Feb 27, 2010

Superman's original seventeen

In 1941, the Fleischer Brothers decided to adapt the popular comic book icon known as Superman into an animated television series featured in technicolor. This short lived cartoon series, originally released by Paramount Picture, would prove to be the last one ever spearheaded under the supervision of Fleischer studios. At which point, after the airing of only eight of the original episodes, produced from 1941 through 1942, the show was eventually taken over by Famous studio, a successor company to Fleischers studios, who produced the remaining nine espidoes from 1942 to 1943. Ultimately, Max Fleischer along with his brother Dave were stripped of their studio, as well as virtually all power and creative control in regards to every cartoon they were responsible for creating. However, the Fleisher's original idea for a animated Superman program can still be credited as inspiration for a handful of other man of steel adaptations to appear on the small screen in the years to follow.

Feb 25, 2010

Don't forget Ub Iwerks!

Walt Disney is being discussed a lot on this blog, but Ub Iwerks is just as important! His contributions to animation are enormous and highly influential. Iwerks changed animation forever not just by being Disney's main animator and co-creator of Mickey Mouse, but also by directing his own shorts and later developing monumental special visual effects for Disney once again.

In 1930, Iwerks opened "The Iwerks Studio" after feeling overworked and under appreciated by Walt Disney. Pat Powers, who had originally sold Disney their first Cinephone system, recognized that Iwerks was a main contributor to Disney's success and made a deal that would let him produce his own animated shorts. With a deal from MGM, Iwerks made shorts featuring the characters "Flip the Frog" and "Willie Whopper," although these shorts were never nearly successful enough to compete with either Disney or Fleischer Studios. In "Fiddlesticks," made in 1930, it is clear that he is making reference to his time at Disney with a character that closely resembles Mickey (his co-creation!):

From 1933 through 1936, Iwerks worked on independently distributed shorts in Cinecolor, called ComiColor Cartoons. Here is the really wonderful "Balloon Land" from 1935:

Finally, when he returned to work for Walt Disney Studios after little success on his own, he was put in charge of developing special visual effects, in which he is credited as developing the process which combines live action and animation, used the feature "Song of the South" from 1946:

Iwerks also not only contributed to the development of many of the Disneyland attractions, but also did Academy Award nominated special effects for Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds." Ub Iwerks is really great and has always deserved more credit than he's received.

--Phylicia F.

Feb 24, 2010

Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse

I only have 2 real heroes: these guys right here.

Watching the early Mickey Mouse cartoons made me realize that the majority of early characters were missing something: A partner. Felix, Betty Boop, and Popeye - to name a few - were all originally featured on their own.

I'm not sure when the first true "duo" emerged, but Tom and Jerry may have been the earliest to become superstars. Their first cartoon nearly won an Academy Award in 1941, setting the tone for duos like Heckel and Jeckel (1946), the Road Runner and Wile e. Coyote (1947), and eventually the amazingly derivative Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse (1960)

posted by s.st.f.d.

Shooting Station- Amanda Bonaiuto

Hey ya'll,

I spent the entire weekend building a shooting station so I thought I would share. I had planned on making one originally but wasn't sure how to go about it. I was inspired by Lorelei's blog post about DIY shooting stations and decided to just try making one that suited my needs. I'm really excited about it and I think it was worth every second of work and time I put into it. It was also really inexpensive and now I can animate freely all day and night.
I tried to make it as durable as possible, using cherry plywood for the base, then stabilizing that with a pine frame, which I got for free because it was being used as scrap in my friends garage. The bars are just black steel pipes from home depot. I constructed them so that the bottom set was slightly larger than the top set, giving them the ability to fit into one another, which then allows them to be adjustable. I marked six levels with a hack saw on each vertical pole, allowing six inches of adjustability. In order to make sure the pipes stay in place,I had to make my own thread in the pipe by first drilling a hole into the nipple and then utilizing a tap to thread the hole to allow myself to add thumbscrews for the adjustable feature. The camera mount is also adjustable from side to side. I mounted it with U-bolts, so I can simply loosen them and shift it towards either side. The hardest part was probably making sure everything was level and in the right place. I finished by applying three coats of polyurethane to the cherry base to protect it. It's mighty
durable and I'm going to be able to use it for a very long time.

