Oskar Fischinger-Rhythm is a Dancer

“Well, it’s a bit flat in areas and it could do with more movement if you’re looking to get more energy from the drawings” 

Not exactly word for word but enough to make considerations. The comment was from a friend who is also a film maker when giving his two-pence worth on my project. I took his comment(s) on board. This prompted me to  have a look at experimental animation, other animators that draw directly on film and a few title sequencers.

I’ve noted some inspiring stuff from  Len Lye , Norman McLaren,   Dylan Kendle,  Saul Bass  and Maurice Binder . However, it’s  Oskar Fischinger ’s sensory animation, Optical Poem (1938) that has given me the most inspiration. I’ve paid a lot of attention to his ‘dancing’ shapes in total sync with Franz Liszt’s Second Hungarian Rhapsody. Also, what is more remarkable is that the animated imagery is done with paper and fishing line then each frame was photographed individually. That must have been mind-numbing!



Selected frames have been cropped, adding circular and square forms provide more frenetic movement, highlighting abstract forms. Overall, the visuals are a more engaging spectacle but will it be too much on the eye when animated? At this stage I prefer the isolated sequential frames


S1 Frame 1




S5 Frame 129



S 11 Frame 357



British Public Information Film: Fatal Floor (1974)

Apparently, this rather comical public information film reduced slippery rug accidents by 50% in 1974. Was this a big problem in the 1970s? I always thought you had to be quite well-off to have a polished floor in your interior. After a bit of research, the eye-catching statistic is this, in 2004 (a bit dated but nevertheless) The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents reported that the number of casualties involving accidents on polished floorboards and parquet floors had risen by staggering 400%! From 2,900 in 1998 to 12,300 in 2003.

A 21st century remake had been suggested though I haven’t come across any. I did wonder if a remake would bear all the comical narrative hallmarks that made the 1970s film so memorable.  For example, easy listening background music, a Dr Who (Patrick Troughton?) narrator, a disobedient, terrifying object such as the man trap, a catchy ending line “and to think he’d only just come from the hospital” and the dramatic frozen ending still. It would be interesting to see how a contemporary public information film tackling this issue could be devised. Rowan Atkinson (Mr Bean) would obviously play the victim falling while playing a Google plus game and listening to One Direction on his tablet. Very cliché in terms of a suggested narrative but just a thought.

Public Information Film Project: Sequence No 1

The animation in my last project, The Tokyo Underground,  Alienation & Conformity involved animation merged with footage. I received mixed opinions regarding the process but overall positive ones so now I’m at the contemplating stage with this project. Here I’ve drawn the first sequence, 46 drawings in total. The drawings have been individually textured. Test 1 Sequence 1 involves 12 drawings and Test 1 Sequence 2, all 46 drawings. In both sequences the drawings have been copied a few times, by doing so the viewer is given enough time to take in the visuals. After continuous viewing I’m still undecided for a number of reasons. Including footage with rendered drawings,  without doubt helps shadow, line and tone. Stronger and bolder by appearance.  However, by not merging the footage the drawings seem more natural though carry less impact. As for the abstract motion tween, mmmm I’m not sure. It’s a bit gimicky to me. Is it necessary?

Test 1 Sequence 1 (without footage)

Test 2 Sequence 1 (including footage)  

Test 3 Sequence 1 (abstract motion tween)