Ever since watching Jerry Maguire, whenever I ask someone to to show me something singular, I bellow it, Cuba Gooding Jr.-style. This may cause a bit of a scene when I order my morning coffee at Starbucks (“SHOW ME THE CAPPUCCINO!”), nonetheless, I’ve enjoyed commanding my iPhone to Show Me The Animation every time that I want to view one of the app’s excellent short films.
The app seems to be laid out in the form of a digital art exhibition, with tabs for Interviews, Films, About and a couple of interactive areas; one can almost imagine a glass of chilled Chardonnay in hand as punters browse around the foyer (OK, I didn’t imagine the Chardonnay, it’s right next to me as I type. And it’s before midday. Judge away.).
The films are all of a very high quality, showcasing genuine talent from all corners of the world. Some are funny, some are scary and a few are actually quite moving; you certainly don’t have to be a arthouse film buff to appreciate them (Con Air still ranks in my top 10, absolutely unashamedly) and by reading the detailed synopsis of each film, you can decide which one is going to suit your tastes. Users can either stream the films or download them to their device for repeated viewing.
One element of the app that really impressed me is its remarkably progressive approach to funding creativity; each film is free to watch and some of them are ad-supported, which is fairly standard fare for online viewing now (you will pay with your TIME, boy!). However, other films have ‘Fuel’ and ‘Social’ tabs that allow you to ‘fuel’ the directors’ creativity by donating selected small fees (£0.69, £2.49, £4.99) or share the film on your social networks and even connect with the director on their social media channels. This prescient and innovative approach is indicative of the app’s forward-thinking attitude to funding and growth and should be seen as an example of not only good business but good ethics – five years ago it would be called ‘doing a Radiohead’, but now it just seems like a sensible way to get art to reach the eyes and ears of the masses.
The app has also partnered with Encounters Short Film Festival and the AniJam Challenge is a 48-hour creative mission that offers users the chance to showcase their talent by creating a 15-90 second film based on a particular theme in the two-day window. The winning film from 2012’s ‘Jam’ theme is hilarious and just a little bit dark.
There’s also a monthly competition in which users are invited to create a 10-second film based on a different theme – July’s recent ‘Superstition’ saw lots of black cats meeting sticky ends.
If you’re in the slightest bit interested in animation then this is an essential app for your home screen; even if you just feel like passing time without playing a game, I would recommend checking out this free app.