Norman McLaren: Around the World

Norman McLaren was born in Scotland and attended the Glasgow School of Art. When McLaren got older he worked for the GPO film unit, being hired by Gierson. McLaren worked here for 1936 to 193, making 4 films, Book Bargain in 1937, Mony a Pickle and Love on the Wing(1938) and News for the Navy (1938). After this, McLaren moved to NY City at the same time that World War II started.  He worked there until 1941, making 4 drawing on film animated works. After this he went and worked for the NFB, the national film board. His job was to work in the studio and train animators. While working for the NFB he worked on a promotional film called Mail Early in 1941. He also worked on animated shorts for propaganda, along with war bonds films. In 1942, McLaren couldn’t keep up with the demands of animation, so he created his own animation team as asked of by Grierson. McLaren did so and trained these animators to work on cartoons, propaganda documentaries, before they went out to work on their own films. Studio A was created as a result of this.

Norman McLaren uses cutout animation in a lot of his works.  One of his most famous works of cutout animation is Synchromy, where he uses a lot of squares and rectangles. During some of his early work with animation he scratches and painted the film stock, because he didn’t have access to a camera.

I based my video off his work. I used cutout animation just like he does in his work, and used rectangles and squares and put that into my work also. My video is not that same as his in the aspect that it is not as complex and long as his work, and also is not only composed of rectangles and squares, such as in Sychromy. In other works he uses other shapes, such as in Dots, where he uses circles in his piece. We both used geometric shapes in our work. I was trying to use geometric shapes but I changed it around how I used them. They aren’t in a pattern like Sychromy, they are spread out and are each doing different things.

I was trying to successfully use the geometric shapes and make an animation out of them and I think I successfully created my view of McLaren’s style and represented it how I wanted to. I used his work as inspiration and successfully did my interpretation.

“The Riddle of the Chicken: The Work of Norman McLaren.” Senses of Cinema RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2013.

“- Blog.” NFBca Blog. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2013.

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