Monday, 15 March 2010

Animator: J. Stuart Blackton ( 1875- 1941)

J. Stuart Blackton was an Anglo- American film producer, who among other filmmakers, first introduced stop-motion and drawn animation techniques to films. He is considered the father of American animation.
Stuart Blackton was the founder of Vitagraph Studios, one of the most notable film studios of its time. Apart from running the Studio, he also produced , directed, wrote and starred in his own films.
All this fame led him to try different things in cinema, one of them being the introduction of the concepts of animation in cinema.

One of his first films using this idea was The Enchanted Drawing, 1900. In this film, he draws a human face, a bottle of wine and cigars. The artists starts to play with the objects and the face reacts, not only has a good montage where the artist draws the objects and they become real life, but also gives the 1st steps in animation. The low point is that the drawings do not have a good flow from image to image. but nevertheless a good start.

In 1906, Blackton actually developed even more what he had started an animation as film. Despite the first one being a bit cranky, and lacking much animation in it, this one actually was the big step into animation. With Humorous Phases of Funny Places, he actually started to explore this new area, called animation. By employing two drawn characters to the animated film, he started to give them life, and play with their faces and actions. On the second part, a man is playing with a umbrella, and there is a beautiful animation, where the umbrella rotates fluently in the air to later come back to the man.
Finally on the third part, a clown starts to play some tricks, and there once again we see a really improvement from his previous and first animation.

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