January 29, 2007

Where Animation Meets Film Manipulation

The first two weeks of class have been spent diligently scratching, painting and otherwise manipulating 16mm film. This week (week 3) we’ll finally have a chance to see the results of our efforts on the projector.

This will also be a day when we make a subtle transition from film manipulation to animation. This week we will watch Norman McLaren’s 1949 animated short, “Begone Dull Care.” Like the Brakhage and Scratch Film Junkies’ films we saw on the first day of class, McLaren’s short utilizes direct film manipulation. However, in “Begone Dull Care,” we begin to see “characters” emerge in the form of shapes and lines that synchronize with the music. Compare this to the Junkies film we saw on the first day of class, where the music, it seems, is performed live as a response to the visual. McLaren does the opposite. The images in “Begone Dull Care” are a response to the music.

The 100-frame animation (detailed in the instructional in the previous post) also fits within this realm of animation/film manipulation as there is a conscious effort being made to add form and character with the inks applied to the film.

See stills from "Begone Dull Care," below:

McLaren at work:

Len Lye film strips:

CLICK HERE to see a few direct painted on film samples from Bärbel Neubauer

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