Code Rose

"A flamingo lands on an aircraft carrier. To keep the runway clear, the military have to get rid of it."

Code Rose is a short film created by six artists at French school ENSI about an aircraft carrier that is invaded by a cloud of flamingos. The short was completed as a graduation project at the Avignon-based school.

The crowd-based short presents an external conflict between humans and animals, a staging that involves big distances, a pacifist message and elements from the war film genre combined with surrealism and magic.

Staged on an aircraft carrier in the middle of the sea, the attention dedicated to aesthetics is remarkable. Great effort has been devoted to designing the aircraft carrier, planes, environment (sky and sea), etc., as well as the characters. The research done on the flamingos shows clearly in the film. As is usually the case with work coming from ENSI, the emphasis on composition of elements in the frame as well as use of color is a pleasure to watch. Crowd simulations and the animation of the flamingos are very well done and thanks to this play effective roles in the film.

Code Rose uses wider shots frequently, as it does not focus on human facial expressions to build conflict but does so through body postures, character performances as well as the confrontation between the aircraft carrier and the flamingos. The film is characterized by staging in an environment that involves big distances and how to compose elements properly in the frame to tell the story. Long shots and extreme long shots are employed often due to this, to capture the vast environment, cloud of flamingos, the battle scene as well as the action on the aircraft carrier (the later together with full shots, medium long shots and medium shots). Two-shots, four-shots and crowd shots are used to capture the interaction between the crew and the flamingos.

Visual rhythm is high, handled through editing, motion within the frame, camera moves (pans, tilts, cranes, aerial shots), etc. The camera move from 3m38s-3m51s (aerial shot) is a fine example of using such a technique for creating surprise. The great work done on music and sound design are also worth highlighting, as is the playfulness that’s present throughout the film, which shows how much the artists enjoyed the creation process.

What makes Code Rose work so well? Highly creative script with an unusual conflict, playful surreal elements that spice up the film with humor, outstanding aesthetic and animation work, effective plot points and abundant surprises that will hook viewers.


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