Here are some more photos--
List of Materials--
-two 1-1/4" x 8" nipples
-two 1-1/4" flanges
-two 1"x30" black steel pipes
-one 1"x24" black steel pipe
-two 1" 90 degree elbows
-eight 1-1/2" bolts (1/4x20)
-eight nuts
-eight 1/4" washers/lock washers
-two 1" u bolts
-one 1/4x20 thumbscrew for camera
-scrap piece of plywood
-scrap pine cut for frame
-scrap piece of 3/4" plywood for camera mouth
-scrap leather and chair pad material(to pad camera mount)

Tools Used--
-drill press
-pipe wrench
-metal blade hacksaw
-leather punch
-orbital sander
-u knife
-table saw


Mary Blair

Mary Blair is rad.

I found this a helpful start (an overview of The Art and Flair of Mary Blair:
An Appreciation by John Canemaker) "For more than a dozen years, an
unassuming, quiet-spoken woman dominated Disney design. The
stylishness and vibrant color of Disney films in the early 1940s through
mid-1950s came primarily from artist Mary Blair. In her prime, she was an
amazingly prolific American artist who enlivened and influenced the
not-so-small worlds of film, print, theme parks, architectural decor, and
advertising. At its core, her art represented joyful creativity and
communicated pure pleasure to the viewer. Her exuberant fantasies
brimmed with beauty, charm, and wit, melding a child's fresh eye with
adult experience. Blair's personal flair comprised the imagery that
flowed effortlessly and continually for more than a half a century from
her brush. Emulated by many, she remains inimitable: a dazzling
sorceress of design and color."

In my research, I came across a blogger who suggested that Blair was clearly influenced by Lotte Reineger's aesthetic.

Lotte Reinger, still from Prince Achmed

Mary Blair, concept for Alice in Wonderland

And I was delighted to come across this advert for Meadow Gold ice
cream; I distinctly remember a reference to this in the beginning of 101

I also found this tile mural by Mary Blair interesting, revealing another aspect of her artistry.

post by elizabeth canazon

Why did everyone hate Walt so much?

One of the biggest topics hen talking about Disney is the fact that everyone seemed to want to screw over Walt Disney. Charles Mintz tries to take Disney down before he was even successful, Pat Powers decides he hates Disney and breaches a contract with him to avoid paying him, and steals his main animator, Ub Iwerks, who was the only one really animation the popular movies at the time. Disney's own brother re-hires Ub Iwerks behind Walt's back. It all seems unfair until after WW2, when alt decides he is all about America and starts turning his on staff in as communists during the Red Scare. Everyone should have seen this coming with the instructional shorts for the military during WW2, but maybe Walt was just a jerk and Pat Powers and Charles Mintz were the good guys.




Disney in front of the HCUA

I was struck by the fact that Walt Disney testified and named people in front on the House Commitee on Un-American Activities , during the McCarthy era. I found a transcript of the hearing online. (It is definitely worth reading, just to see how many times Disney can refer to the artists working at his studio as "my boys".)
The following bit is Disney's response to whether he has allowed any propaganda in his movies besides the ones produced during WWII that were anti-Hitler and antifascist:
 "We watch so that nothing gets into the films that would
be harmful in any way to any group or any country. We have large
audiences of children and different groups, and we try to keep them as
free from anything that would offend anybody as possible. We work hard
to see that nothing of that sort creeps in."
Ahahahah! Try harder...
Any racist imagery comes to mind? (The jungle book?) In later movies: Native Americans (Pocahontas)? Chinese people and traditions (Mulan)? Women, while we are at it? The gay community? Etc.
While I understand that all the Disney movies (as all art) are products of their times, I found Disney's claim to be rather ironic.

Posted by Eszter

Disney vs. Hitler - Amanda Bonaiuto

Disney's use of propaganda in animations was an effective way to provide insight to the historical context of the 40's. It also offers a general perspective of an American animation during Hitlers reign. Animation was the perfect form of "advertisement" at the time because it was a new form of entertainment popular among the masses. Using popular media and recognizable characters means a big message was easily spread through a large amount of people quickly.

