Thursday, June 19, 2008

All About Prints

At the screening party for Curious, a PBS science mini-series for which we did the graphics I met Lizzy McGlynn. Lizzy had worked at Channel 13 and was now working with another Thirteen mainstay Christopher Noey on a documentary about printmaking in America.

She loved the graphics for Curious that she thought their film could use some single frame magic. I tried to convince it was a bad idea, that the devil is in the details and animation is all about detail. Did she really want to deal with people whose livelihood rests upon staring into the heart of evil?

I was unconvincing. Fortunate for us because Chris and Lizzy are absolutely great people and both a pleasure and an honor to work with.

This morning I started wrapping the art work from the project.

We made around 12 shots totaling maybe 4 minutes of screen time.

Back in the day, four minutes of worth of art would take up 2 "bankers boxes" of storage. We wrap all the art in brown craft paper (another habit picked up at The Ink Tank) before hoisting it as far from reach as possible. The art for this takes up one thin package (and a couple DVDs).

We used different media to get different looks. For the woodblock process animation, Jordan Bruner (who was the lead artist on this project) did a linocut of a hand. It was the simplest way to achieve the right look. We use letterpress type as a basis for the "Printmaking Techniques" title. For some of the other clips Jordan did charcoal patterns or made great big bubbles out of ink and soapy water to create a sponge-like texture.

The film (in all its High Definition glory) hasn't aired yet, so we'll only give a taste of what we've done.

Some rough idea boards:

above One of about 6 ideas we came up with for this title.

above another approach

above The simple approach

above Final-ish board

design sketch

aboveJordan's notes

aboveFinal Graphic (the real thing is 16x9)

aboveRough sketch for Printmaking in the 1920s and 30s

aboveFinal graphic (same deal with aspect ratio)

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