Thursday, 13 November 2008

Jeff Scher "Dog Days" & "All the Wrong Reasons"

Animation takes all forms, many of which are represented here in the blog. New Yorker Jeff Scher paints in watercolour and these paintings are sequenced together as movies. He has an eye for detail or nuances of life whether it be the behaviour of dogs or man. Though he also does live action work, somewhat rarely for the industry nowadays he uses hand drawn rotoscoping, cel by cel to achieve his effect, a technique first devised by Max Fleischer in the early part of the last century. Dog Days is an attractive example with the heat of the day reflected in the hot colours of pink, orange and yellow. The dogs pant a lot. A warm treatment of his subject then in terms of affection and clearly a dog lover. All the Wrong Reasons (or, via YouTube) is a dreamlike excursion through the flickering memories and fears of the day - a circus, wedding, fierce dog. His sharp eyes are at work again, sifting through the detritus of the day, beautifully capturing the moments of beauty or fear that whirl about in our subconscious. He used almost 3,000 paintings and collages here, the constantly changing colours inducing a dream-like state, with the music of Shay Lynch stitching the piece together. Jeff's website, Fez Films, has his paintings for sale - the dog's on show at $500 or so! His work is showcased in Animated Life, a series for the New York Times. He accompanies his animations with philosophical or poetic commentary that sets the scene well for the moving material. His writing, as with his animation, is idiosyncratic, viz: "I shot this film with a Beaulieu wind-up 16 mm. movie camera from the ’60s and film stock that was at least ten years out of date. The film was shot on a balcony with an awning while my wife napped in the next room with one of our boys. They slept so deeply that even the thunder did not wake them" - the sequenced live action short and very soothing ‘While You Were Sleeping’. If you are in need of further Inspiration follow the link.

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