Born in the Czech Republic, animator, and filmmaker Jakub Pistecky is currently animating on the last installment of the Star Wars series at Industrial Light and Magic. With credits that include Pirates of the Caribbean, Peter Pan, Hulk, Dreamcatcher, Star Wars II, and I and Maly Milos, Jacub is the winner of awards including "The Golden Nica" (Prix Ars Electronica) and the “Best Canadian Film” (SAFO). This 28-year-old talent was listed in top rankings in the “most watched animation short section” of Yahoo magazine. A graduate of Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design, with additional studies in the Czech Republic, Jacub’s first position was an animator with Electronic Arts Canada. While there he worked on numerous projects including NBA live.
Jakub Pistecky – Animator, Industrial Light and Magic (USA)(via)
"Maly Milos" (1999)
"Maly Milos" by Jakub pistecky is a wonderfully stylish and ironic piece with a delightful story, beautifully told. Remarkable was the surfacing of "traditional" Eastern European animation style in the computer medium.
"Maly Milos" (means “Little Milosh”) is a poetically narrated fable about a meek man named Milosh, his cruel wife Babka and his friendly goat. Milosh is a happy but timid man, who befriends a goat who eventually saves him from the Babka’s evil ways.
"Maly Milos" is the graduate work of Jakub Pistecky, produced at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Vancouver, BC Canada. It is a computer-animated story told in old style tradition with all the elements of a classic. Pistecky’s craft is well learned as he has command of the computer graphics as well as a gift for storytelling. The viewer is given plenty of opportunity to explore each character and to follow the tale that is told in poetic narrative. From the very beginning of this tale the quality is obvious. The fine detail, the sharpness of colour lends to a cel animation look. The refreshing soft touch in the use of light and contour adds to the depth and active movement throughout the work short. The musical score (violin, accordion, and drums) captures the very essence of the film.
"Maly Milos" was completed in June 1999, and took approximately eight and a half months to create. The short is reminiscent of the Czech stories that had impacted Pistecky in his youth. The short strives to emulate the rich puppet animation that his homeland is renowned for. The tale is a role reversal film that takes a look at cruelty and fear that can dwell within a relationship. The techniques that have been used in this short are a combination of traditional and computer techniques.
One of the intents behind the piece was to lose the cold-natured feel that is stereotypical of computer generated work. Computer animation caters to straight lines, perfect arcs and smooth motion extremely well, however this renders a very unnatural result, being both very rigid and alien in its portrayal of life. In "Maly Milos" all such shapes and motion paths were done away with as much as possible and irregularities and asymmetry were emphasized. The textures were all custom made using traditional materials such as acrylics and charcoal. The computer was then used to tweak and orchestrate elements such as color and texture. The set and characters were modeled and animated using 3D-Studio Max V2.0 from Discreet Logic.
Pistecky’s casting choices proved to be perfect for the film. Jitka Svestkova performed the voice of Babka. Svestkova is a quiet and timid lady, who had to be deprived of nicotine to encourage and reveal a more frustrated and angst-filled delivery. Her rich and textured voice underscored by her strong Czech accent was quite fitting and helped shape the personality of Babka. The voice of the narrator turned out to be a little more difficult to find. Pistecky finally found his narrator, talented local actor Alex Williams, in the dark hallways of Emily Carr after several unsuccessful casting sessions. Pistecky discovered his violinist at a local Market Place: David Rabinovich, a short, pronounced Russian man, who was playing his violin to an overwhelmed crowd. His love and knowledge of the violin was evident. Pistecky knew he would be perfect for his film.
The film’s name "Maly Milos" uses the Czech spelling as opposed to the English for a few reasons: the use of alliteration would foreshadow the poetic narrative, while the letters were visually more interesting and playful, and the Czech title reflected Pistecky’s inspiration for the film.
"Maly Milos" has been screened at over a dozen international festivals and has received several awards. Some of these accolades include; Best Canadian Film Award at The Student Animation Festival (Ottawa), Best BC Short Film at The Victoria Independent Film and Video Festival (Victoria, BC), First Runner Up for the Best Computer Animation Award at The Vancouver Effects and Animation Festival (Vancouver, BC), to name just a few. Critically acclaimed website Atomfilms.com picked up exclusive rights for worldwide Internet distribution (via)