This is thus far my most "epic" film in terms of production value and running time, clocking in at 14 minutes! I was incredibly fortunate to be able to work with legendary Canadian actor Gordon Pinsent, who provided the voice work.
The film deals with what it means to say goodbye to a loved one, and also the role cinema plays in our lives.
This film has played at a variety of fests, airs on the Moviola Channel (about once it day it seems), and was featured as part of Air Canada's En Route package of films (those "back of the seat" mini movie theatres on Air Canada planes). I also see it playing on CHCH out of Hamilton, too.
Artwork — Jon Klassen
Animation — Julia Pott
Art Direction — HudsonBec
White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi is published by Picador.
More about the novel:
In a vast, mysterious house on the cliffs near Dover, the Silver family is reeling from the hole punched into its heart. Lily is gone and her twins, Miranda and Eliot, and her husband, the gentle Luc, mourn her absence with unspoken intensity. All is not well with the house, either, which creaks and grumbles and malignly confuses visitors in its mazy rooms, forcing winter apples in the garden when the branches should be bare. Generations of women inhabit its walls. And Miranda, with her new appetite for chalk and her keen sense for spirits, is more attuned to them than she is to her brother and father. She is leaving them slowly –
Slipping away from them –
And when one dark night she vanishes entirely, the survivors are left to tell her story.
"Miri I conjure you"
This is a spine-tingling tale that has Gothic roots but an utterly modern sensibility. Told by a quartet of crystalline voices, it is electrifying in its expression of myth and memory, loss and magic, fear and love.
1998, 8 minutes, 16mm
Sound Design by Dan Golden
Cello played by Judy Rubin
A loose interpretation of the Minoan myth, as seen through the monster's point of view. Abandoned in a labyrinthine island, the childlike minotaur has as his only companion a playful red ball and a multitude of mirrors. When he sees his own image he imagines himself dancing in perfect synchronicity with a mysterious other. But new characters are brought to the island, and they don't behave like his choreographed twins. Confused and frustrated, the creature has to learn to adapt to a world of uncertainty. But when he can't, the monster's true nature is revealed.
Technique: Most of the character animation was originally hand-drawn on a light table, cut out and mounted on rigid cardboard. This was done so that each replacement could stand up vertically within a three-dimensional set. The set was then lit with fiber-optic lights and shot in stop-motion, using a 16mm Bolex camera. Some of the animation was done as hinged cut-out puppets on glass, using a multi-plane rig.
Festivals and Awards
Anima Mundi International Animation Festival, Brazil
Melbourne International Film Festival, Australia
New England Film Festival, MA • Honorable Mention
Atlanta Film and Video Festival, GA • Honorable Mention
Humboldt International Film Festival, CA • Best Animation
Big Muddy Film Festival, IL