This Kavalier And Clay Animation Test Is Exciting And Unexpected

I'd love to see a big-screen version of Michael Chabon's extraordinary novel, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, but I don't think Stephen Daldry would be my number one choice of director. Either way, his long and determined efforts to bring the film to the screen (so far, but also probably finally) failed to yield a finished movie.

Development was, for a time, at full tilt, and it was during that process that the following test video was created. According to his official site (via Open Culture), animator Jamie Caliri was going above and beyond in his work here:

They asked me to explore animation concepts. I thought it would be much more fun to actually shoot a section of the script to intertwine live action and animation. It was a fun surprise for the producers.

There's a lot of imagination in this clip – and skill, and ability – but maybe not enough focus or discipline. That's okay, of course, for a "grab 'em by the collars" demo like this, but if I watched a narrative film that pulled some of these stunts I'd be dismayed at the gimmickery…


…which isn't to make any assumption about how closely Daldry might have hewn to this paradigm.