Friday, July 10, 2009

An Early Influence

by Lynne of cozycottagecreations

One of my most favorite art forms is animation. I love animated short films, especially those that are hand drawn. I’m always in awe of how an artist, in just a few frames, can capture the essence of a gesture or movement.

My love of animation started while I was a student at Simmons College. I began there as a biology major with a major aversion to waking up for 8am lab classes. My roommate was taking a class I had never heard of before – Mass Communications 101. Her homework was like nothing I had ever seen; it was all about being creative, and it made me so envious I signed up to take the class the next semester. It was a life-changing choice. During that semester the professor showed us several animated shorts, all Academy Award winners, projected from film from the back of the room. I was entranced. Later I switched my major, and eventually transferred to Emerson College.

I started out at Emerson wanting to become an animator of children’s books, and eventually I became a film/video/documentary editor instead (someday I’ll write a blog article about that).

Up in my attic I have a box labeled "Lynne's Old Film Stuff". I looked through it and found a few flipbooks I had made in my animation class at Emerson. I remember shooting these frame by frame and watching them in class projected from Super 8 film.

As nostalgic as this all makes me, today I say “Hooray for the Internet!”. I was able to find my favorite and most influential of the animated films I saw that day back at Simmons College. It’s a film called “Crac”, by Frederick Back, and it won the Academy Award for Animated Short back in 1981. It still speaks to me on so many levels. It’s sweet, simple, incredibly drawn and deeply moving. I was so happy to show it to my girls!

You can find it here on google video:

Frederick Back also has a fabulous website with workshop-like activities for classrooms or families in conjunction with the themes from his films.

It’s warms my heart to know this stuff is still out there for our next generations! I can’t wait to do these activities with my kids.

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