Animated short,
directed by Jeremy Kelly-Bakker premiered at the Adelaide Film Festival and has
generated more than 1 million views across YouTube and Facebook.
Adelaide, South Australia—The
short film Lucy and DiC, which
recently made its world premiere at the Adelaide Film Festival, imagines a time
in the not too distant future when technology is no longer content to serve our
best interests—in fact, it’s developed an attitude.
Directed by Jeremy Kelly-Bakker and featuring whimsical
character animation by students enrolled in Rising Sun Pictures’ Graduate
Certificate training program, the film centers on a young woman and her
floating support drone. Lucy is getting ready for a blind date, while DiC
hovers over her shoulder, hectoring her with questionable advice on how to be
more likeable. Turns out, the aptly-named DiC is not all that likeable himself.
Veteran Melbourne comedian Lucy Gransbury stars as Lucy while video commentator and YouTube sensation Ethan Marrell
(aka Ozzy Man) supplies the voice for DiC. Lucy
and DiC
has already generated more than 1 million views across YouTube and

Kelly-Bakker, who wrote the script with Tom Phillips, says
the film is meant to poke fun at the way technology has insinuated itself into
virtually every aspect of our lives. “We’ve developed a dependent relationship
with our devices,” he explains, “and that got us to wondering, what happens when
it turns out that our tech is just as ill-informed as we are?”
To produce the film, Kelly-Bakker enlisted the support of
students taking part in two Graduate Certificate courses at RSP, one in
Compositing and Tracking (which is taught by Kelly-Bakker) and the other in
Dynamic Effects and Lighting. Students lent a hand during live action
production with Gransbury, and then took the lead in animating DiC and
integrating the ball-shaped drone into backgrounds.
Kelly-Bakker, who last year directed a short entitled Midnight Snack that also drew on the
talents of RSP students, says working on real-world productions provides student
visual effects artists with opportunities for growth difficult to replicate
through normal classroom assignments. “A big part of it is the sense of
ownership that they have,” he explains. “They’re not simply turning out shots
for the sake of a grade; their contributing to a film that will screen in
festivals and, potentially, be seen by people around the world. We tell the
students, you own these shots; make ‘em good!”
The quirky and snidely sarcastic DiC presented a formidable
challenge for the students’ newly acquired visual effects skills. Their task
was not only to create a plausibly realistic, 3D floating drone, but also to
imbue him with enough personality to make him a proper foil for Glansbury’s
pitch-perfect comedic performance. “We looked for ways to get maximum emotion
from something that was essentially a floating beach ball,” Kelly-Bakker
explains. “He has a computer monitor for a face and emojis for eyes. We gave
him two little t-rex arms that were quick and easy to animate, and antennae
that are like dog ears, drooping or standing up on end. That extra bit of
secondary movement makes him feel alive.”
Students encountered several unexpected technical hurdles
that went beyond their classroom instruction. For instance, they came up with a
clever way of inverting DiC for scenes where he appears as a reflection in a
mirror. Senior members of RSP’s visual effects team aided the process through
critiques and advice. “The students did the bulk of the work, but the input
they received from the course teachers was invaluable,” Kelly-Bakker says. “All
they had to do was apply a gentle hand and the quality would leap as they were
drawing on a decade of experience in working on studio films.”
Kelly-Bakker and Phillips are currently talking to Australian
broadcasters about expanding Lucy and DiC
into a web series. “We’ve got 25 episodes in our back pocket,” he notes.
“It’s funny, it’s situational and we think it would make a great bite-sized
For more information about Rising Sun Pictures’ Graduate
Certificate courses, visit:
About Rising Sun Pictures:
At Rising Sun
Pictures (RSP) we create inspirational visual effects for major studios
worldwide. Creating outstanding images is at the core of our existence. At the
heart of our talented team, there is a diverse knowledge and skill-set,
enabling a collaborative core where we can work together to solve problems and
deliver great visuals to our clients. We have achieved some truly amazing
visual effects work by providing innovative solutions to technically
challenging work. We have the capacity and talent pool to scale to suit the
needs of our clients. 

Our extensive filmography includes over 100 projects, including Logan, X-Men:
Apocalypse, Game of Thrones Season 6, The Legend of Tarzan, Gods of Egypt, Pan,
X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Hunger Games franchise, the Harry Potter
franchise, Gravity, The Wolverine, Prometheus and The Great Gatsby. 

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