The low-poly look is not something you see very often in a finalized movie, in fact we most often see it in the development stages of a 3D computer animation. However, when used to effect, it can be a distinctive look and a way of making an animation stand out from the usual Pixar look that now dominates the genre. Pivot, is definitely a stand out short, however, it is not only the highly stylized aesthetics of the film that make it stand out, but also the pace, energy and tension of the piece. From the Saul Bass styled titles, to the Tron like chase sequences, every frame of Pivot’s entirety is expertly constructed and precisely measured, creating a stunningly original animated short.
The two main characters in Pivot are meticulously designed and it’s easy to see that a lot of thought has gone into how to give them an eye-catching, individual look.
The concept for the styling of the main character was inspired by the look of our shadow in the Californian sun.
The long, stretched, oversized limbs of the main character are most effective when he is in full flow, bounding through alleys or bouncing across rooftops, his distinctive orange trousers (inspired by old Russian cosmonaut suits) a liquid blur behind him. In dramatic contrast the ‘villain’ of the piece, is a beast of a figure, his shadow swallowing light as he charges after Pivot’s ‘hero’, his heavy laden feet shattering pavement beneath his trunk-like legs, with every giant step.
In its essence, Pivot is a cat and mouse story—hunter versus prey—but it’s a short made with such panache and such vigour, it must be one of the best of its type. The night-time setting, low-key lighting and shadow play within the film, means we are treated to a mood and atmosphere similar to film noir, whilst at the same time hit with the high tension and frantic pace of a horror movie. To check out how the creators of Pivot created the vibe of the film, be sure to check out their mood boards.
It’s so refreshing to see an animation try something different in terms of style, form and content and I honestly can’t remember the last time an animated piece made me feel this tense and this on-edge. Pivot is a film I’m still not bored of watching, despite being in double figures in terms of viewings and surely that is the sign of a truly great short.