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Friday, 26 September 2008

Stephen Irwin "The Black Dog's Progress"















The Black Dog’s Progress by Stephen Irwin may still be for all I know a work in progress, but it is interesting, indeed absorbing, nevertheless. The concept is novel. Stephen tells the tale of a dog in a troubled world, beaten, mistreated but determined to survive. In truth the story is irrelevant to a point as it is the manner of telling that draws one's attention. The film uses around 50 flipbooks assembled in After Effects and played as loops in an ever deepening and more complex whole. From the single book to the montage it is impossible to take one's eyes from the scene. The link is the higher resolution version though in truth I would have needed a larger screen that I presently have to take in the multi-windowed experience. Sometimes one is helped on the journey by a spotlight that fastens on a relevant flip book, though it repays several viewings, and it keeps the brain agile following the development. I am unable to claim that I engaged with the character but I have followed the action three times, three times more than some animation work! The occasionally cacophonous music of Danish multi-instrumentalist Sorenious Bonk is a help though with a name like that maybe a leg or two leg is being pulled, as well as strings of an instrument. Stephen is a graduate of Central St. Martins College of Art & Design. The Channel 4 Animate TV screening commenced September 21st, with this being one of the films. The image below is one of the director's working drawings.

1 comment:

Abigail Addison said...

Thanks for your review of the film. We'll be adding an interview with Stephen Irwin to animateprojects.org by the end of October, which should help shed some light on the inspiration behind the film.

All the best
Animate Projects