I gotta be honest, the real reason I was first attracted to Mesai’s “Alarm,” was for its beautifully soft lighting and rendering. On second pass, I noticed some of subtle character animation. But the story, I felt, dragged.
After talking it over with fellow Motionographer Greg Herman, though, I realized that was exactly the point. We’re pulled into this world where everything is punctuated by alarms, where every moment of stillness is just a preamble to the spine-wrenching squeal of a bell. Thus, the near real-time toaster sequence feels excruciatingly slow, the long ride in the elevator feels like a devilish trick.
Watching it a third time with this in mind, I found myself grinning wildly, enjoying the entire experience immensely.
You can download a 720p version of the film from Mesai, the animation partnership of Moohyun Jang and Jungoo Choo that created “Alarm.” You’ll also find some pre-production stills and a bevvy of test renders in the Alarm Introduction area of the site.