BB Video: "Manifestations," An Animated Love Story, by Giles Timms

(Download the MP4 here, or watch on YouTube.) Today's edition of Boing Boing Video is an animated short by Giles Timms -- "Manifestations" stars a cartoon critter named Mr. Chip who seeks anime love in a psychedelic, ever-morphing virtual world. The music is by Welsh composer Ceri Frost. Mr. Chip also stars in a mini Flash game which you can play here.

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BBV: Where are you based, and what do you do?

Giles: At the moment I live in Santa Monica, LA and attend the Animation Workshop at UCLA's Department of Theater, Film and Television. So I'm a student in the MFA program, but I also work freelance, such as the recent Deathcab for Cutie "Grapevine Fires" video with Walter Robot Studios.

BBV: What is the story behind this lovely animation?

Giles: That it's important for us to find love in this world, whoever and wherever we may be. And that love can exist between the most unlikely of characters, such as the cartoon creature Mr. Chip and the Tadahiro Uesugi inspired girly girl. Love knows no boundaries.

BBV: I love the cute little boxy central character. Who is he, and what's his story?

Giles: The little green guy is Mr. Chip. He originally appeared as the central character in a mini puzzle flash game that I made. Mr. Chip is quite small and unassuming, but he has the heart of a lion and isn't afraid to go after what he seeks. And he can be very resourceful in a MacGyver sort of way. It was these qualities that led to his development as the main character in Manifestations.

(Interview continues after the jump)

BBV: What are some of the sources of visual or cultural inspiration that drive your work?

Giles: Visually I'm inspired by work that is textural, stylized and painterly. So for animators I like Yuriy Norshteyn, Igor Kovalyov and Koji Yamamura. I also reference a lot of comic book artists and illustrators, such as Rhode Montijo, Mike Mignola and Ashley Wood for similar stylistic inspiration.

Culturally, history and its motifs are important so that my work can seem grounded in something real even if quite surreal. I'm particularly inspired by history that shows us the indomitable human spirit rising above tragedy.

Recently I've met lots of people both in LA and at UCLA who have helped me find my voice as an artist and filmmaker but the four biggest influences have been Ceri Frost, Walter Robot, Celia Mercer and Howard Suber. Ceri is a Welsh composer who has been very generous with his music and support, both of which have helped me grow as an artist. I also had the good fortune to take a class from Bill, of Walter Robot Studios, at UCLA and work first hand with him and Chris on their 'Grapevine Fires' music video. Celia Mercer is the Area Head of the MFA program at UCLA and has been very supportive of my trials in animation and filmmaking. Also, Howard Suber, Professor Emeritus at UCLA, is an amazing guy whose lectures, anecdotes and insights inspire me as an artist (I like to think of him as the Yoda of UCLA).

And lastly, my girlfriend =)

BBV: What are you working on now?

Giles: Another animated short with music by Ceri Frost, for a song called 'Dead All Along' with dancing bones and skeletons. And trying to graduate in June!