Friday, 9 March 2012

Profile: Michael Gagne

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     Michael Gagne, most well known for his works on various media such as books, film and comics, attempts to create a unique experience for the viewer and to send them on a journey into his own imagination. Unlike most artists, Gagne rarely has a style besides his simplistic art and instead adapts to whatever he is currently working on at the time and expresses a significant illustrational technique in his works. His has an almost surrealness in whatever style he portrays, however, which is shown in his 6 minute short film called 'Sensory', a film composed by Paul Plimey. Gagne has a strong sense of musical inspiration and imagined the film playing along side the music.Consequently, the abstract animated short was developed. From his website, Gagne explains this to us:

"Like Kandinski taught us, every shape and sound has an equal vibration in the soul. When Paul Plimley saw a portion of the film for the first time, he said to me with tears in his eyes, "It's like you read my soul" (Gagne, 2010)

     The music featured in Sensory is strong, bold and yet also quiet and timid at times and the animation plays through it perfectly. Each time the music takes effect, an explosion or lightning bolt lights up the screen with a myriad of moods and feelings and each sequence of music is portrayed through fast moving shapes and angles to enhance the drama. Nothing is overly complicated and it only uses simple shape.

     Moving on from Sensory, but still staying true to Gagne's use of simple shapes, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, was one of Gagne's works in the video game industry. The art style used throught is consistant with the use of shiloettes and non ocerly-complicated figures which only adds to the game's unique art  style. In a way, the aesthetics look almost dream-like or nightmarish like it were being viewed from inside the mind of an unconsious being, perhaps while in a comatose Game review Sinan Kubber reviews the art style for this game and how it can be realted to a comatose with:

" used a simplistic, silhouetted art style to convey some strong visual metaphors about the different stages of being comatose." (Kubber, 2011)

     The use of bright color is also prominant with it use of florescent yellows, blues, reds and oranges mostly in the backdrop in order for the foreground shadows to stand out. Gagne's use of fluid movement and the way he uses it to portray the surreal tells us that he can creatively convey abstract worlds and themes.

     Gagne has taken a forward and confident approach to all forms of media with his simplistic style and unique visual cues and in the worl of animation, Gagne defines his characters through simple line and movement almost like that of a simple comic strip.


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