Here's Daffy's take on Hitler,
Here Daffy is shown as a follower of Hitler, heiling Hitler every time a missile goes through the production line. The line begins moving so fast that Daffy stumbles over his own words and essentially goes crazy. After an array of fireworks and abstract forms fly across the screen, Daffy jumps out of bed, out of a nightmare and prepares to heil Hitler once again until he sees his American flag curtains. He is then thankful to be an American citizen and proceeds to throw a tomato at Hitler's face.

Thinking about how I viewed Disney as a child in comparison towards Disney productions in the sense of propaganda is striking because it is portrayed as such a family industry. I would have never comprehended this as a child because it was directed towards adults at the time.


waking sleeping beauty

This movie is more about the 80's and 90's but it seems relevant, since it starts at the tail-end of Disney's worst years. Tim Burton has a cameo and some other people too.

The Official release date is listed as March 26th.



Experimental Animators: Interviews from the Past

While we all understand animation to be a wonderful means of expression with endless possibilities to explore, it is also at times quite frustrating since it can be labor intensive, time consuming, and slow in turning out results. In reading a book titled "Experimental Animation, an illustrated anthology," I found the words of some animators featured there to be helpful and encouraging, from the standpoint of people who have managed pursue animatiation as a career. (The interviews are definitely dated, but they provide an interesting retrospective view on what it means to be in school for animation today)

Adam Beckett, Animator: (On the efficiency of schools in the development of the creative potential of student animators)
"Besides those impalpable qualities of talent and drive, otherwise known as inspiration and perspiration, there is one thing that every artist must have and that is a great deal of free and uninterrupted working time. Schools can help the student-artist in this regard by providing 24 hour access to facilities, flexible mandatory requirements, adequate living arrangements and other similar kinds of conveniences. Teaching is probably best done by people who are professional artists themselves and who are so wrapped in their own work that they don't have time to interfere too much in the activities of students. They should be there primarily as examples of what it is to be a working artist in the field of animation. In a medium like animation, which is so dependent on technology, the best possible equipment and facilities are, of course extremely helpful. As far as I can see it is a matter of the most extraordinary circumstances and luck, when an individual manages to emerge from the educational system with the autonomy of spirit and knowledge needed for him to be an artist. Too much direction is probably more harmful than too little. Ideally the school should be a place where one can develop the INDEPENDENCE and SELF-CONFIDENCE to make some headway against the incredible inertia that exists in the commercial arena. I think we are at the beginning of a wonderful golden age of animation, now that the last nails are in the coffin of the big (animation) studios. Schools, I believe, can in the future be very important as production centers for animated films. " (From an interview conducted by Robert Russett, November 1974)

Caroline Leaf
, Animator: " I believe every person's work is personal and therefore new. There are as many forms of expression as there are people. No one will do a thing in the same way as someone else. Therefore something new does not mean a world shattering breakthrough of technique or idea. I find that when I am searching for new techniques, new materials to animate, I am usually barren of content ideas, whereas a content idea will take the shapes of the techniques I have at hand..." (From an interview conducted by Robert Russett, November 1974)

Frank Mouris, Animator: (On the future of animation)
" [The future of animation] lies everywhere and anywhere. I really have something against strict definitions. I've had a lot of flack because a lot of people don't think of animation as an art form. Animation is generally considered to be a very specific area of filmmaking and I've run up against people with this kind of attitude and I turn it around all the time and say I consider filmmaking a very special part of animation. Just technically, animation, I mean filmmaking , really is frame by frame.
There is so much unexplored territory that's very exciting like computers, xerography, video, and all things that we can't even dream about yet. I think it's all over the map, it's not just any one area of film. Some people say the future is definitely in computer animation. I can find that when someone makes up the definition, I take that as a welcome challenge to prove the definition wrong. When they say THAT is animation, or when the Bolex booklet comes out with the instructions which tell you THIS is how you film well, do not do THESE things, I find that I check out first with a dealer whether if I do those things, it will hurt the camera. Then, if it wont, I go ahead and do them, and see what kind of effect it gives." (From The American Film Institute Report, Vol. 5, No. 2, Summer 1974)

