in front of each other without it really occurring to the audience that these characters are being played by the same actor. And, sure, this isn't such a big deal in a Hollywood blockbuster, but in an uber-indie? It just doesn't happen all that often without looking terrible. But beyond that, it's a nice looking video, with crisp photography and a vintage set that contrasts with the final scene in the overwhelming brightness of a hospital. It just shows the value of cinematography in setting the mood for a film, and it's this that Lowery does exceptionally well. That's the unifying theme in all these shorts, the ability of a filmmaker to sustain a mood, and not just one, but several different ones, unique to each project.