Animals have a special place to play in the art of war. Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel Maus recast the Holocaust with cats, mice and pigs. This year’s VES-nominated anime Cat Shit One does the same for the Vietnam War, using a veritable menagerie of creatures.
Indie director and VFX Supervisor Hasraf ‘HaZ’ Dulull’s new short, Fubar, also uses animals to point up the tribal nature of human conflict – although his source material is rather different.
“One of my favourite books is George Orwell’s Animal Farm,” he says. “I loved the idea of using certain animals to depict the chain of command politically. With Fubar I chose cats and dogs specifically as they have always been territorial animals.”
Made in Nuke
For the eight-minute short, Dulull – himself a VES Award nominee for his work on America: The Story of Us – worked entirely inside Nuke to create a ‘motion comic’ effect.
“I wanted to use my VFX compositing experience to take motion comic cinema to another level, with extra depth and production values but still keeping the core principles of comic storytelling,” he says.
“[Nuke's] 2.5D compositing opens up a load of possibilities [for] better animation and cinematography, yet treating each shot like a comic-book panel with good pacing, framing and action.”
The result is a short with a distinctly gritty visual style: part comic art, part photomontage and part Holywood epic.
And in the spirit of another celebrated war movie, Dulull is currently looking for $5,000 to fund an Apocalypse Now-style ‘Redux’ edition, featuring material cut from the script due to resource constraints.
You can contribute to it via the Kickstarter link below.
Edited 1 April: The people have spoken (or stumped up the funding dollars, at any rate) and Fubar Redux has now been completed. See it in its full 15-minute glory via the link below.