Categories
Animation

Born in Baltimore

Born in Baltimore Film & Photography Festival Official Selection
The Benefits of Radiation is an office selection.

On Wednesday at 5:30PM EST, the Film Center at JHU-MICA will present Born in Baltimore on Facebook. It’s free to attend, and looks like a lot of great photography and film.

From the Born in Baltimore website:

Born in Baltimore celebrates new voices in cinema and photographic arts. 
Filmmakers and photographers of all ages whose work is of, from, and about Baltimore are invited to submit.  The Festival seeks images, sounds, and textures that are uniquely Baltimore; the music, the faces, the stories of our city and its citizens, past and present, young and old, native and newly arrived.

For 2021’s virtual festival, Born in Baltimore welcomes submissions from across the globe, reflecting on Baltimore subject matter and themes, and on shared current challenges: stories and images of city life and city neighborhoods; and images that explore distance, proximity, community, loss, resilience, and innovation. 

Born in Baltimore is a production of Baltimore Youth Film Arts,
an affiliate program of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences at

Johns Hopkins University. It is made possible by the financial support of Johns Hopkins and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
 

https://www.borninbaltimore.org/

UPDATE

The Benefits of Radiation received both the Audience Favorite and Judges Awards! Wow!

Winner, Judges award
Winner, Audience award
Categories
Animation

Plasticland WIP

I started working on a project I’m calling PLASTICLAND. I am continuing to tell stories with my action figures.

While staying at my girlfriend’s house a few months back, I took a long walk. I found a blue plastic toy abandoned by the side of the road. I think that it was part of an infant’s car play-set. I was struck by both the loneliness of the seemingly useless object, and also the possibilities it offered. I decided to bring it home. One less chunk of plastic polluting our environment, right? It became the set for these little stories.

I made the following camera tests over two after work filming sessions in my backyard. I used my iPhone to capture the shots in Dragonframe. It worked well enough, and I love the portability of the phone. I’m having trouble exporting a quicktime file in Dragonframe, however. It’s choppy and slow. H.264/ACC works fine, so I suppose that will have to work for now. Dragonframe support said:

MP4 is much more compressed, and suited for playback. If you are outputting a really large (dimensionally, like 4K) Animation Codec movie, it might not play back in real time. That format is more intended to be used as an intermediary for editing.

For fun, I edited the two takes together. I’m approaching each scene as though my younger self were sitting in his childhood backyard playing with these objects. That’s really my only narrative principle. I made storyboards as a kid showing how I would animated scenes with my stuff, had I a working camera and film. I’m finding this as satisfying now as I would have as a boy. My intention is to use this footage as projection material for playing music. There’s a lot of boiling in this – my hands and other things.

As a bonus, Brood X has arrived. My yard is full with emerging cicadas. One fellow made an appearance in a few shots. They haven’t started singing yet. I can’t wait to record them. Here’s a bonus video I made for Instagram:

Categories
Animation

Wind is Ghost

It has been a very windy week in the neighborhood. I’ve been compelled to record the wind with my phone, and finally decided to animate something in an Altoids tin. This is a quick one. I wanted to do a camera test and play with the layers and light. I say it was a quick one, but it took a week to get this, after several false starts and abandoned takes.

behind the scenes, camera stand
work in progress
Working

Thanks for looking at this. I plan to do more elaborate attempts next.

Be well, stay safe and enjoy the autumn.

Categories
Animation

Indigo

During non-pandemic conditions, the Sweaty Eyeballs animation festival opens with live musicians accompanying a silent animation. Since this year’s festival is online, Phil Davis decided to try the reverse, where animators add film to Baltimore musician’s recordings.

Phil asked me if I’d be willing to do one, and I asked to work with the band WUME. They sent me a track called Indigo, and this is what I made.

I started working on this in August. I listened to the song, wrote the lyrics in my book, and let the images appear. I like narrative, and the more surreal, the better. I threaded certain images into the loose narrative, and some key elements repeatedly show up.

My notes on the animation table

I made dozens of puppets and props for the scroll, which ended up being 45′ long. I began the actual process of animating on September 27th, and finished on October 11th. The video clocks in at 4:11.

It is an honor to participate in Sweaty Eyeballs. I’ve drawn such inspiration from the programming there, as well as the time I’ve known Phil Davis. We have all done our best to persevere during these weird times (please make sure you vote – and as Phil said, please vote for people who support the arts).

I hope you enjoy this. I had fun making it, and fun with this opening!

JD

Categories
Animation

Sweaty Eyeballs

I’m so very happy to say that A Job as the Moon will be screened at this year’s Sweaty Eyeballs Animation Festival: Friday, Oct 23, 2020 – Friday, Oct 30, 2020. I’ll post more as I know it.

From the event site:

?Sweaty Eyeballs Animation Festival is a 7-day juried festival of the world’s most boundary-pushing, mind-blowing animation.

Since 2012, Sweaty Eyeballs has carried the torch of the animation scene in the Mid-Atlantic with independent programming & special events. Now in our 9th year, we have partnered with our longtime friends at the Maryland Film Festival to launch our 2nd international festival of animation. 

The festival will take place October 23-30, 2020. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic the festival will be held online in 2020. The festival will open with six original animated music videos set to music by six Baltimore area bands, an international competition of 80 animated shorts, a Baltimore showcase, animator retrospectives, and online workshops.