WEB SERIES - Electric City, Adult Web Series from Tom Hanks and Six Point Harness

I just discovered an epic animated mini series, Electric City, that is being produced by Tom Hanks and Six Point Harness.


Note: As far as I'm aware the only way to view this web series is by purchasing it at the Apple store via iTunes:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tom-hanks-electric-city/id502451495?mt=8 

The animation was directed by Joel Trussell.  Chris Arrant (Cartoon Brew) has an excellent interview with Joel posted.  You should check it out for a little backstory on this whole project.  I don't know if there's a connection to the Titmouse short The Pro, but the animation style used in Electric City looks like a fully realized version of the promise shown by The Pro. The story style, however, is entirely different.

In Electric City, the lighting, textures, and surreal score are in eloquent juxtaposition to the life and death struggles that are playing out just beneath the surface of what appears -at first glance-  to be a utopian society.

I watched all twenty episodes today... and they were excellent. They have already become a definite source of inspiration for animation projects I'm working on right now as well.

Some shots from the series, with my commentary on them, are below.  Just as a side note, I realized after I started compiling the screen shots I took that I had chosen many of the shots from Cleveland and Hope's love scenes.  I expect this probably has something to do with a new romance that has started up in my own life, which is why I'm especially attuned to those...  That being said, the love story, although beautify rendered with exquisite shots, is only a small thread in the grand tapestry that is Electric City. Don't just take my word for it though, check it out for yourself, and show the creators that this type of storytelling is definitely one of the directions that North American animation should be exploring further.

This is a shot from a gorgeously animated sequence looking out over the city as the sun sets.
(Electric City / Episode 20)

The effects animation in the series is also outstanding. They heighten the of mood of each scene without upstaging the characters. A great example is the stylized waterfall in the background of this shot.
(Electric City / Episode 19)

Electric City Character: Cleveland Carr
(Electric City)

Electric City Character: Hope Chatsworth
(Electric City)

Cleveland and Hope making love for the first time.  Notice the beautiful asymmetry of the compositions used throughout this entire scene.
(Electric City / Episode 9)
Excellently framed silhouettes of the two lovers just before they lie down together.  The use of shadows and light in several scenes give a distinct nod to film noir.
(Electric City / Episode 9)

How perfectly framed is this shot?!  The nurturing woman bringing a warm drink to her lover.
(Electric City / Episode 9)
This shot evokes a very specific feeling of warmth from within me.  The wafting steam from the mugs adds the perfect feeling of warmth to a colour scheme built around cool colours.  Again, this is an example of the effects used in this series to perfectly accent the emotional staging set by the characters and composition.
(Electric City / Episode 9)
This is my favourite shot from the whole scene.  It tells the beautiful love story all on it's own.  You could show this scene alone and everyone would intuitively know what has come before.  The out of focus steaming kettle is perfectly placed - visually representing the passions that have come to a boil between our two lovers.  Hope is nude, another indication that she and Cleveland have already made love and that she is completely comfortable with him. The cool colours of the room are being offset by a warm light flooding in from the left, which is illuminating the two lovers on the bed - guess what that represents.  Hope is also leaning in for a kiss and Cleveland has put a supportive arm around her showing his affection for her. There are many examples of cartoon characters having sex, lord know anime is full of them, but it takes true artistry to show cartoon characters making love - and that's exactly what Tom Hanks and the artists at Six Point Harness managed to do here.
(Electric City / Episode 9) 

This shot is from a later episode in the Electric City series.  Notice how the lighting and framing have completely changed - illustrating the warm love that has blossomed between our two lovers.
(Electric City / Episode 19)

This shot is the only one of the bunch that bothers me. I want the scene to be more balanced.  I realize that this was probably done on purpose because Cleveland is explaining to Hope that he won't be able to see her until after the festival... but it still drives me nuts.  Just saying.
(Electric City / Episode 19)






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