02|24|09   Darkwave = MC Squared / MTVu’s Best of Campus review

‘Darkwave’ Awash with Awesomeness
by Whitney Van Cleave
February 22, 2008

Animation is a medium that opens doors to all sorts of new horizons. It is the place where other worlds can be created with a flick of the wrist or a click of the mouse. The film “Darkwave=MC2” is a perfect example of the limitless possibilities created by animation.

Created by Michael Losure and Lauren Simpson of Texas A&M, the film showcases the immense talent of these two graduate students. In addition to this outstanding piece, Simpson has been featured as a Featured Filmmaker at Best Film on Campus and will work on Motion City Soundtrack’s next music video.
“Darkwave=MC2” is a music video for a song of the same title by the New Zealand based band The Enright House. The track is a mellow number with reverberating bass beats and lush vocals that meld perfectly with the overall style of the film. Losure and Simpson do a particularly good job at syncing the animation to the beats of the song, which makes this music video especially cohesive.

The film follows the gloomy life of a wooden man who desperately wants to reach the stars but is destined to remain grounded. Although the idea of using a wooden man may seem odd, it actually ends up being quite expressive. Every aspect of his body language and countenance conveys his consuming unhappiness and despair. There are points in the film where he is so life-like you have to remind yourself that he isn’t real. Using a combination of stop motion animation and computer generated effects; Losure and Simpson create a succession of images that are completely unique. Swirling backgrounds meet shifting stars in utter visual harmony.

Losure and Simpson’s choice to use only a gradient black and white color scheme was also crucial part of the success of the film. By not using color, the viewer is forced to focus on the effects of the images and animation in terms of composition rather than color. They don’t clutter any of their images with distracting colors but rather use the lack of color to complement the breathtaking animation.

The only drawback to the film is that it ends too abruptly. I wanted it to wind up into some fabulous climatic conclusion but instead it just stopped unexpectedly. Perhaps this was a problem in the uploading or something but either way I would have liked to seen it end on a better note.

Overall this film is a stunning display of the pronounced abilities of today’s student filmmakers and animators. Every element of the film from the music to the tiniest detail of the background fits seamlessly together. The result is a film so completely engrossing you will want to watch it time and again, post in your blogs, and stick on your Facebook.

Originally published by mtvU.com.