Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Collage and Animation

My mind is racing about the possibilities for combining animation and collage. A whole new world is opening up. I remember little exercises that I have done in the past. One was my first photomontage done on a xerox machine. I was working in a library at the time and was afforded the luxury of being able to feed the same piece of paper back through the machine a second time. The images I superimposed were black and white photos: a woman lying on her back with one knee bent up, and a row of trees standing separately. I lined it up so she's lying in a forest with one of her hands holding a tree. I still have the original xerox, very yellow. It was once adhered to a backing with spray glue. I know it's around and if I'm careful not to seek it directly it may turn up.

My second exercise was actual animation shot frame by frame with a 35mm camera on a copy stand. A library school assignment. I had just begun working for a large engineering firm and was adjusting poorly to the corporate environment. I used cut paper shapes from patterned wall-paper, plus letters and small birds printed with rubber stamps. (I found a manila envelope containing all of the pieces not long ago, and the actual film, packaged similarly, is hidden in some drawer.) I can't remember the title but I remember cutting out the individual letters. There is a man in a drab suit and tie and suddenly some birds fly into the frame, flutter through his brain, and he sheds his jacket and tie and adopts bright colors. I loved working on the copy stand and recognized it as a brightly lit stage upon which my true feelings could be exposed. I had created individual slides before, but this was my first experience with animation. I had a picture in my mind of what I was hoping to attain but had no idea what to expect. Everyone in the class shot their project on the same reel of film. The professor ran the film and when my short bit played by I felt like I had created magic. He played the film maybe two more times and that was it. Nobody wanted their work back except for me and I got it back on a little reel but I haven't viewed it since that class.

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