10. Mai 2023 Johannes Wolters

INDAC Interview: Barry J. C. Purves

„The director’s audacity is impressive in terms of theme, aesthetics and direction. Not to mention his technical mastery, which is nothing short of exceptional! This year, we are paying tribute to one of contemporary animation’s most esteemed figures.“

Marcel Jean, Artistic Director, Annecy 2023

INDAC Interview by Johannes Wolters on May 4th, 2023

Editing & Design : Thomas Schmidl – https://www.framefloor.de/

Supported by Andrew Schlussel, DNEG London

DNEG & INDAC are co-hosting an interview of Barry J. C. Purves, stop motion animator. He is interviewed by Johannes Wolters of https://indac.org/

About eighty major awards, including several Lifetime Achievement awards and honorary doctorates, much teaching around the world, several books, public speaking presenting, and since 2020 a classical music weekly radio show. Barry J. C. Purves is a legend of stop motion and he will receive the honorary Crystal at the upcoming Annecy Film Festival 2023 – so we thought it would be the perfect time to have a conversation.

Barry started his involvement with model animation at Cosgrove Hall in 1978, then went freelance in 1986, working with Aardman and others. With producer Glenn Holberton he worked through their company Bare Boards from 1990 to 1995. Since then he has been mainly freelance, animating, designing, directing, writing and teaching. He was involved for a period on Mars Attacks! and King Kong. His own films have won over sixty awards, including Oscar and BAFTA nominations.

Have a look at Barry’s Website: https://barrypurves.com

From the foreword to Barry´s fantastic Book „Stop motion : passion, process and performance“, Focal Press 2008 [https://www.amazon.de/Stop-Motion-Pas…]:

A posable figure, fabricated to the most exacting standards, is set before the camera in a static attitude. Since the puppet will doubtless be required to move into postures which defy balance, it needs to be affixed to the stage securely and invisibly, through screws into its feet from below, or on wires, or on a mounting rod. The puppet is posed for the beginning of the scene, and a frame of film is exposed. Frame One: one 24th of a second’s worth. If the animator is performing a ten second scene, that’s 240 separate movements of the character. These aren’t just movements, but incremental components of a performance, a performance – pose, timing, expression, acting – which the animator must keep in his head until the shot’s completed. A shot may take four hours, eight hours, sixteen hours, and all the while the animator must stay ‘in the moment’ if the performance is to communicate the animator’s message and intentions. Screen Play, one of my favourite Purves films, has multiple characters, complex staging and lighting effects, moving stages, moving Japanese screens (illustrated with animated birds), billowing cloth, even gushing blood – all in one beautifully conceived and executed shot. A shot which runs, uninterrupted, for about nine minutes. And tells a story, beautifully. Obviously, this is the work of a man who loves his art. We are privileged indeed to have him discuss the love of that art with us

Randall William Cook, October 2007

And here you have some links to his fantastic oeuvre:

Next – 1989 —    • Lip Synch: Next -…  

Screen Play – 1992 –    • Barry Purves  – S…  

Achilles – 1996 —    • Barry Purves – 19…  

Tchaikovsky – 2011 —    • Tchaikovsky, An E…  

#BarryPurves #stopmotion #animation #next #screenplay

Drawing by Matthias Daenschel

Drawing by Matthias Daenschel

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