"A non-conformist rebels against routine and its rules."

Coming from Barcelona, this short film was created by Spanish artist Daniel Martínez Lara, one of the pioneers of CG animation in Spain. Besides his quality animation work, Martínez Lara is well known for his teaching activities: he founded the first major Spanish CG animation school (Pepe-School-Land) in the year 2006, which has enjoyed continuous growth through the years.

[It’s] something I’ve given a lot of thought to; follow a path laid by others or choose to create your own.

Analysis: First Look

Changes presents one main character with a strong internal conflict created by a conflict with the environment (the social system), accompanied by a crowd of undifferentiated characters.

The essence of the short lies in portraying the growing frustration the main character, “Copi”, feels with routine, repetitive work and following a path everyone else is unquestioningly taking, and what happens as a result of his rebellious act. Humor and surprise are important elements for transmitting the short’s message.

Let’s see what filmmaking techniques the director used to achieve this.

Shot Types, Camera Elements and POVs

The facial expressions of Copi are key elements for conveying the internal conflict of the character. Due to this, wide shots are used to establish initial staging and spatial relationships (and to signal repetition), but close-ups are more frequently used after that, with a camera following the main character’s face to transmit his emotions clearly. What begins as an omniscient camera turns into a semi-subjective one. The close-ups and the focus on the facial expressions shape the way we perceive the shots that follow, interpreting them from Copi’s POV and associating them with his changing mood. Mixing Copi’s expressions with fragmented close-ups of feet walking and slanted angles allow to further identify with the character’s face and transmit an internal, psychological interpretation of the shots.

After the character reacts with anger jumping on his suitcase the shots widen, and medium shots and reverse shots are used to cover the action, show the main character and the reactions from others, which allows to prepare the staging for creating the surprise ending of the short.

Camera Moves & Visual Rhythm

Changes employs mostly static cameras. Moving cameras are needed in a few cases: Copi is constantly in motion during a long part of the film and a dolly is used for following and keeping him in the frame (to make sure his expressions are transmitted clearly to the audience). In addition to those cases, a crane (up) is combined with a tilt (1m16) to reveal other characters, a pull back (1m41) to reveal an element of surprise and a final dolly shot to follow Copi (1m57) and then pull back to signal the end of the film.

Since static cameras are predominant, visual rhythm is created through fast paced editing and movement within the frame. Characters are in motion in most part of the film.

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