A short list of notable influences
I'm going to talk a little about what's influenced my work. This is something of a reminder for myself as much as it's a chance to share what's been inspiring to me. Work that not only stuck with me, but that which was directly responsible for my love of animation.
It's important for me to shout out my Head of Animation at KCAI, Doug Hudson. He would start each of his introductory classes with screenings of various independent and early influential animation. These classes took place in basement room we lovingly called 'The Pit'. It stank of sewage and was warmed not by heat, but the glow of the light tables. Winter mornings of the school year were spent watching minature animation festivals of the popular, obscure, and bizarre. There I was introduced to Windsor Mccay, Priit Pärn, Lotte Reiniger along with a slew of others. It's a few of those others that I'd like to share.
Estória do Gato e da Lua - Pedro Serrazina
This film 'The Story of the Cat and the Moon' was a very educational film for me. It showed me what two colors could accomplish in an epic way. How a well written story, and some clever imagery could transport you away and keep you there. I've spent many hours going through the transitions frame-by-frame as each one is so well choreographed that you forget you've even seen it. There's also a lesson of simplicity in story. How without words, you can describe and ending without having to put a stamp on things.
Sisyphus - Marcell Jankovics
Another lesson on simplicity, this is a film about a single movement. Struggling with a boulder uphill. Here, Jankovics took the animation medium and made a full study of narrative through movement. Pause on a single frame and you might not make out what is happening, but play the film and you see the pain, the strength, and the futility of the task.
Orgesticulanismus - Mathieu Labaye
I truly feel this is a film everyone should see. It's a love letter to movement, an animators' animation. Directed by a filmmaker whose father lost the ability to walk, it's heartbreaking, introspective, exhilarating, and inspiring. This film rewards you for your attention and viewership. It made the rounds as I was graduating from Art School and looking to define my own perception of my medium. I ferociously studied the frames of this film between work on my own. It helped me to understand the power of our form and how the very concept of movement could be the pinnacle of storytelling.
A Country Doctor - Koji Yamamura
This film pricks my desire to find discomfort in my entertainment. From the flowing and bulging forms that make the whole world seem as though it's caught in a storm, to the cold characters and rotten metaphors that populate one moment to the next, there's so much to enjoy. I knew quickly into my first viewing that this would be an important film for me. Hanging back in the darkness of it's story, and exploring isolation I take away more each time. And have found comfort in the cold.