Eliot Noyes, Jr. , Animator:
"I view myself as an artist who uses animation the way a painter would use paint and a canvas. The reason I am in animation is that it is a form of self-expression; what I want to get across is mostly a very personal view of the world. Animation for me right now isn't a collaborative kind of process, and it isn't the kind of thing like the studio set-up in the thirties and forties where a lot of people got together and wrote a story, a lot of people animated it and a lot of people contributed to the music. It's a way that I have found to make films where I can control everything.
The purpose of animation back then was to entertain, and I'm not sure that the purpose of my films is entirely entertainment. I don't design them as entertainment. I do them as much to satisfy myself as anything else. I have faith that if you do something that satisfies yourself it will be interesting to other people (...) Somebody asked Freud, 'What ae the most important things in a healthy person,' and Freud said, 'To be able to love and to be able to make work,' and I am working on both of those things. Animation is my work and if I can work through animation and find out whe I am through animation, that would be the best thing that I could want. That is really what I am trying to do. I am really trying to get in touch with who I am and what I have to say, and I really want to have fun, and I am beginning to much more than I ever used to."
(From The American Film Institute Report, Vol. 5, No. 2, Summer 1974)

The above interviews were later colected in tRobert Russett and Cecile Starr's Experimental Animation, published in 1976. It's available at the SMFA library.

Feb 22, 2010

Deleted Racist Scene in Fantasia-Amelia D.

Pretty much everyone has seen Fantasia (and if you haven't you need to), and is familiar with the scene with the centaurs set to Beethoven's Pastoral symphony. A lot of people don't know that there was a character named Sunflower introduced in the earlier versions of Fantasia.
She was edited out in the later versions because she was deemed too offensive. In an article on Cracked.com entitled "The 9 Most Racist Disney Characters", the author says "It was insulting enough for Disney to include the smiling servant stereotype to begin with, but, to make matters worse, they started categorically denying Sunflower's existence with the Fantasia re-release in 1960. How does that possibly make things better? "No, you misunderstand. In our perfect, Fantasia world, Africans aren't servants. They don't fucking exist."

Feb 17, 2010

Snow White - Anthony Bevilacqu

Snow White premiered in 1937 and was Walt Disney's first feature-length animated film to date. However, due to the use of state of the art technology and never before used techniques, Snow White was not an easy accomplishment for Disney. In fact, mid way into the production, Disney, who had run out of time and money, was forced to seek help from Bank of America in order to complete the film. Thanks to a significant business loan, Disney was able to try new and innovative ideas and strategies in order to influence his crack team of illustrators. Such examples included the use of live actors, models and animals, in hopes to give animators a more intricate understanding of the motions and mannerisms of a living entity. Luckily, Disney's efforts were not for nothing as Snow White was a unanimous hit, and as a result, was immediately followed up by Pinnochio, premiering a year later in 1938.

Steam Boat Willie... Stephen Bevilacqua

Without Steam boat, there would be no sound in animated motion pictures. Disney's development with sound in motion pictures created this new sensation with really making characters come to live. If Steam Boat didn't touch the world then great classic of music and sound would have just kept the same angle that were in. Not to mention you get to see the real first characters of the disney world.

Multiplane Extravaganza with Two Hans

Wow! The multiplane has Hans Perk paying homage to it on his studio's website, A. Film L.A.. He's posted all kinds of images and pages documenting the original patents that were filed (here and here ). The second Hans, Animation production designer Hans Bachar, has written the book Dream Worlds, Production Design for Animation, and has posted some of the historical Disney hi-quality images of their giant multiplane unit in action.

via Michael Sporn's Animation Splog. (check out his "Splog" for amazing animation information.

Kenya's Tinga Tinga Tales

Kenya's Homeboyz Entertainment has developed and is producing a sweet and beautiful children's series called Tinga Tinga Tales. This is a trailer for the series, which has been picked up by Disney and the BBC Children's broadcasting agency, CBeebies. The Homeboyz Animation studio, a sub-company of HB Entertainment, seems remarkable in it's ability to succeed, given the sad state of Kenya's economy, where basic daily needs are hard to come by.

Watch a BBC news clip that takes a look at Homeboyz Animation and their Tinga Tinga Tales.

Feb 14, 2010

DIY Animation Camera Stands

There's been some discussion on a DIY, have-it-at-home camera stand. Here are a couple of cool ideas, ranging from the super easy to the more involved.
But even better, please visit our full page of DIY animation camera stands HERE. (the link is also at the top of our page.)

