A DVD (NTSC)
of Stolen Life can be purchased
for US$15 by sending
an order to:
Slice of Sci-fi review
Jackie Turnure talks about ‘
Stolen Life atDragoncon
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“The voice acting is simply superb.”
“The script is funny and smart, and manages to take
a couple of very surprising, yet believable,
Ray Ivey – Just Adventure
“Jones and Black are perfect playing off one
another’s characters. I highly recommend the movie
to everyone who loves sci-fi and future Noir.
Entertaining as hell. Fantastic movie.”
-Sam Sloan – Slice of SciFi
“if you are open minded, love a good story, have a
good imagination and am willing to try new things you
will have a ball with Stolen Life”
Mat Van Rhoon
Hot on the
heels of Killer Robot comes “Stolen Life”; the
latest 3D animated feature from Nanoflix. Stolen Life is
true Future Noir. Now available for download, this dark
and moody Sci-fi detective mystery stars Claudia Black
and Chris Jones. Sci-fi fans know Claudia from Farscape
and Stargate SG-1. Video game fans know Chris Jones from
the legendary and groundbreaking Tex Murphy series of
spacecraft makes a landing on a seemingly barren
asteroid. The traveller is himself a machine, a private
investigator. He pries open an old hatchway to go below.
Under the ice, tunnels descend deeper and deeper into the
It’s a refuelling station, a halfway point for
missions to the outer reaches of the solar system. It
was, until they shut it down. What happened here?
Pi, (the investigator) finds an inactive robot. He
revives her. This is Kieru, the facility manager. Why did
the company take so long to send an investigator? It
takes a bit of work to get it out of him but Pi admits
there’s trouble in other facilities.
Pi is investigating the disappearance of thousands of
dollars in company property and the mysterious demise of
one of the workers who goes by the name of Faraday.
What is the project Kieru is so desperate to conceal? And
what really happened to Faraday?
Pi investigates this eccentric crew who cut out an
existence for themselves in the rocks and ice of the
asteroid, always under the shadow of the Company.
Doc and his crazy projects. Daisy, skittish and nervy.
What is she so nervous about? Grip is like a pair of
disembodied arms joined at the shoulder, a good natured
beast. Cutter says little and works away cutting tunnels
deeper and deeper into the ice.
They all seem innocent enough but how safe is Pi alone
with this motley crew under the fractured and creaking
ice of this far-flung asteroid?
film uses a groundbreaking technique Machinima, 3D
animation in a game engine. A lot of live action and
animated films construct sets that are fragments of the
total location. Working in a game engine we were able to
make the main location in one piece. This allows the
camera to chase characters from room to room to room
without having to cut. It also allows us to unlock the
camera during an animated sequence and move it around as
the characters go through their paces on the virtual set.
This is all in real time and allows us to get the perfect
shot to communicate the heart of the scene.
Using this system a dedicated small team can do large
productions. And with no outside creative interference
the sci-fi fans get the work as the artist intended.
is a script written in the tradition of film noir, with
PI in the leading role as the detective, and KIERU, in
the supporting role as the femme fatale. Of course the
twist here is that both characters are robots, and the
film is not set on 20th century planet earth, but instead
is played out on a far flung asteroid, some time in the
For me the appeal of the script lies with the clever
juxtaposition of a well-worn genre and all its attendant
conventions, with an entirely new world. In considering
the direction, I aim to find a balance between honouring
the conventions of the film noir genre and play with and
against these conventions in both the performance and the
stylistic look and feel.
In terms of story, the compelling mystery of the accident
and Faraday’s “death” draws us into the
complex web that is the bots’ desire for autonomy.
Although the film is 3D animation, the directorial
approach to the performances is not that different from
live action. The back stories of the characters, their
motivations, inner conflicts, desires and obstacles will
be explored and communicated to the actors. With
animation, and especially here where the characters are
not human, voice becomes even more important in
communicating character. I will be spending a lot of time
with the actors getting the tone and performance right,
finding the balance between the film noir archetype and a
more naturalistic delivery. My goal in directing the
voice records is to create entirely dimensional
characters, with humanesque needs, desires and
motivations, even if embodied by robots.
In terms of the style and design of the characters and
location the use of Machinima poses particular
challenges. Whilst the images will not have the high
resolution of animated feature films such as those being
produced by Pixar (Toy Story, Monsters Inc, Nemo), the
graphic quality and attention to camera angle, movement,
editing and soundscape will more than compensate for any
reduction in visual detail. Lighting and design will
follow the film noir style and the use of music and sound
design will be employed to create a rich and ambient
sound track. As demonstrated in KILLER ROBOT, a strong
script more than makes up for low production values.
Ultimately what Machinima allows Peter and I to do is to
make an animated feature film based on a compelling
story, with strong characters who engage, entertain and
move us, for a very low budget. In terms of professional
benefits, STOLEN LIFE pushes us into an exciting new
medium that hones our existing skills and challenges us
to discover and develop new ones. I am very excited about
working on STOLEN LIFE and see it as a quantum leap in my
work as an animation director.
BEST DIRECTION and
BEST VISUAL DESIGN.
At Machinima Festival Europe 07
Stolen Life was invited to screen at the Sydney
International Film Festival on Monday
June 11, at
9:30pm, followed by an interview with Jackie Turnure and
Best Original Music
Best Visual Design
Best Voice Acting Performance
Best Virtual Performance
Best Technical Achievement
Best Original Music
in New York
J ARTS Article
were recorded at