Jun 5, 2017 | By Julia

How far would you go to be healthy? What sacrifices would need to be made? For Korean filmmaker Kangmin Kim, who spent his childhood chronically ill, these questions were the entrypoint into a formative experience – one brought to life through 3D printing in his new short film Deer Flower.

As a young boy in Korea, Kim was often sick. Consequently, Kim’s parents were always on the lookout for remedies that could improve their son’s health. As recounted in Deer Flower, even the most extreme treatment was sought after, if it stood a chance of easing Kim’s ailments.

Set in the summer of 1992, the spellbinding stop-motion animation incorporates 3D printing, 2D cutouts, handmade drawings, and 35mm film to tell the story of a haunting childhood memory: drinking fresh blood from a severed deer antler. “You’ll become a strong grownup once you drink this up,” says Kim’s father, who pays a large sum to the shady manager of the deer farm.

As we watch a deer get captured, imprisoned, and cut open, all the intricate moving parts of Deer Flower become a single flow of texture and emotion. The chicken pox-ridden Kim enters a deep state of hallucination as he drinks the fresh blood, simultaneously comforting the deer and traversing a strange universe of cosmic blood cells.

While the subject matter is powerful to say the least, Deer Flower is perhaps most unique in its multi-material ethos. Static materials such as fake wood, cardboard, and 3D printed plastics mix seamlessly with the scratchy film grain of 35 mm celluloid. Together with the animation’s blood curdling soundtrack, which swings between a classic horror film score and chilling, whisper-in-your-ear sound effects, Kim’s harrowing scenes bring the film’s puppet-like structures to life.

Released by Kim’s Los Angeles-based production company Studio Zazac, Deer Flower has already been met with considerable success, securing Best Animated Film and Best Animation Short at the Aspen Shortsfest 2016 and Melbourne International Film Festival 2016 respectively, in addition to screening at SXSW and Sundance, and qualifying for next year’s Academy Awards. Most recently, Deer Flower secured Kim the Vimeo Staff Pick Premiere, a coveted feature for emerging filmmakers online.

In tandem with the animation’s burgeoning success, Kim has released a series of supporting materials, including an official ‘Deer Flower’ trailer, and a short video (below) dissembling the film’s puppets limb by limb, which effectively showcases the puzzle-like fit of each model. Congratulations on this original and well executed creative vision, Kim!

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Application

 

 

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