Cosmos Laundromat

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Cosmos Laundromat
CosmosLaundromatPoster.jpg
Film poster
Directed byMathieu Auvray
Written byEsther Wouda
Produced byTon Roosendaal
Starring
Music bySebastian Krause
Layouts bySarah Laufer
David Revoy
Production
company
Distributed byBlender Foundation
Release date
August 10, 2015
Running time
12 minutes
CountryNetherlands
LanguageEnglish
Budget400,000 (euros)[1]
Cosmos Laundromat – First Cycle – Official Blender Foundation release

Cosmos Laundromat: First Cycle, developed under the code name Project Gooseberry, is an animated absurdist sci-fi fantasy short film directed by Mathieu Auvray, written by Esther Wouda, and produced by Ton Roosendaal. It is the Blender Institute's 5th "open movie" project, and was made utilizing the Blender software. The film focuses around a depressed and suicidal sheep named Franck who's offered "all the lives he ever wanted" by a mysterious salesman named Victor. On August 10, 2015, it was released to YouTube.[2] The film was originally intended to kickstart a feature-length film. A short film sequel was written and designed but never brought to production. In 2020, Roosendaal announced that the one film would be the total of the project.

The film itself, along with the other Blender Foundation "open movies," was released under the Creative Commons Attribution License.[3]

Production[edit]

On January 10, 2010, Ton Roosendaal announced the project.[4][5] By January 2014, thirteen animation studios from all over the world (including the Blender Institute) were set to make the film.[6] The goals of the film, according to Ton Roosendaal, were to raise the bar for the Blender Institute with the idea of making a feature-length animated film using completely free and open-source software, investigate the use of cloud services for open-source projects, and to create a new business model for the Blender Foundation.[7] In March 2014, concept art[8] and project targets[9] for the project were revealed. A crowdfunding campaign also started around the same period.[10] Through the funding raised for production of the film, the Blender Foundation was able to improve on existing and/or add new features to the Blender software.[11] The film was expected to take 18 months to make, with 60–80 people participating full-time.[12]

Plot[edit]

The film starts with a sheep named Franck (voiced by Pierre Bokma) trying to hang himself from a tree branch. The branch that he tried to hang himself from however breaks. The camera zooms out while Franck screams out of frustration to show that he is on a large island. Then, still tied to the broken branch, he walks to the edge of a cliff of the island. He tries to push the branch tied to his neck off, but while attempting to so, a man named Victor (voiced by Reinout Scholten van Aschat) walks up to Franck from behind. He says, "Excuse me," and asks if he "has a moment." Franck replies with, "I'm kind of in the middle of something," of which Victor replies with, "I've come a long way for you Franck," and reveals his name. Victor tries to talk Franck out of suicide and asks for one minute of his time. Eventually Franck decides to give in and lets Victor put a collar around him saying, "This is the best product we have in-store, variable spin-speed, excellent tumble performance in one handy device." A timer goes off and Victor says, "Time flies." Franck is frantically asking what he should do and Victor responds with, "Just stay here." As Victor walks away, he puts a cassette tape in his tape player (which resembles a Sony Walkman) and presses the play button. As music begins to play, the inside of a giant laundry machine appears out of the sky along with a colorful tornado from inside, which Franck runs away from. Other sheep on the island around gather around Victor to watch. Franck eventually gets sucked up into the tornado, and the other sheep watch in a state of awe. Franck wakes up to find out he has been transported to a purple jungle and that he turned into a caterpillar. The camera then zooms out to show that he is in a washing machine inside the titular Cosmos Laundromat. Victor gets out of one of the other washing machines, and as he is about to light up a cigarette, another timer goes off. Victor stops what he was doing and rushes past the camera, thus cutting to a screen displaying, "To be continued."

Cast[edit]

Franck (voiced by Pierre Bokma)
Victor (voiced by Reinout Scholten van Aschat)
The main characters of the film

Reception[edit]

Cosmos Laundromat has received positive reviews from critics and animators alike.

Animators[edit]

At SIGGRAPH 2015, various people from Pixar, Walt Disney Animation Studios, DreamWorks, Industrial Light & Magic and Sony Imageworks praised the film for the storytelling, the character animations and the visuals. However, two main critiques it received were about the beginning scene where Franck tries to hang himself and the use of the word "fuck."[13][14]

Critics[edit]

Brendan Hesse of Lifehacker praised the film for its HDR effects and animation.[15]

Accolades[edit]

Ceremony Award Date of ceremony Result Ref(s)
Animago Award & Conference 2015 Jury's Award October 16, 2015 Won [16]
2016 Webby Awards Online Film & Video Animation May 16, 2016 Nominated [17]
2016 SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival Jury's Choice Award July 24–28, 2016 Won [18]
Animayo 2017 Gran Premio del Jurado (Grand Jury Prize)
Mejor cortometraje 3D (Best 3D short film)
May 16, 2017 Won [19]