This wood and c-clamp version, the simplest of all, could be a way to go for those that don't want to get too involved or spend a lot of money.

This stand is a bit more complex, but still easy to make. Think of using plastic PVC tubing as well, like Joel's plastic PVC multiplane stand!

J. E. Nystrom at ANIMATO has a long history of building his own animaiton stands, and they become very complex later on. However, here's an early version that doesn't look too hard at all, but would possibly involve a bit of welding. This one is different from the first two because it allows the camera height to be adjusted, which is a pretty valuable asset.

Here's a flexible web-cam stand, but limited in the weight it can carry, which is 8oz.

Daniel Caylor, an animation student, posted info from an animation book from the 1970's showing a hand-made super full-sized animation stand, like a mini-oxberry without the bells and whistles. He includes all the pages with detailed instructions. (shouting out a big thanks for posting the info!)

And then here's a video from someone that actually built it! There's the wood and plumbing pipe rostrum style animation system without the actual camera in place. This one looks like it would be a fun project!

And here's a heavy duty version, better suited to a 35mm camera, possibly. But, if you made the legs this short, you'd have to be working on your knees, or always bent over in some way, which isn't much fun at all.

So, if after all of these options, you still would rather just buy one, here are a couple of inexpensive alternatives.
The basic camera rostrum shown below is called a "copy stand"and is traditionally used for still photography, copying books, small objects, flat artwork, etc..

This one is from B&H Photo (NY), and only costs about $30.00 (not including shipping.) The down side would be that the column is round, which allows the camera mount to spin around sideways. And the movement up or down would really be limited to happening between shots as opposed to during a shot, because there's no controlled cranking system.

You could purchase this column alone, and make your own base. This is a big step up because it has a rectangular (no mount spin) and scaled column with a mount, camera fastener, geared hand crank, and is only about $340.00

These inexpensive lights and stand arms (essential) are the cheapest available that I could find, and look like they'd do the trick. A big plus is that they can use basic bulbs that you can get at a local store. Downside is that you would need some diffusion gels or tuff-spun to help break up the hot spots, since they don't have lenses and spot/flood controls. The image below shows how those arms and lights are attached to the base.

WARNING! The regular old clamp light may look like a real bargain... and it almost is, but these are notorious for the lamp shades falling off and the clamp being loose and slippery. But if this is all you can afford, then go for it because it's better than nothing! You can find these for $4-8.00 each at a local hardware store.

The next stage up would be this "Bencher" version, seen below, which has the square, scaled column, as well as built in lights. This clocks in at about $1,960.00.

Compare this heavy-duty, motorized table, registered scale column, motorized system at $4,640.00

Feb 11, 2010

Hays Code

(The Complete Hays Code)

"So what did the Hays Code find objectionable? Firstly, Porky Pig was not allowed to kiss his sweetheart, Petunia. They were only allowed to hold hands. Monsters were watched to see if they were too frightening for children (trivia: staff at Radio City Music Hall had to regularly change the seat cushions after performances of Snow White because frightened children would wet themselves during the movie). Cruelty to animals was a no-no, because censors thought kids would imite the movies. Spitting and "the razzberry" was also verboten (both the visual and the sound), as was depictions of "men who appear too effeminate.""
A few banned animated films:


Feb 10, 2010

Breathdeath By Stan VanDerBeek 1963

A passion for papercuts, exploring Lotte's other work

Lotte's work seemed to be a blatant favorite for the class, myself included! There was a surprising amount of detail and smoothness for paper cuts. I was also stunned by the deco style and fantastic use of limited color due to technological restrictions.

As mentioned in class, Lotte had a weak spot for classic fairy tales and frequently made animations inspired by them. A particularly stunning example of this passion is jack and the bean stalk, which has a considerable amount of added color. This film was created in 1955 after technicolor was already thriving. Though this film is a pleasure to the eye, I feel Lotte lost some depth along the way. This film is considerably more narrative that Prince Achmed, and I feel Prince would be appreciated by a much larger audience while Jack seemed directed at children. Another con to the beautiful colorful backgrounds is that they seem to put the black silhouttes somewhat "out of place" see for yourself. simple color backgrounds seem to be the most efficient in the end, more so than black and white or color scene style backgrounds.

