Illustrator: Ben Christie


CHOSEN FOR:  Illustration

Illustrator:  Ben Christie

DESCRIPTION:  An “Illustrator” is a person who draws or creates the raw images or visual assets that are used in a film/animation.

Hi everyone and thanks for joining us here at Exposing the Crew: A Place for Chicago-made Short Films!

This weeks ETC HIGHLIGHT focuses on the illustration of the short film, Moon Die. Inspired by Genndy Tartakovsky’s animated series, Samurai Jack, this weeks highlighted crew member, Ben Christie, invites us into his world of “weird realistic stars and light mixed with 2D hand drawn planets and people” (Christie)

“I just had always loved the art of Samurai Jack and used it as inspiration for the texture and lines in Moon Die.”

-Ben Christie

The world of video animation is interesting, in that, most people have no idea the massive amount of time, energy, and creative skill that goes into it. Imagine you are starting with a blank page, or a blank screen, and someone asks you create a two minute video of a man floating through outer space.

First, you literally have to create that universe by drawing it. You have to draw the black sky, the planets, the stars, the asteroids, the man, and anything else you want to be part of this “universe”. This is the job of the Illustrator.

Secondly you have to “animate” those images. You have to bring them to life by making them move! That’s the job of the Animator. (Our many much talented crew member this week shared with us that he actually executed both the illustration and the animation on this project.)

What is so visually appealing about the illustration in this film? What caught my eye were the textures that were used. You see very few solid, flat colored objects. Everything is “speckled” with a texture that gives it a more grungy, and less minimalist feel. You’ll also notice that most objects have thick “border” lines. It draws your attention because objects in our normal world don’t have thick border lines.

Thank you, Ben Christie, for submitting such a uniquely illustrated short film. Make sure to learn more about Ben at

Thank you Midwest Film Festival for sending this film our way. Check out future festivals submissions and dates for the Midwest Film Festival!

Thank you for watching this week’s “EXPOSED” short film, and reading our blog Exposing the Crew: A Place for Chicago-made Short Films!

See You Next Tuesday,

Justin Jackola (Director at JJack Productions)

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