The personal portfolios of cinematographers and directors often offer an unfiltered glimpse into the creativity of those working in the industry. And although the videos held within these portfolios rarely have a point beyond exhibiting art for art's sake, the level of expertise on show often results in a worthwhile expenditure of viewing time.
Looking at the work of Wield founder Ryan Kothe (previously a motion animator at MediaWorks), it's quite evident that he's a patient man with an almost obsessive-compulsive commitment to his craft, stop-motion animation.
The video he has most recently posted on Vimeo features the slow, stage-by-stage filing down of a series of items until they are disintegrated into amorphous piles of shavings. Shot to an eerie backtrack that wouldn't be out of place on an indie horror film, the short clip crawls under the skin and lingers there a little too long.
While stop-motion animation is effective at fast-forwarding events that occur over an extended period of time, this is by no means the only purpose that this form of filming serves. As evidenced in Kothe's 'Stuntman Jimmy and the Flaming Keyring' video, stop-motion animation can also be used, somewhat oxymoronically, to tell a short, fast-paced story.
And this compatibility between stop-motion animation and story-telling provided Kothe with a unique means by which to relay the brand story of Farmers Union Greek-style yoghurt, a project which he worked on with animation studio Yukfoo.
In his time at MediaWorks, Kothe worked on various promotional idents and his distinct creative touch is clearly evident in the following short clip, which was produced for Four (although it didn't air on TV).