Christiane Cegavske's Next Movie

This is a production still from Christiane Cegavske's upcoming film "Seed in the Sand".    It's a sequel to "Blood Tea and Red String", which is my favorite movie ever.  Would anyone be into watching "Blood Tea" next Thursday or Friday?  I have the dvd, I was thinking it would be cool to turn B113 into a little theater for the night.

L'Irony of L'Idee

L'Idee, an animated film made with woodcut prints, is largely credited to Frans Masereel. But why? It seems that Bertold Bartosch did most if not all of the work. I just don't see how Frans fits into this. Maybe he came up with the concept and thought behind it, but lets face it, I'm sure a million people felt the same way living in a suppressed society. In the end it isn't all that original. Bartosch, however, put in all the work, making the woodcuts, putting them together, and spending all of his time working on it in a small studio. What did he get for that? In my opinion, not much. Maybe he had a lot of fun doing it (I'm sure he did) but let's face it, he probably wanted more credit. Call me a slave to the dollar, but I would want to be paid for my time. In a way, doesn't this make Masereel the suppressive government figure and Bartosh the freedom fighting citizen working and working for someone else's success? Kind of seems that way. Thank god for British bankers hanging around to bail you out of a rut.



Lotte Reiniger, Racism and The Adventures of Prince Achmed

The Adventures of Prince Achmed was a stunning film, oozing technical finesse. I'm so curious about the original soundtrack. However, I found the racist representations of non-Europeans very distracting. The Africans appeared monstrous more than anything else. The Witch seems to be an ape wearing nothing more than feathers and bangles. On the other hand, she seems to posses enormous positive strength - but I wonder if that is an abstract reference to the innocence and purity of primitives. The caricature of the Chinese emperor seems typical of the period: wicked. The only characters who look relatively un-exotic are those of the royal family.

On another note, it seems silhouette puppetry was originally a Chinese art.

Here is some more information on Lotte Reiniger, an interview with her and information on the film.

post by elizabeth canazon

The Adventures of Prince Achmed- Stephen Bevilacqua

Achmed by far is the best animated film that our class has seen both technically and creatively. Lotte Reiniger's first and only feature, was the first of its kind, which in my opinion inspired great filmmakers like Walt Disney and Wes Anderson. With spellbinding back round colors and wonderful stract-cutting, Achmed stands the test of time as one of the most revolutionary animated films of our time with Reiniger sitting as a pioneer of imagination. My only regret is not finishing the Achmed in class.

The Adventures of Achmed and The Gang (ANTHONY BEVILACQUA)

Lotte Reiniger was born in Berlin in 1899. She had a wealthy family/upbringing and as a result, was enabled to pursue a career in film/animation at a considerably young age. She later went on to develop the concept of Silhouette films, contributing such classics as Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty to start. Along with her endeavors using silhouette visuals, Lotte would also incorporate such styles as Strata-cut Animation, sand displays and puppetry into her work. Then, in 1926, with the help of her background designer Walter Ruttman, Reiniger released her first and last feature film entitled "The Adventures of Prince Achmed". The film's running time was an exact 65 minutes and received unanimous acclaim from spectators. Unfortunately, Hitler's rise to power in the 1930's prompts Reiniger to move to Great Britain out of fear for her own personal safety, and due to circumstances beyond her control, she never finishes another feature film. However, Lotte Reiniger still went on to create over seventy short pieces of work throughout the course of her lifetime; she died in 1981.

Pinscreen Animation-Amelia Diiorio

I was intrigued by the pinscreen animation we saw last week in " A Night on Bald Mountain" by Alexandre Alexeieff and Claire Parker. It seemed like an interesting way to go about creating things...
The whole thing consists of a sturdy board, a lot of pins, a lot of tools, and a lot of patience. Light shines from the side of this platform causing each and every single pin to cast its own shadow. The white screen becomes darker the farther the pins are pushed out. The more the pins are pushed in, the lighter the screen becomes, giving a grayish tone and eventually an all white screen again.
The process is really time consuming, because frames are created one at a time (although that isn't really a hard concept to grasp for those who have done animation of any kind). The movies that Alexeieff and Parker created were very short, but they got a lot of praise for them.
I stumbled across this REALLY cool video by a bloke named Jacques Drouin that was made in 1976, and you should check it out.
"Mindscape"-Jacques Drouin

SMFA Animation Integration class

We had some fun and interesting assignments come out of a recent Animation Integration class. The goal of the course is to investigate "animation" as having other opportunities for invention, rather than being solely a cinematic, filmmaking-based medium and discipline. We investigate historical and contemporary developments, as well as ways to incorporate animation into other disciplines and practices.

