To continue the publication of the thesis, let’s answer the question what is Alatia? For the matter, I bring you today the description of Alatia. From its creation process and where the inspiration was born. It takes a great deal of resources and effort for a short film production. It is an enjoyable process for those of us that are into production. But that does not make it “easy.”
Let’s take a look at the the birth of Alatia.
From the thesis – MFA Excerpt 27:
In “Alatia”, one finds robots and automated vehicles (Figures 8), space ships and architectural structures (Figure 4 Page 7) that are visually related to ancient human civilizations. It is an exercise in imagination to address the question, in what state might these civilizations be if they had evolved and were still present on Earth?
What makes Traces (now Traces Retraced) special is the intention to drop the “entertainment” label. To that end, we want to make experimentation for fine arts normal again. Caribbean art trends and cultures are used throughout the film development. It adds flairs and accents that are not normal in entertainment mainstream of medias, particularly the very expensive animation industry. In this fashion, Traces Retraced is leaning more towards fine art than commercial art, or comercial animation in this case.
Continuation of the MFA Excerpt 27:
In the process of creating images, artists like Augusto Marín (Figure 9), Rafael Feliciano (Figure 10) and Felix Cordero (Figure 11) inspired the textures and colors in the design of vehicles, clothing, buildings and props for the short film. This style and the quantity of detail for “rendering,” the process of creating 2D images of 3D computer data, takes considerable time and resources. If this were a commercial film, stylized versions of these textures would have to be used to comply with schedule demands. Commercial animation studios try to stay away from complicated texturing schemes because profit demands it. If one wants to make money, production costs are the top expense.
Traces is not skimping on process or time. It is a fine art piece intended to deliver a message. Traces is part of the entertainment industry, but uses entertainment as a delivery method to provoke viewers to think about racism and discrimination and how these practices prevent others—and society—from reaching its full potential.
Why is it not normal?
Now lets look at why this method is not welcome in the entertainment industry, for the most part. And why this is important for artist to tackle and bring back to the fine arts realm. Animation and film were born out of that curiosity of observation. It became a voice for the people and then was adopted by the entertainment industry.
More from the MFA Excerpt 27:
Many art forms and media are needed to produce Traces: concept ideation, scripting, voice casting, character design, vehicle design, environmental design, hardware and software selection, maintenance, and programing skills needed to adapt software and hardware to the production. Forced reliance on Maya and other expensive proprietary software packages would have stopped the creation of this film before it started. The price barrier hinders content creation by groups without the funds to acquire the software.
More than that, a commercial studio would likely be unwilling to address a thorny subject like racism because acknowledging the problem counters the “feel-good” narrative and might not be tolerated by an audience looking for entertainment and escape. Such a scenario would decrease the film’s profits which are important to offset the high cost of the software and other production costs. In contrast, open source software provides free software and access to a huge community of expert assistance to help creators with technical aspects of realizing their content, which greatly reduces production costs and increases creative freedom by reducing the incentive to make decisions base purely on maximizing profits.