Thursday, July 29, 2010

Go Little Sandpit, Go!

Director, Sam O'Hare's short film, The Sandpit, continues to be the little film that could. We at Aero are excited, honored and humbled by our latest news: The Sandpit, was awarded a Prix Ars Electronica Award of Distinction!  

The Prix Ars Electronica is an award for creativity and pioneering spirit in the field of digital media. Internationally renowned artists from over 70 countries participate in the Prix Ars Electronica, establishing itself as a barometer for trends in contemporary media art. Past winners include Pixar, Digital Domain, Industrial Light and Magic, and Blue Sky.
494 projects from all over the world were submitted for the Computer Animation/Film/VFX category. The entries were reviewed by 34 jurors to select this year’s prize winners based on Aesthetics, Originality, Excellence of execution, Compelling conception, and Innovation in technique of the presentation. 

Sam’s film is in good company. The grand poobah award, the Golden Nica, was awarded to Arev Manoukian for his short film, Nuit Blanche. (Make sure to watch the making of this film as well - amazing!) The other Award of Distinction went to Jean Christophe Lie for the film, The Man in the Blue Gordini

There were 12 Honorable mentions in the same category. To name a few, Weta for Avatar; Pixar for Up; and the animated Academy Award winning short,  Logorama.  Human Music created the score for Logorama as well as The Sandpit, so hopefully in addition to being an amazing music house, they are also a good luck charm for Oscars.
Sam commented, “It’s incredibly flattering the that jury valued the work of independent film makers like myself and Arev. To have my work stand beside Pixar and Weta’s is truly humbling. Those films were technically and creatively stunning. I never thought The Sandpit-- created on the computer in my home office-- would stand beside these huge productions.”

This years festival will be in Linz, from September 2-11th. The official awards ceremony will be part of the Ars Electronica Gala set for September 3, 2010 in Linz, Austria, and Sam will be presenting his film to the delegation on Sept 5th.

Logo Ars Electronica Festival 2010 by Ars Electronica.

Monday, July 26, 2010

From Sea to Shining Sea

Sometimes I feel lazy. This is one of those times.

Aero Film documentarian, Austin “Chief” Smithard has literally spent the last 63 days on a bike. I can't get to the gym, but he and 20 disabled veterans participated in World T.E.A.M Sports' event, Sea to Shining Sea, and rode 4000 miles across the country. 


4000 miles! This is a feat that is amazing for even the most able bodied man, but it’s that much more inspiring being that these vets have been through helicopter crashes, explosions, and other unthinkable experiences that we civilians rarely even think about. Several participants were told they’d never walk again. Human spirit and determination is truly a remarkable thing.

Actor Robin Williams (in white) joins for part of the journey

The amazing (and daunting) ride began on May 22nd starting at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and ended this past Saturday in Virginia Beach. Chief joined the event as the event's documentarian but soon became a participant. He was excited to tell the story of these courageous riders, so he grabbed his Canon 5D and was ready to jump into a support van when he realized that the only way to really capture this ride, was to DO the ride. For a guy that hadn’t ridden a bike more than 5 blocks since he was 10-years-old, it wasn’t a natural choice. But seeing the others rise to the occasion made the decision quite easy. He did the entire ride with the camera on his back and rigged camera controls so he could stay in pace with the vets and other riders on the journey.

Be inspired, check out more photos Chief has been posting along the way here.

We'll keep you posted on when the documentary is finished. For now, Chief will take a few handfuls of Motrin, don a body suit made of Icy Hot and start editing... sitting down.

For more of Chief’s commercial and documentary work, click here
For more info on "Sea to Shining Sea" click here.
All photos in this blog were taken and copyrighted by Austin "Chief" Smithard. 


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