Here are a few results from our first go around, as people are responding to early optical toys, and the idea of animation as something that we can engage with using our physical bodies. The "flipbook" was the base for many of these experiments.

Amelia's "Cat Ghost" experiment uses ideas of successively linked images, light, projection, and animation as object (the poster board,) body interaction and the paper strip coming from early optical toys, obviously leading to the film strip vertical orientation.

Andrew's sculptural penis-like flipbook flipper puppet uses body interaction, sculptural form and the flipbook as it's foundations.

Gaia's performance took on the idea of "flip" as she flips her sequential t-shirt drawings up and over. The reflexive imagery is doubled by her own body performing the action.

Rachel created a "private pocket flipbook," using the flipbook more literally, but challenging the context of how we use flipbooks in relation to our own body, as individual users and its relation to viewing animation socially / privately.

Ivette created a group interactive action using the flipbook as people. We all had one of a series of animation drawings paced onto our hands, layered our hands and then pulled them away, progressively revealing the litle creature falling away into space.

Christina experimented with the idea of the looping function found in toys such as the zoetrope and phenakistoscope.

Ryan explored possibility of engaging multiple flipbooks at once, having them combine to create a common image in randomized orders.

Feb 8, 2010

Lotte Reiniger - Amanda Bonaiuto 2-8-10

Lotte Reiniger caught my attention initially with her elegant use of silhouettes and her amazing craftsmanship. Though it was not odd for an upper class woman to do such things as silhouette cut-outs, ascribed to women because of it's femininity and elegance, no other artist had quite the same intrinsic talent as Lotte. The intricacy in each of her cut-out characters is extremely admirable, especially once you are aware how much precision and effort was put into each piece.

Reiniger was extremely courageous and quite independent when it came to her work. This attitude could be considered Avant-Garde in the sense that most artists didn't become quite so independent as Lotte with their work at that time, especially women. Though slightly avant-garde, she also worked rather traditionally in terms of her subject matter. Her whimsical, romantic fairy-tale like stories were very feminine and less radical. Her subject matter spoke to an early, innocent age. Reiniger was extremely prolific and created about 70 films by the time of her death, though she only made one feature-length animation film.


Here's Lotte's version of Hansel and Gretel-
Contemporary Silhouette Animation(sort of). Not made with cut-outs, but real objects back lit.

Call for Talent! Annecy Festival Competition on YouTube
An event not to be missed!

50 years of creativity, innovation and technology – that's worth celebrating!
For its anniversary, the Festival is teaming up with YouTube to organise an original competition...

Open to all, it gives budding creators, students or industry professionals the opportunity to be a part of a world-renowned Festival.

Feel like being creative, making an animated film or adpating an existing production?

Taking part could not be easier: simply upload your film to YouTube between 1st February and midnight on 1st May 2010.

The film must be of a maximum running time of 5 minutes, be centerd on the theme of celebrations and anniversary and integrate the keywords: "50", "Festival" and "Annecy".

This is your chance to really get involved in the Festival!

The competition will run on the YouTube channel of the Annecy Festival where entrants can get all the latest news as of today: www.youtube.com/annecyfestival

From 2nd May, users will vote for the 10 best shorts (voting ends at midnight on 23rd May). A jury of professionals will then choose the winner from the 10 finalists (making their decision between 24th and 27th May).

The prizewinner will be treated to a week at Annecy 2010, taking place between 7th and 12th June, and the winning film will be screened during the event.

Happy Birthday Mister Festival!

Contacts Communication:
Laurence Ythier, Head of Communications
Cindy Bazaugour, Communications Assistant

For further info: CITIA +33 (0)4 50 10 09 00 Official website www.annecy.org