Dementia Tale Wins for Animated Short in San Pedro

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The Reality Clock

The Real­ity Clock

Amanda Tasse’s “The Real­ity Clock,” in which a watch­maker search­ing for his lost clock loses him­self in mem­ory, was named Best Ani­mated Short at this year’s San Pedro Inter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val (SPIFFest).

The Real­ity Clock” is an exper­i­men­tal ani­mated por­trait of an elderly watch­maker as he strug­gles to accept the influ­ence of early-stage demen­tia on his iden­tity and sense of time. Shot in full stereo­scopic 3D, using time-lapse pho­tog­ra­phy, pix­e­la­tion, live action and stop-motion ani­ma­tion, the film immerses the viewer in the inter­nal expe­ri­ence of the char­ac­ter, expressed through metaphors of a clock, house, and mor­ph­ing landscapes.

After con­fus­ing a sim­ple mem­ory eval­u­a­tion, The Real­ity Com­pre­hen­sion Clock Test, the char­ac­ter mis­places his favorite pocket watch. As he embarks on a jour­ney for the miss­ing watch, mem­o­ries over­lap with present real­ity, dis­tort­ing his sense of time and place. As he grasps for his iden­tity, “Real­ity Clock” ques­tions who and what the raw essence of a per­son is when stripped bare of new mem­o­ries and ratio­nal lucidity.

The inspi­ra­tion for “The Real­ity Clock” grew out of Tasse’s con­ver­sa­tions with elderly patients with demen­tia when she vol­un­teered for a hos­pice orga­ni­za­tion from 2005 to 2007. Real­iz­ing that most films por­tray demen­tia from the point-of-view of the care­giver, Tasse intended to explore what the expe­ri­ence might feel like for the patient.

She used vary­ing cin­e­matic tech­niques to empha­size the character’s sub­jec­tive real­ity and play with metaphors inher­ent in the mate­ri­als — a sub­tly ani­mated pup­pet in a doll­house jux­ta­posed with stut­ter­ing pho­to­graphic and live-action mem­o­ries. She decided to cre­ate the film in 3D after hav­ing read an auto­bi­o­graph­i­cal account by an author with early-stage demen­tia who described some of his hal­lu­ci­na­tions and mem­o­ries as hav­ing the qual­ity of depth asso­ci­ated with 3D pic­tures. Tasse intended to exper­i­ment with how stereo­scopic 3D could be used as an addi­tional art-design ele­ment to sup­port immer­sive exper­i­men­tal and emo­tional storytelling.

The inau­gural San Pedro Inter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val screened 34 films from around the world, includ­ing Switzer­land, Croa­tia, Canada, Mex­ico, Colom­bia, Czech Repub­lic, Hun­gary, Poland and the United States — the last being the source for “Real­ity Clock.”

The inau­gural fes­ti­val ran at the Warner Grand The­atre, Ter­race Cin­e­mas and Cal­i­for­nia Cabrillo Marine Aquarium.

The com­mu­nity sup­port and turnout for SPIFFest exceeded our expec­ta­tions,” said exec­u­tive direc­tor Ziggy Mrkich. “We were extremely proud of the extent and diver­sity of the pro­gram, and are look­ing for­ward to an even big­ger and bet­ter SPIFFest 2013.”

San Pedro has served as a back­drop for many major film and TV projects, and the com­mu­nity has always been a great part­ner when it comes to wel­com­ing pro­duc­tion to its neigh­bor­hoods,” said Amy Lemisch, exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Cal­i­for­nia Film Com­mis­sion. “It’s only fit­ting that San Pedro now has a film fes­ti­val to call its own.”

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MrClevland has been a cartoon fan since, well, infancy. He has been writing nearly that long. Opinionated, yes, but backed with a wealth of personal knowledge on the subject. You can give r. C a piece of your mind here.

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