Release[edit]

On August 10, 2015, the film was uploaded to the official Blender YouTube channel. On September 9, 2015, the film was made available on DVD and USB data cards; and on October 19, 2015, it was made available on Blu-ray. They all include various featurettes, the production files, project's branch binary, and version 2.76 of the Blender software.[20] On September 24, 2015, the film premiered at the Netherlands Film Festival,[21] and in October 2015, it was shown at the Animago Awards and Conference, where it won the Jury's Award.[16]

Sequel[edit]

On August 20, 2015, Ton Roosendaal posted that the second part (which is supposed to take place in the "purple jungle" Franck found himself in) was written, designed, and most of the storyboard was ready. On April 12, 2018, Roosendaal said that they would keep the idea of a sequel open, but said that if they got the necessary amount of funding for a feature film, they would make something different, and just keep Cosmos Laundromat as a "short film" side project.[13]

Roosendaal announced Cosmos Laundromat ep. 2 on October 24, 2019, at the annual Blender Conference, noting that the story was still being fleshed out and that work would begin by the end of the year.[22] However, on May 22nd, 2020, Roosendaal announced that they were once again dropping the project.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wolfe, Jennifer (January 5, 2017). "Delve into the Making of Blender Short, 'Cosmos Laundromat'". Animation World Network. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
  2. ^ Cosmos Laundromat – First Cycle. Official Blender Foundation release. YouTube. 10 August 2015.
  3. ^ "Project Gooseberry: Full-length CC BY animated film". Creative Commons. 14 April 2014.
  4. ^ Veldhuizen, Bart (January 10, 2011). "Project Gooseberry announced". BlenderNation. Retrieved March 30, 2019.
  5. ^ "Blender Foundation – Community Meeting" (PDF). 2013. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  6. ^ Roosendaal, Ton (January 28, 2014). "Gooseberry Studio Line-Up". gooseberry.blender.org. Retrieved March 30, 2019.
  7. ^ Roosendaal, Ton (March 28, 2014). "Project Gooseberry, why it matters". blender.org. Retrieved March 30, 2019.
  8. ^ "Moodboard » Cosmos Laundromat – The Gooseberry Open Movie Project". blender.org. Archived from the original on 2018-12-31. Retrieved 2014-06-03.
  9. ^ "Software Goals » Cosmos Laundromat – The Gooseberry Open Movie Project". blender.org. Archived from the original on 2018-12-31. Retrieved 2014-06-03.
  10. ^ "Sponsors » Cosmos Laundromat – The Gooseberry Open Movie Project". blender.org. Archived from the original on 2018-12-31. Retrieved 2014-06-03.
  11. ^ van Gumster, Jason (September 1, 2015). "How open film project Cosmos Laundromat made Blender better". OpenSource.com. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  12. ^ "Gooseberry Cloudfunding Campaign". Archived from the original on 2014-05-27. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
  13. ^ a b Roosendaal, Ton (20 August 2015). "Cosmos Laundromat – 2nd Cycle And Beyond". gooseberry.blender.org. Retrieved March 30, 2019.
  14. ^ Roosendaal, Ton (19 August 2015). "Team On Tour: SIGGRAPH, Dreamworks, Google, Pixar". gooseberry.blender.org. Retrieved March 30, 2019.
  15. ^ Hesse, Brendan (September 28, 2018). "How to Find HDR Content on YouTube". Lifehacker. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  16. ^ a b Siddi, Francesco (16 October 2015). "Animago Award For Cosmos Laundromat!". gooseberry.blender.org. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  17. ^ "2016 Webby Award Winners Online Film & Video / General Film / Animation". WebbyAwards.com.
  18. ^ "SIGGRAPH 2016 SIGGRAPH 2016 ANNOUNCES AWARD WINNERS AND HIGHLIGHTS OF 43RD ANNUAL COMPUTER ANIMATION FESTIVAL". s2016.siggraph.org. Archived from the original on August 27, 2016. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
  19. ^ Roosendaal, Ton (16 May 2017). "ANIMAYO: Grand Jury Prize And Best 3D!". gooseberry.blender.org. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  20. ^ "Cosmos Laundromat product page". Blender Store. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  21. ^ Roosendaal, Ton (25 September 2015). "Netherlands Film Festival Premiere". gooseberry.blender.org. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  22. ^ Ton Roosendaal (October 24, 2019). 2019 Blender Conference Keynote. Event occurs at 24:40. Retrieved October 24, 2019.
  23. ^ "Production update 2020". Cosmos Laundromat. 2020-05-22. Retrieved 2020-09-03.

External links[edit]