Flatpack Festival
Film, and then some

Osbert Parker

Ian Francis
Friday 7th November, 2008 Posted by Ian Francis

This morning I dragged myself away from several deadlines to go and hear Osbert Parker talk about his animation at the Flip Festival, and I'm so glad I did. The cliche about animators is that they're monosyllabic and prefer to express themselves by moving bits of paper around. Parker does a lot of that but he can also talk with real pzazz and insight about the process behind his work. He started out in graphic design, and showed a stack of images from his sketchbooks which made it clear that he still thinks like a designer in some ways and researches the hell out of everything he does. Reversing the usual progression he went straight from college to an MTV ident and lots of juicy ad commissions (many of which can be seen here), and it was over ten years until he started working on personal projects like Film Noir and Yours Truly. Through these films he established a signature style which involves turning bits of live-action footage into cut-out animation - spending insane amounts of time on stuff like cutting out little Humphrey Bogarts with a scalpel, placing them in a toy car and spritzing with water. Virgil Widrich's Fast Film uses a similar origami approach but although the effect is amazing it's more of a set-piece technique-fest for me, while Yours Truly skewers the audience with story-telling. Here's hoping he gets his creepy mixed-media kids feature off the ground! PS: Quiet Earth review.

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