Miguel Ortega

Ningyo Main

If indie CGI is catching on, Tran Ma and Miguel Ortega are at the forefront of it. The pair have made creatures for The Mist, 300 and Transformers while working for some of the best visual effects companies on the planet, but they recently broke out on their own with a wondrous short film spectacle called The Green Ruby Pumpkin. It is a labor of love that they shot in their living room, and with imaginatively intricate beasts brought to life with the highest quality graphics work it’s a delightful Halloween treat that feels more than a few years ahead of its time. Ma and Ortega are part of a movement that is changing the way we think of homemade CGI, expanding its boundaries and proving that it isn’t just the big boys who can drop jaws. Now they’ve converted their entire living space into a studio and need your help to bring an old school adventure film with cutting edge design to life. They need your help to hunt down a mythical monster.

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The Best Short Films

Why Watch? As the year starts drawing to a close, it’s easy to start thinking about what the best experiences have been. When remembering the best short films seen during 2012, The Green Ruby Pumpkin instantly jumps to the top of the list. It’s an amazing, magical movie with a strange beating heart for ghouls and an imagination for design that’s difficult to rival. With a nursery rhyme rhythm, it tells the story of a wondrous woman who gives out the best candy on Halloween from her green glowing gourd. Since the trick ‘r’ treaters have to impress, the costumes here are as inventive as their CGI execution is top notch. Unfortunately for our lovely host, she may have dismissed the wrong group of candy-seekers from her front porch… Its style is a bit like Pushing Daisies in its playfulness; there’s more glee here than ghastly. It also captures a kind of mythic nature about Halloween that’s usually reserved for Christmas, telling the story of how we celebrate as opposed to focusing on fear. Ultimately though, the plot (sing-sung through wonderful narration and a tinkling of a score) serves as a parade of characters, and that’s where the effects team of Tran Ma and Miguel Ortega (two VFX artists formerly at Digital Domain) excel. That being said, this movie is the total package. It’s the cinematic equivalent of coming home with a pillow case full of full-size candy bars on Halloween night, and you can even watch how they made it. Happy Halloween, […]

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