NZ Company Animated Over Al Gore's Auckland Visit

Published: Thu 9 Nov 2006 02:03 PM
New Zealand Company Animated Over Al Gore's Auckland Visit
Former United States Vice President Al Gore is coming to the home town of the New Zealand animation company that worked on the feature film 'An Inconvenient Truth' which documents Al Gore's campaigning on climate change.
Flux Animation Studio is the Kiwi connection in the independent documentary film 'An Inconvenient Truth' which played to full houses and standing ovations at the last famous Sundance Film Festival in Utah and has since been a sensational hit around the world. The Auckland animation studio directed the two animation sequences in the 90-minute film – and the same sequences have also been screening as a backdrop to Al Gore on stages throughout the world when he has delivered his highly-acclaimed environmental speeches.
Brent Chambers, Flux Animation Studio Managing Director, says he is delighted Al Gore is coming to Auckland on November 14.
"It's a film that has sparked huge international interest and praise, which has been thrilling for us especially as it was Flux's first venture into feature films. My young son and I briefly appear in the film and we both met Al Gore in person at the end of last year," says Brent.
New Zealand Trade and Enterprise helped award-winning Flux Animation Studio secure the contract to direct the animated sequences in the film, which documents former United States Vice-President Al Gore's impassioned efforts to spread the word on the dire implications of global warming.
Flux's Interactive Director Fraser Munro gained firsthand knowledge of Al Gore's dry wit during the production phase of one of the animated sequences for the film.
Fraser Munro explains that to ensure the animation sequence, which is based on a parable of a boiled frog, corresponded with the appropriate section of Al Gore's speech, he produced a 'dummy' voice track using his own Kiwi voice as the raw material, and sound equipment to slow it down a notch or two – as is appropriate in live presentations. The result was an odd sounding drone, but it served the purpose, and was sent to Al Gore with the animation sequence for his approval.
The approval came, but with an added comment. The former Democrat candidate, widely criticised for his wooden speaking style during the 2000 US presidential election, quipped that he would be president of the United States today if only he had spoken with "half the charisma" of Fraser's computerised voice!
Flux's Andrew Newland directed the other of the two animated sequences which centres on the plight of a polar bear searching desperately for a scrap of polar ice.
Al Gore will be in Auckland on November 14 in his capacity as Chairman of a United Kingdom-based company, Generation Investment Management, to attend a private meeting. En route to Australia to promote the film, Al Gore will address the board of the New Zealand Super Fund and give a lecture at Auckland University's business school to an invited audience of MPs and business leaders.
'An Inconvenient Truth' includes footage from some of the hundreds of multimedia presentations Gore has given over the past three years, interspersed with revealing personal reflections. In these presentations he correlates carbon dioxide emissions with exponentially rising temperatures, and their links to melting ice-caps, drought and rising sea levels. The Sundance Film Festival guide describes the film as a 'gripping story' with 'a visually mesmerising presentation' that is 'activist cinema at its very best'.
Al Gore
Al Gore was Vice-President to President Clinton from 1992 to 2000 and has devoted his working life since his 2000 presidential election defeat to educating people on the dangers of global warming to the world's ecology and economies. He is author of 'Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit' and estimates he has presented his multimedia presentation more than 1000 times over the past five years.
Flux Animation Studio
Brent Chambers established Flux in 1997. Today, Flux employs 44 people, including traditional and 3D animators, and has recently moved its staff and state-of-the-art technology from Newmarket to larger premises in Grey Lynn.
Among other projects, Flux Animation Studio in conjunction with broadcaster/producer Jim Mora recently completed New Zealand's largest-ever 2D production, 'Staines Down Drains'. The $10 million project is believed to be the first official animation co-production between New Zealand and Australia, and is already booked for export. It brings together award-winning animation company Flux with Australian/German owned Yoram Gross Group, an internationally renowned producer, director and writer of movies and television series.

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