Monday, November 30, 2009

Vive McLaren!

This is a great poster by Jan Lenica. He's one of my favourite animators, I was looking at Rhinoceros again recently.

35mm cameraless animation tests

Spellbound Animation was very lucky to take delivery of a 400ft roll of 35mm from Kodak on friday. Thank you Kodak. It's colour negative so I've bleached it and started some trials. It's a new departure for me so I'm prepared to make some goofy errors. The frame size seems to be about 25mm x 16.5mm, the width equals 4 sprockets (any experts reading this, please speak up). I was looking at the McLaren table and wondering which part of it was necessary for now (the prism, the back light, the angle, the slider) but I think I'll manage without at the moment. I don't need a prism because I'm working with rubber stamps, so I'll work out a registration system relevant to printmaking rather than animation. I don't need a backlight because I'm working on clear stock so paper will do. I'll have to find a way to check the animation as I'm going along. I'll think about making a sort of video assist or else find a Moviola picsync.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Squirrels and Hens

I was looking at Norman McLaren's splendid Hen Hop on the NFB website. There's a paragraph about it by the extraordinary Don McWilliams in which he describes the moment that he found out that Norman McLaren was a hen, he says in response "your'e right Evelyn, I'm a squirrel", which is maybe obvious when you know that he makes documentaries, I hope he's a red squirrel, I bet he is.
Anyway I'm studying the McLaren Cameraless Animation diagrams and wondering how to make a special desk:
The photograph is by Sophie Quevillon. This desk might be somewhere in the NFB, look at the lovely ink spot.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Imperial Provisor Frombald

I've got three very small ideas for new films, I don't know why I've chosen this one first but maybe I had vampires on my mind.
Imperial Provisor Frombald was an Austrian official who, in 1725 in Serbia, had to oversee the exhumation of villager Peter Plogojowitch who was suspected of being a vampire. I'm making rubber stamps which I'll either stamp on 35mm or a surface I can wipe. It would be obvious to use paper, but I really hate the idea of having so many pages left behind at the end.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Autumn animation stuff

There are a lot of great animation things going on at the moment, it's very sadly the last Aurora in Norwich (really hoping it's not the end though) and Flip in Wolverhampton where tomorrow, there's a talk by Sarah Cox of the fantastic Arthur Cox. If I had a helicopter, a helipad and a nanny I'd get to them both but in the meantime there's alot of leaves to shuffle around the park with my small companions before those leaf blowers get them.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


We went to a Jaques Brel evening. The hightlight was 1927, a great mixture of animation and live theatre, very simple and funny but thoughtful too. We were also treated to Brel's 1973 film Le Far West, which should have been a ten minute film, because indeed the first ten minutes were very funny, the following 78 minutes were spent admiring the beautiful interior of Wilton's Music Hall and wondering when the hell it was going to finish.