I’m not sure how to classify this one, and also, I don’t think it’s finished. Part audio experiment, part experimental animation.
On the Subject of Animation
Sweaty Eyeballs 2022
The Lunatics entered the greater world at the 2022 edition of the Sweaty Eyeballs festival here in Baltimore. Always a big inspiration, this year’s festival did not disappoint! The Baltimore showcase was sold out, too.
Here on some pics from the night.
I just finished an animation called “The Lunatics.” I made a 13 minutes video showing how I made it, which can be viewed on Patreon. I hope you will consider joining me there!
I started this video in earnest on August 6 and finished on September 24. I completed over 100 takes in this one (not all of which are in the final edit). I’m very happy with how it turned out. Enjoy!
I just finished Plasticland, a stop motion animation that took a year to complete.
I made an informative “behind the scenes” video for my Patreon subscribers, if you are interested. Here are a few more details:
- I spent at least 6 days filming in my yard (over 4 seasons), with each day comprising 4-6 hours of shooting.
- The monster sound of the egg spider came from a neighbor’s dog. I tried to remove the spaces between his barks to make a long RrrRrrrrRRRrraaawwww sound.
- My buddy Dusten provided some shortwave radio sounds, which can be heard when the astronaut gets back up on the wall. Thanks, Dusten!
- There are real “Brood X” cicadas in the grass during the opening shots, as they were just starting to show up in my neighborhood.
- I originally pitched this idea for a silent film festival in Denver. The declined my proposal, and asked me to make “Brood X” instead.
Thank you for watching, as always!
Behind the Screens
I’ve written and talked about the Sweaty Eyeballs animation festival/screenings extensively. It’s always an inspiration, and I’m grateful to have it in my home town of Baltimore. And I am very very happy to be a part of this fantastic show!
There are over 3 hours of reels running in the gallery, and art from some great independent animators.
From the Goucher website:
February 11–March 27, 2022
Adam Davies with Leili Tavallaei & Nick McKernan
Corrie Francis Parks
Erinn Hagerty & Adam Savje
John C. Kelley
Ru Kuwahata & Max Porter
Curated by Phil Davis with Alex Ebstein
Goucher College is pleased to present Sweaty Eyeballs Animation – Behind the Screensin Silber Gallery, on view from February 11 through March 27, 2022. Behind the Screenspresents animation highlights from the Sweaty Eyeballs Animation Festival, exhibited alongside additional artworks and process ephemera that provide a window into each of the artists’ unique approach to the medium. The animations range from documentary and narrative to the visually abstract. They span digital and analog, with examples of stop motion, rotoscoping, hand-painted, hand-drawn, clay, collage, puppetry, and zoetrope animation.
Founded by Phil Davis in 2012 as a series of one-night-only events, Sweaty Eyeballs has been a consistent platform for and champion of animation in the Mid-Atlantic region. In 2019, Sweaty Eyeballs became a full-scale animation festival, hosted at the Parkway Theater.
In this gallery exhibition, artists who’ve participated in various iterations of Sweaty Eyeballs spill beyond the monitors to reveal their frame sequences and material experimentations. Others present drawings, collages, sculpture, filmstrips, and their preparatory notes. Behind the Screenscelebrates the extensive work that makes up and supports animation in a survey of style and format.
Phil Davis is an animator, avid musician, cartoon watcher, and professor of animation and film at Towson University. His animations and music videos have been featured in festivals internationally. He is currently working on an animated documentary short about the town of Millinocket, ME, and incidents surrounding a fatal paper mill accident.
We had a screening and artist talk this evening. I got to see Brood X and A Job as the Moon projected in the theater space. An interesting artist talk followed.
There were a lot of insightful comments. I’ll share a few of my top favorites here. Lynn Tomlinson, when asked if she had any advice for students, said:
- Don’t wait until the end to think about sound. Sound is at least 50% of the finished work and so very important
- If your process allows, film the beginning and end of the film first. People are always tired and/or rushing at the end, and it can show.
Phil Davis commented that being an animator is a lot like being a god – you can to create and control everything in your film. He was speaking about and to experimental animators, and that’s very true. My advice for the students was this:
- Finish something. Just finish it.
- Don’t sweat mistakes, embrace them. They can lead to new pathways.
In the beginning, I had so many ideas and things to cram in a single story, but once I got started, I figured out that either it wasn’t going to work, or I couldn’t actually do whatever it was, or something else made more sense. Being fluid helps.
La Vie en Rose
My friend Aisha @loesounds sent me a couple of 35mm slide viewers, and I did this crankie experiment. I’m inspired by the possibilities these viewers offer.
If you are one of my Patreon subscribers, you’ll be getting one of the scrolls in the mail soon.
I’m going to do another post about Loe Sounds soon.