August 28, 2006
In our second podcast, I interview Canadian animator Chris Hinton, tracing the course of his animation career from the mid-1970s to the present, much of which has been through the National Film Board of Canada. Hinton's work has evolved considerably over the last thirty years, starting with the kind of cartoony style that most people identify with animation, and now leaning toward abstract explorations of music and sound. But in all cases, his work exhibits a twitchy vibrancy that's all his own. He's been nominated twice for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film twice, for Blackfly (1991) and Nibbles (2003). Both films are very different in appearance and execution, but they're both distinctly Chris Hinton films.
For the last 17 years, Hinton has also been teaching animation at Concordia University here in Montreal (and, in fact, I was among his first students). In the course of this interview, we also explored his observations about today's emerging animators.
In the podcast, we make references to fields and smears. A field guide is a reference for standardized frame sizes to accommodate both the film/TV viewing area and the animation camera. The higher the field number, the larger the frame. A smear is, literally, a smear of colour in a frame that indicates something moving quickly; essentially, hand-drawn motion blur.
Blackfly (1991; 0:25, 1.3 MB, MPEG-1)
Watching TV (1994; 0:30, 1.5 MB, MPEG-1)
Flux (2002; 0:25; 1.3 MB, MPEG-1)
cNote (2004; 0:34, 1.7 MB, MPEG-1)
National Film Board of Canada
Credits: Photo provided by the National Film Board of Canada; podcast opening and closing audio from cNote