Alma
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Alma. Production Details. Written and Directed by: Rodrigo Blaas Produced by: Cecile Hokes & Nina Rowan Music by: Mastretta Budget: Over £2,000 Locations: In the Spanish Pixar Studios Made in: Spain Release date: 2009 Genre: Animation/Fantasy/Mystery

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Alma

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Alma

Alma


Production details

Production Details

  • Written and Directed by: Rodrigo Blaas

  • Produced by: Cecile Hokes & Nina Rowan

  • Music by: Mastretta

  • Budget: Over £2,000

  • Locations: In the Spanish Pixar Studios

  • Made in: Spain

  • Release date: 2009

  • Genre: Animation/Fantasy/Mystery

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irbFBgI0jhMA


The poster

The Poster

  • The poster was created by a good friend of Rodrigo’s, Natalia Montes.

  • The poster depicts a still from the actual short film.


Awards

Awards

  • ‘Alma’ won 6 festival film awards in the same year it was released:

  • Best Animation: La Shorts Fest July 2009

  • Best Opera Prima: I Castelli Animati November 2009

  • Best of Festival: Animazing Spotlight November 2009

  • Grand Prix: Bradford November 2009

  • Special Mention: Fantastic Fest September 2009

  • Jury Honourable Mention: Siggraph 2009


Film style form the plot

Film Style & Form - The Plot

  • The story is written without any spoken dialogue, just light-hearted music playing throughout the background.

  • Alma, a young innocent girl, is skipping around in the snow covered streets of a small French town, oblivious to what she is about to discover.

  • Alma stumbles upon a chalkboard wall with name’s written on it, the audience are unclear of who wrote them, children, teens or adults?

  • Alma adds her name to the wall, just as she finishes, we see a doll that looks exactly like her appear in the window of a toy shop across the street.

  • Alma is intrigued and investigates further.

  • She tries to enter the shop, only to discover that is it closed.

  • The door creepily creeks open and Alma enters.

  • A doll on a tricycle begins to desperately peddle towards the door, which closes before it can escape the shop. Now that the audience know the twist after watching the film, we can work out that it was in fact a little boy trying to escape.

  • Alma sees that the doll has somehow moved up to the shelves. She climbs up the shelf and reaches for the doll's face. In an instant the doll's eyes move, and a quick flash of images, and suddenly the lens is through the glass eyes of a doll, sitting on a shelf in the shop. As the camera pans away, we see that Alma has become the doll and is looking around the store like all the other dolls.

  • The camera then pans out of the shop, to reveal a red-headed doll appear in the window, suggesting the appearance of the next victim.


Film style form

Film Style & Form

Character Analysis

  • Alma wears thick winter clothes as the weather is cold and snowy.

  • Her colours are very vivid and girly, e.g. her pink scarf and waistcoat.

  • She has a pink nose from the cold, which makes the audience know she is younger as she is more delicate to the weather.

  • In the beginning of the film, she is skipping along, kicking the snow which once again tells the audience she is young.


Narrative structure

Narrative Structure

  • Equibrium: Alma is intrigued by the doll and wants to investigate it.

  • Disruption: Alma touches the doll.

  • New Equibrium: Alma is now a doll, trapped in the toy store.


Film language analysis

Film Language Analysis

  • I’m going to analyse the scene after Alma enters the toy shop.

  • Alma walks slowly around the shop, which adds tension to the scene.

  • When the little boy doll on the tricycle tries to escape the shop, personification is added to it, as the audience can see the desperation of the doll to escape this shop.

  • The shop has low-key lighting, with the only source of light coming from the shop window and door. This adds creepiness to the film.

  • The camera work makes sure that the audience can always see dolls in site, showing that she is surrounded by them.

  • When Alma is reaching for the doll version of herself, the music becomes more high-pitched, louder and intense. The little boy on the tricycle keeps banging into the door faster and faster, adding more drama.

  • When Alma is reaching, there is a high-angle shot. This shows her vulnerability and how small she is compared to the doll that is over-powering her on the shelf.

  • The camera slowly pans away to show the entire shop’s dolls moving their eyes, trapped forever. The camera then stops at the shop window, which has revealed a new doll for it’s next victim.

  • The camera then pans out onto the street and zooms out to show the doll alone and trapped in the shop.


Representation

Representation

  • Alma does not speak, which makes her more vulnerable and innocent and the viewers feel sorry for her.

  • I think that Rodrigo chose to make the dolls all children as their lives should just be beginning, which makes the audience feel sad and distressed.

  • At one point, the camera focuses on a scary looking clown doll. It is smiling whereas the other dolls look trapped and sad. Perhaps this doll is the one who started this intriguing tale and is watching over all the dolls.


Representation cont

Representation (cont)

  • This shot of Alma shows how defenceless and exposed she is to danger. It shows Alma standing in the middle of a strange circle pattern, which resembles a target board, with Alma being the bulls eye. She is looking at the doll, which makes her even more of a target.

  • This shot of Alma once she has been trapped in the doll, makes the audience feel trapped too, we are forced to look at what she seeing and are helpless.

  • The final scene, when the doll of a little girl is revealed, the audience wonder what is going to happen next. The audience feel worried and anxious for the little girl as we now know her fate.


Fun facts

Fun Facts

  • Alma means "soul" in Spanish, which plays with the concept of her soul being taken and put into the doll!

  • In October 2010 it was announced that DreamWorks Animation is developing an animated feature film based on Alma. Alma’s director Rodrigo Blaas is again set to direct the feature.


Pixar quiz

Pixar Quiz

  • Who can name all of the 12 current released Pixar films?


Answers

Answers:

  • Toy Story (1995)

  • A Bug’s Life (1998)

  • Toy Story 3 (1999)

  • Monsters, Inc (2001)

  • Finding Nemo (2003)

  • The Incredibles (2004)

  • Cars (2006)

  • Ratatouille (2007)

  • WALL-E (2008)

  • Up (2009)

  • Toy Story 3 (2010)

  • Cars 2 (2011)


Thank you

Thank you


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