The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello

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The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello
The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello poster.jpg
Promotional Poster
Directed by Anthony Lucas
Produced by Anthony Lucas,
Julia Lucas
Written by Mark Shirrefs
Starring Joel Edgerton
Helmut Bakaitis
Tommy Dysart
Jude Beaumont
Narrated by Joel Edgerton
Music by Bruce Rowland
Edited by David Tait
Production
  company
3d Films Pty Ltd.
Australian Film Commission,
Film Victoria,
SBS Independent
Distributed by Monster Distributes
Release date(s) 20 January 2005 (2005-01-20)
Running time 26 minutes
Country Australia
Language English
Budget AUD 600,000

The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello is a 2005 Australian short film. The first episode is labeled Jasper Morello and the Lost Airship.

Story[edit]

The First Voyage - Jasper Morello and the Lost Airship

The film opens in the city of Gothia, a smoky industrial metropolis where steam-powered dirigibles are the primary mode of transportation, and where a terrible flesh-eating plague is decimating the population. The protagonist, royal navigator Jasper Morello (Joel Edgerton), is deployed by the government to distribute mobile weather beacons along the route of his next voyage. He has difficulty concentrating on the task, however, as he is still stricken with guilt over the recent death of one of his crewmembers which was caused by a mistake in his calculations, and fears for the safety of his wife who remains at home amidst the plague. The dirigible, the Resolution, and its crew is joined by another passenger, the eccentric Dr. Belgon (Helmut Bakaitis), a "controversial biologist" searching for a cure for the plague because the airmen rarely contract it.

Soon after taking off, the Resolution is caught up in a storm and wrecked in a collision with an abandoned vessel. The crew then prepares to continue on their way in the new ship. As Jasper is powering up the navigational equipment, he learns through a transmission that his wife Amelia, whom he left at home, has contracted the plague, and in a panic, tries to turn the ship around. The others are forced to wrestle him into submission, and he is sedated by Dr. Belgon.

As the voyage continues, a crewmember is infected by the plague. The captain decides to turn around and head home, but they encounter a seemingly deserted levitating island. While exploring the island, Jasper is attacked by a large bug-like creature, whom they manage to kill, despite Dr. Belgon's protests, who wanted to capture the specimen alive. Upon eating the remains of the monster, the crew notices that the boiled blood of the creature cures their sick crewmember. Belgon insists on bringing back some cocoons of the creature to Gothia, in order to establish a breeding colony to cure the citizens.

The cocoons are brought aboard the ship. After Jasper discovers that one of them has hatched, Dr. Belgon reveals to him that he discovered that the creature lives on human blood, and that the other creatures have died from starvation. Belgon explains that he has been feeding the remaining creature with his own blood, as it is the last chance they have. Jasper insists to tell the Captain, but Belgon convinces him that if the crew gets to know, they'll kill the creature and with it, the cure for Jasper's wife. The next day, a crewmember goes missing. The crew concludes that he fell overboard and mourn him. As another member goes missing, Jasper becomes suspicious and looks into the creature's room, where he finds the monster devouring the missing man. He is then ambushed and sedated by Dr. Belgon.

He wakes up chained to the steering wheel of the ship. Belgon, obsessed with his quest, tells him that he sedated the rest of the crew and plans to feed them to the creature, because he sees this as the only way to retain it. He keeps Jasper alive to deliver the ship home. Jasper, without a choice, guides the ship towards home. However, as the days continue and home is almost near, Jasper unexpectedly rams the ship into a nearby iceberg. Belgon falls overboard, but grabs the ledge, and begs Jasper to save him. Jasper, however, is still chained to the deck and unable to reach him. Dr. Belgon is crushed when the side of the ship collides with the iceberg.

The film ends with Jasper, left alone, attaching a blood-sucking machine to his arm to feed the last creature. Knowing that he may not survive, prior to reaching home, Jasper reassures his wife that he will be, with "The great company of souls, riding the borealis to eternity" (a reference to his previous observation, of such a sight). "Perhaps," he muses, "they will require a navigator".

Characters[edit]

  • Captain Otto H. Griswald - Aeronaut Captain, 7th Class.

