Jul 14, 2015
Meet 5 of Brooklyn’s Best Animators
Augenblick’s short in Twillerama, “Danger Dan,” is a parody of public service announcements, educational cartoons, and childhood propaganda. The episode above warns viewers about the dangers of eating food that fell on the ground.
Before studying animation at Pratt, Rose Stark was a self-described “misfit teen witch” growing up on the Jersey Shore who “hated going to the beach.” Instead, she watched Nicktoons, art films, and Japanese anime, and spent her time making stop motion films with whatever toys she could find lying around. “They were pretty gruesome, usually involving the main character losing all her limbs or being cut in half or something,” Stark says. She found her tribe while studying animation at Pratt–her thesis film, “LGFUAD,” won some festival awards and landed her her first job as a designer, director and animator at Ace and Son Moving Picture Co. “I’ve since come to despise computers, so I’m currently working on a new cutout paper film in my home studio in Queens, while developing some sculpture and other fine art projects,” Stark says.
“The majority of things I’ve animated have been wildy crazy or horribly depressing,” Stark says, in the vein of William Burroughs’ The Wild Boys, Isidore-Lucien Ducasse’s Les Chants de Maldoror, Carl Sandburg’s Rutabaga Stories, painters Peter Saul and James Ensor, and filmmakers David Cronenberg and Kenneth Anger. Her film in Twillerama, “Heila Ormur,” is “about a man who has his brain eaten by a parasite.”
Born in Latvia and educated in Moscow (she has a BA in philosophy), Signe Baumane cites Eastern European poster art as one of her biggest stylistic influences. “It’s surreal, metaphorical, makes you think and is visually amazing,” she says. Other favorites include Stasys Eidrigevicius, Eastern European animator great Jan Svankmayer, and Bill Plympton. “He taught me to make films on the cheap,” she says. Baumane’s Twillerama short, “Juice,” is part of a series called “Teat Beat of Sex,” which she describes as “a take on sex from a woman’s point of view.” Baumane also recently animated Rocks in My Pockets: A Funny Film About Depression, currently in theatrical release, a story about five depressive women in her family and their quest for sanity in a war-torn world.
Winner of this year’s “Spirit of Slamdance” award, Midwest-born, Brooklyn Heights-based Wally Chung works mostly in pen and ink. In his Twillerama short, “The Eater,” “A man has a strange experience that affects the people around him,” as a cryptic Chung puts it.
22-year-old Christine Wu, who graduated from Pratt last year and is currently interning for animation god Bill Plympton, is the youngest person featured at Twillerama. Called “Dark Passenger,” her short is “about a monster who can kill with a tap of a tambourine while a cyclops drives off.” Like much of her work, it’s entirely in colored pencil.
Twillerama Animation Anthology happens this Saturday, July 18th, at Videology in Williamsburg. Tickets are $5.
Follow Carey Dunne on Twitter @CareyDunne
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