Thursday, 13 October 2016

Don Hertzfeldt and Lotte Reiniger - Review

Don Hertzfeldt

Don Hertzfeldt is a well-known: animator, artist, writer, and independent filmmaker from USA, California.  He is known for his work, such as: “Rejected”, “World of Tomorrow” and “Everything Will Be Ok”. His films have received over 250 awards and have been presented around the world.
However, his animations are created traditionally with pen and paper, often with minimal or none digital fixing. It forces him to draw every element on the screen over and over again, giving to the animation trembling look. Also, his hand-drawn figures look really simple without any shading, only lineart, which lets all people to clearly understand what he wants to show or mean. He draws stick figures, in stories of black humour, surrealism, and tragicomedy, thus, his animations are more preferable for adults. Moreover, it’s usual for Hertzfeldt to write, direct, produce, animate, photograph, edit, perform voices, record and mix sound or compose music for his films, sometimes it requires a year to complete a single short. The animation for one of his films may often require tens of thousands of drawings, which means he puts a lot of effort to have solid drawings even though they are simple, it still takes time. On the other hand, his films tend to build slowly and steadily towards over-the-top climaxes, often favours ambiguous endings, tends to favour absurdism and surreal humour. Nevertheless, Hertzfeldt often uses classical music in his films. The music he chooses is from: Tchaikovsky, Bizet, Smetana, Beethoven, Richard Strauss and Wagner. On occasion, Hertzfeldt also makes music by himself with a guitar or keyboard.
All in all, Hertzeldt influenced many artists, such as, Stanley Kubrick and David Lynch and many more.


Lotte Reiniger

Lotte Reiniger was a German film director and the silhouette animation. She made over 40 films using her silhouette animation technique. Her best known film by everyone is “The Adventures of Prince Achmed” released in 1926. Also, “The HPO”  and “Däumlienchen”.
German animators cartoon work was based on the traditions of the oriental shadow theatre. Her technique of animation is made by placing flat, cut-out figures against a translucent screen with a source of light underneath. The paper figures and their limbs are made separately and pinned to each other, allowing the character move more realistically. Reiniger moved each limb lightly to give the character more alive with personality. After she moves the part she takes pictures and continues this technique until she finishes full scene. Nevertheless, it was hard for viewers to understand the character because the character wouldn’t have facial expression which is important in animation, so Reiniger  made exaggerated movements to give character more vivid personality.
Moreover, in her animation it is hard to see the depth because the first layer is most important in her animation, thus, to make blurry and bigger vision she had to keep taking it further away from the screen, giving the final scene to look in depth. In conclusion, Reiniger work is lovely and inspiring. Till this day it has left a big mark in animation history.

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