It’s mid-March, and I’m rounding the final corner on my animation project Wunderkammer. It appears that I’m on schedule to release this short film in late Summer 2018. Details to follow. Below are a few recent images:
Hello! Welcome to the cold, dark days surrounding the Winter Solstice. It’s been a while since I last blogged, so I thought I’d post an update on the progress of my paper cutout animation Wunderkammer. I’m about two-thirds of the way complete, so I’m beginning to see the light at the end of the animation tunnel. It’s a very, very long tunnel. Thus far, the footage amounts to only two-and-a-half minutes which, on the one hand, doesn’t seem like much. On the other hand, it truly is. Twenty-four frames a second, gentle readers.
Now that the Fall term in my teaching job is winding down for the Winter break, my production should pick up somewhat.
Hello, my darklings. Thought I’d create a work-in-progress blog post for my ongoing Wunderkammer animation project. All of the images in this film are drawn by hand, scanned and output as large-format greyscale prints. These prints are then coloured with coloured pencils and, in some cases, cut out. Once the backgrounds and cutouts are complete, I shoot them under-camera using stop-motion techniques. Below are a couple of quick cellphone photos of this work process.
Work-in-progress shots of my latest paper cutout animation project, entitled Wunderkammer.* Coming in 2018.
SYNOPSIS: Madelaine’s cabinet of curiosities contains wonders strange, frightening, and erotic.
*A wunderkammer, also known as a “cabinet of curiosities”, is a place in which a collection of curiosities and rarities is exhibited.
I’m delighted to announce that Toronto Alice will screen on July 31st in the Children’s Films program at New Horizon International Film Festival in Wrocław, Poland. Considering that my use of paper cutouts is largely inspired by the work of Polish animators Jan Lenica and Walerian Borowyck, the inclusion of my film in this Polish film festival feels like a sort of stylistic homecoming.
Hello, my darklings. Sorry for the prolonged absence from this blog, as I’ve begun working on my new animation project entitled Wunderkammer. This project sees the return of Madelaine, the mysterious Victorian lady from my previous short films La Petite Mort (2013) and An Unfortunate Incident Involving Her Hat (2012). As always, curious happenings befall Madelaine. In the latter film, Madelaine became the victim of a very bizarre wardrobe malfunction, and in the former, she engaged in a romantic — but ultimately tragic — tryst with an octopus. Similarly, in Wunderkammer her uncanny adventures continue.
For those not familiar with the term, a wunderkammer was a Renaissance-era predecessor of the modern museum collection. Below is a definition copied from the Tate Modern web site:
Wunderkammer or curiosity cabinets were collections of rare, valuable, historically important or unusual objects, which generally were compiled by a single person, normally a scholar or nobleman, for study and/or entertainment. […]Exotic natural objects, art, treasures and diverse items of clothing or tools from distant lands and cultures were all sought for the wunderkammer. Particularly highly prized were unusual and rare items which crossed or blurred the lines between animal, vegetable and mineral. Examples of these were corals and fossils and above all else objects such as narwhal tusks which were thought to be the horns of unicorns and were considered to be magical.
— excerpt from “History of the wunderkammern (cabinet of curiosities).”
I include here some pencil sketches of the various items and curios found inside the wunderkammer of my film (subject to change as the project evolves, of course).
Whilst attending the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen in Germany this month (May 2016), I had the pleasure of being interviewed by three young German journalism students. We had a brief conversation about my film in the festival Toronto Alice. They recently sent me a link to the interview, and I used Camtasia to capture it in order to share it with you, my readers. There is no video, only audio.
At one point in the recording, you’ll hear my voice mutter the word “ambiguous” over top of the interview. This was in response to — and a correction of — my previous misuse of the word “ambivalent” during the interview.
Just returned from Oberhausen, and had a wonderful experience there. Many thanks to the festival programmers, organizers, and to the Canada Council for their support of my trip to Germany.
Toronto Alice gets an “Indie Tuesdays” review on the Toronto Film Scene blog:
“It is almost a shame that the film is only five minutes long since Toronto Alice would make a great feature-length film. However, as it stands, this is a wonderful little short film that brings Lewis Carroll’s characters to life in the city of Toronto.”
Toronto Alice had her World Premiere at Animation Chico this past Saturday, December 12th. It’s only a happy accident that the festival trailer happens to rest on an image from the film, but I’ll celebrate that small, random victory nonetheless.