Friday, 23 January 2009

Katy Milner "Piggy in the Middle"

The fruits of my research, this time on the use of cutouts in animation, allow me to introduce a highly original and talented British director. The screengrabs indicate a most unusual, colourful technique counterbalancing a darkly ironic piece. Made in 1996 at London's Royal College of Art, Katy Milner's comedy Piggy In The Middle concerns a husband so besotted with his pet pig that he neglects his wife. Risky business. The short has a crushing finale as the wife plots her revenge and feeds chocolate to her rival. Katy uses cutouts made of backlit coloured tissue paper on a multiplane. The technique involves placing the components on several layers giving an illusion of depth as the layers move at different rates. The great Yuri Norstein still uses the method today. The almost transparent paper allows the bright reds, blues and the pink of the pig to glow in a domestic setting that belies the grotesque events about to unfold. A paltry number of viewers has viewed the piece so feel honoured to be amongst the few. A graduate of Nottingham Trent University, Katy has worked for Acme Filmworks, always a badge of honour in my book. In the next day or so I shall have a look at her Mervyn, produced for Channel 4 in 2002.

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