Chopin soundtracks played by super-star Chinese pianist Lang Lang with some of the most advanced puppet-animation footage every achieved, and the longest continuous puppet-animation shot in history, the Magic Piano & The Chopin Shorts are made available on iTunes
On the set of Martin Clapp's "Magic Piano", photo: Kino Swiat
Set to Chopin's Etudes and made with different animation techniques - from stop motion to the world’s first and so far only 3-D painting-animation film, The Magic Piano - a short feature film and The Chopin Shorts - a collection of short animation, are put together on the occasion of composer Frederic Chopin's 200th anniversary. Produced by Poland’s BreakThru Productions (best known for the animation Peter and the Wolf), and Chinese studio Bona Entertainment, they were also conceived to be screened in concert halls accompanied by live solo piano music.
A number of sold-out shows already took place in London’s South Bank Centre and New York City’s Lincoln Centre. The next shows will be organised by Aldeburgh Music Festival, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Hall and the Hong Kong Arts Festival, with possible tours in Australia and India.
Magic Piano by Martin Clapp, 30’, is a 3-D puppet animation adventure set in Warsaw where two children, Anna and her cousin Chip Chip, discover an old piano in a pile of junk. The instrument turns out to be magical and becomes a Jules Verne-styled flying machine. The children use the Flying Machine to fly across Europe to find Anna’s father in London. But first they have to learn how to fly the magical machine….
On their way they have to navigate an obstacle course of hot air-balloons, swoop into Paris on a mission of the flying machine, weather a fierce storm in the English Channel, and with sunset fast approaching find dad in the big darkening city of London. Before they reach him they are torn from the flying machine by a magic storm, and find themselves back in the pile of junk in Warsaw. Nevertheless, their journey ends well when the father returns to Warsaw to his daughter.
A real visual and audio treat, the film features Etudes 1, 3, 7,9, from Chopin’s Opus 10, and Etudes 1,5,6,11,12 from Chopin’s Opus 25, all performed with virtuosity by maestro Lang Lang. The film is made by the producer of the Oscar-winning animation Peter and the Wolf, and is made in the same puppet-animation technique. The production team on the film, with director Martin Clapp and co - direcor and set designer Marek Skrobecki at the head, brought together over 500 specialists from around the world - artists, special-effects experts, set designers, puppet-makers and costume designers. The film was filmed locally in Łódź, Poland, made on 20 sets representing Warsaw, Paris and London.
Magic Piano was Oscar-shortlisted in 2012 and received the Srebrna Kreska Award at OFAFA animation festival in Kraków, as well as Best Film at 3D Stereo MEDIA 2012 in Liege, Belgium.
For more information see: Magic Piano, Papa's Boy, Little Postman, Scarecrow, Night Island, Paper Piano
Editor: MJ, 22.07.2013
Sources: press release, culture.pl
Thumbnail credit: Still from Martin Clapp's "Magic Piano", photo: Kino Swiat