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Strange Frame premieres at Dragon Con

Page history last edited by StrangeFrame 7 years, 5 months ago

Strange Frame: Love & Sax is a science fictionfeature film created using cutout animation and written by Shelley Doty and GB Hajim.[1] Directed by Hajim, the film is slated for 2012 release as the world's first animated lesbian-themed sci-fi film.[2][3][4] Clips of the film debuted at the Los Angeles Bent-Con on December 3, 2011[5] and the complete film premiered in London on May 3, 2012.[1]



Set at the end of the 28th century, the human race has long since abandoned a desolate earth. In order to survive, humanity has been using genetic engineering to adapt to otherworld environments, to the point where changing one's skin color or gender has become commonplace. On the moon Ganymede, saxophonist Parker (Claudia Black) and guitarist Naia (Tara Strong) develop a close relationship which allows them to perform as one.




The project began in 1999 when Doty and Hajim decided to collaborate on a project using their individual talents and their passion for science fiction, especially that of John Varley and Shinichiro Watanabe. They agreed that some of the protagonists had to be gaybisexualtranssexual andomnisexual. All had to be of color because they believed that not too long from now everyone would be of color. They also were clear that the issue of race and sex would be non-issues in the setting of the 29th century.[6]

They began with creating a backstory and television series done in GB's unique cutout animation style, and began marketing the film. In 2001, MTVmade an offer to finance the film, which included MTV owning all copyrights to the project including ancillary rights. In 2002 Doty and Hajim sketched out the arc for a tetralogy and wrote the screenplay Strange Frame: Love & Sax that was planned as the first installment in what they anticipated would become a series.[6]



In the Fall of 2004, preproduction began. Hajim had an offer to produce the film overseas, but was committed to enriching life in his local community. Hajim lives in East Hawaii, which is one of the most economically depressed parts of the state. He went to the local high schools and colleges to find talented youth to train for this project. From a pool of applicants, he trained 14 artists ages ranging from 13 to 23 in computer art and animation. They recorded the initial dialog at Palm Records on the island just a month before the sound engineer and owner, Charles Brotman, won a Grammy Award.[6]

Part of the decision to go with cutout style instead of CG was one of creating a sustainable industry in East Hawaii. CG is being done all over the globe, with most productions do their animation work in Asia. By working in a medium that is fringe and hard to reproduce, Strange Frame led to a unique production pipeline that was not found anywhere else.[6]



In 2005, pre-production was completed and actual animation of the feature began. Each semester, high school students joined the team through the Hui'ana Mentorship Program sponsored by the Hawaii State Department of Education. Over 40 interns trained at the small building which held the production facility. Hajim continued to reach out to the different schools around the state to find talent that might otherwise have left for the mainland or, worse, not find a home for their abilities.[6]

In 2008, Academy Award winning mixer Gary Rizzo of Skywalker Sound joined the team vowing to create the surround sound experience. In 2011, Rizzo completed the sound mix and Strange Frame was briefly repped by Jeff Dowd aka the Dude.[7]



Clips of Strange Frame had debut screening in Los Angeles at Bent-Con on December 3, 2011.[5] The film premiered at Sci-Fi-London on May 3rd, 2012.[8] Strange Frameʻs North American premiere is at Dragon*Con at the Hyatt International South Main Room at 4pm with a panel discussion with the Director, Co-Writer and stars Tara Strong and Juliet Landau.



Critical response

Shelagh Rowan-Legg from Twitch Film was at the premiere and had this to say, "...it is so refreshing to see a film as unique, original and enjoyable as Strange Frame...Strange Frame is a rare film: inspiration by other forms is noticeable, but it is not merely repetition or homage. It is a dreamscape, one that does not shy aware from the ugly, yet celebrates the beautiful." [6]


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