Strange Frame: Love and Sax is the first film of a planned animated sci-fi quadrilogy from a collaboration between independent film maker G.B. Hajim and musician Shelley Doty.
The story takes place in the 29th century at a time when humanity has left a decimated Earth and spread throughout the solar system. In this future humans genetically modify themselves both to survive the harsh climates of their new living conditions and as a fashion statement. Love and Sax unfolds on the Jupiter moon Ganymede and follows two beautiful musicians who, having developed a unified bond of harmony and movement in their struggle to achieve fame, find themselves being torn apart by it.
The film features the voices of stars Jason Scott Lee (Timecop 2 / Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story / The Jungle Book / Soldier) and Dave Fennoy (voice of the Black Panther in Ultimate Avengers II). It also features the original music of renowned performer Shelley Doty and also some existing music from Pink Floyd.
Jean ‘Moebius’ Giraud, who is credited with design work on The Fifth Element, The Abyss and TRON, and who is well known as a comic book artist for Heavy Metal, is also involved in design work on the project.
The premise behind Love and Sax is highly unique. In this strange future of genetic modification issues of race and sex are gone. With inter-breeding over time and also the genetic modifcation of skin color, white people are a thing of the past (unless, I suppose, if one genetically chooses to be white).
As original as the setting may be it is perhaps not quite as unique as the animation style – a kind of 2D/3D blend of cutout animation developed by G.B. Hajim himself. Hajim pioneered the style as part of his effort to help build the film industry in Hawaii by creating a style of animation found nowhere else in the world.
That’s not his only approach to helping to grow the industry in Hawai. Hajim has endeavored to keep the development of Strange Frame a local production – even to the point of hiring young students and training them with the skills they need. Yes, from that latter comment you can gather that Strange Frame has been a long time in the making (the idea was conceived way back in 1999).
The only exception to the local rule appears to be the involvement of LucasFilm’s Skywalker Sound who have agreed to help the production team do the final sound mix. Gary Rizzo, who worked on the sound of The Dark Knight and The Incredibles, is the sound engineer attached to the project. He apparently intends to provide Love and Sax with the best sound yet seen in an animated feature.
There’s no trailer to speak of yet but there are a few early clips you can watch.
The first is part 1 of a featurette on the making of the film (there’s no part 2 just yet). In this feature you get to see the unique cutout style animation thanks to a heap of clips from the film.
The Making of Strange Frame Part 1:
The second clip is a short dream sequence.
You can view a third clip available on the official website here (I haven’t embedded it as it’s an autoplaying quicktime movie).
Check out a slideshow of images from the film:
Production on Strange Frame: Love and Sax is expected to wrap later this year and although no release date has been announced, I believe a 2010 release is on the cards.
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