A known enthusiast for keel hauling within the service until the ban of said disciplines by the Authority board in 1271. An aggravatated case of Ruther’s Venereal disease left an already disagreeable disposition in a sorry state. His success though in finding difficult routes through the Goltesh Canyons and the Laurenthial Abyss has made Griswald a valued captain of the service.[1]

  • Mr. Jasper Morello - Navigator, 3rd Royal Cartographers, Difference Engine Operator 2nd Class

Morello’s career was in some doubt after the collision at Weather Station 2C41 in the Lawrencian quarter, and the subsequent loss of a crew member. Re-instated to the Resolution, after pressure was applied by his wife, Mrs Amelia Morello [surviving daughter of Rear Admiral Balthazar Fortinbras of the Royal Navy] and her society connections. Protest by Captain Griswald has been duly noted.[1]

  • Engineer Kemp - First Engineer of the Ironclad RES

Found not guilty of rape and debauchery charges.[1]

  • Linesman Kovacs

A Lawrencian émigré to Gothia in the fall of 1272, Kovacs first worked in the Gothian docks where his brute strength and abilities distinguished him. Lower Lawrencia Flatturgle Hurling Champion 1259 & 1261.[1]

  • Mr. Emile LeBrun - The ship’s cook.

Graduated Cartographers Culinary Arts Program, 15th class. Competent.[1]

  • Dr Claude Belgon - Royal Academy Member, Electrical Aerologist 12th Class, Doctorate of Cloud Biology. KP, RTS, q-23P.g.k.o.

A renowned biologist from the Academy. Only member of the Resolution crew member not of the service. Highly controversial in relation to his views on the Sickness and his many Altitude experiments on animals and humans. His pedestrian work on the study of Ants have been well documented in the Royal Academy Journal, Insectia Scrinium. Not born to wealth as some of his colleagues at the Academy, Belgon rose through the ranks of Academia quickly with the accidental poisoning of the Magister of Insectia Studies at the Academy. Declared bankrupt January 1275.[1]

  • Amelia Morello - Jasper's wife.

A sweet and apparently well-off woman, Amelia cares for those affected by the Plague until she too becomes afflicted.

Animation style[edit]

The short films are set in a world styled after mid-Victorian England with Steampunk style, iron dirigibles and steam powered computers, where giant mechanical airships are the main mode of transport. The characters are animated in the style of Wayang (Indonesian shadow puppets) best described as silhouettes. The visual style of the characters is similar to that used by the 1926 film The Adventures of Prince Achmed (one of the oldest-surviving animated feature films).

The animation production style was essentially 'anymation', using anything that served the purpose. Scenes featuring characters were composed out of a variety of materials, including card cut-outs which were then scanned and manipulated in Adobe Photoshop, and also various found objects. The backgrounds are actually 2D, consisting of many layers to simulate 3D. These background layers were later selectively blurred in the compositing application, to simulate distant views. Certain sequences (notably those featuring airships) are entirely computer-rendered 3D scenes using an assemblage of parts from a variety of commercial 3D models of vehicles and ships in the Despona 3DS Max series, textured and animated using 3DS Max. The final product consists of all of these elements brought together using the compositing program Combustion (software). Combustion added the particle effects for smoke and similar, while cloud layers in certain scenes were rendered using Maya.

The series[edit]

Jasper Morello was developed and produced in association with the Australian Film Commission; developed and produced with the assistance of Film Victoria and produced in association with SBS Independent.

  • The First Voyage - Jasper Morello and the Lost Airship
  • The Second Voyage - Jasper Morello and the Return of Claude Belgon
  • The Third Voyage - Jasper Morello and the Ghosts of Alto Mea
  • The Fourth Voyage - Jasper Morello and the Ebenezer of Gothia, in a feature presentation.

Awards[edit]

Nominations[edit]

Wins[edit]

  • Australian Film Institute Awards, best short animation, outstanding achievement in craft in a non-feature, Production Design,
  • 2005 IF Awards. Winner, Digital Pictures IF Award for Best Animation
  • Flickerfest 14th International Short Film Festival 2005Yoram Gross Best Animation Award Audioloc Sound Design Award for Best Achievement in Sound
  • The 29th Annecy International Animated Film Festival, France 2005 - Le Cristal D’Annecy - Grand Prix Court Metrage
  • Worldwide Short Film Festival, Toronto, Canada 2005 - The C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures Award for Best Animated Short Film
  • Dendy Awards for Australian Short Film, Sydney 2005 - The 2005 Yoram Gross Best Animation Award
  • Sicaf Film Festival, KOREA 2005 - Special Jury Prize
  • Dragon Con –Sci Fi USA, 2005 - First Place Animated Fantasy and Science Fiction: Best of Fest award, Best Animated Short.
  • Palm Springs International Short Film Festival, USA, 2005 - Runner up Jury Award
  • Valladolid International Film Festival, 2005 - 50th Anniversary Prize
  • ATOM Award, Melbourne 2005 - Best Short Animation

Festival Selections[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Link text, additional text.

1. http://www.JasperMorello.com

External links[edit]