Animest

Animest 14 Bucharest International Animation Film Festival ends tomorrow. It’s been a full week of screenings with guests from far and wide and also with an array of talks and presentations for people interested in the field.

Earlier today, following a pitch session from young filmmakers, director and producer Paul Bush gave an inspiring talk. Known for his frame by frame films, another technique is what might seem unbelievable and awestruck. Bush experimented with a different kind of animation which involves drawing directly on film. If you didn’t understand that it is perhaps because you never thought about anything like this, it’s about etching on film each frame, 24 frames per second, to make an animation. And not only that, but he can colorize the animation according to which layer of colour he etches away – the film role contains three layers of colours and if you etch the right amount you can obtain these three colours individually.

Another interesting idea from his talk was that about time. He thinks it is misleading to refer to animation or film as a time defined art simply because all art is defined by time (the time you take to watch a film played backwards is still time going forward, or the time one takes to circle around a sculpture to see it is also about time, same with painting a painting or watching it). It is only the perception of movement and how movement is represented that then gives the impression of time. What were the ancient clocks if not the movement of the shadow of a stone or stick on the ground? But what happens when one doesn’t perceive the movement? One such case was that of a woman described by Oliver Sacks in his book An Anthropologist on Mars. Because she only perceived a fraction of the movement she was often blindsided with people or cars or other objects that were here a second ago and then they popped there without any continuity between these states. This and much more is beautifully held together in a quote he mentioned and which I wish I could remember well, saying that men are more lost in time than in space or else we would all wear compasses on our wrists.

Robert Valley also held a presentation yesterday, you might know him from some of the work he did for Gorillaz’ videos and Disney’s Tron series. Among the guest studios Papy 3D, Ars Electronica and Animation Woksheep screened and spoke about their work. Tonight the awards ceremony will be held and tomorrow the winning films will be screened at Cinemateca Eforie.

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