Jeff Scher | Video

20 Sheets of Paper and a Dozen Ballpoint Pens

This is the first animated film I've made since Hurricane Sandy destroyed my studio a few years back. My new animation stand—built with the wood from a teak bed frame I salvaged from the street—is even better than the old one.
As I prepared to get back to work, I decided drawing was the best place to start.

The film begins with a dot, a point of departure, then—to paraphrase Paul Klee—"the dot went strolling and became a line." The lines animate wildly, metastasizing until the paper is solid ink. It ended up being a dark film. Literally. It could be read as an abstract memento mori, but I think of it more as a kind of deep sunset … perhaps before a hurricane.
The film is a cycle of twenty drawings. The same paper is filmed, pages one through twenty, over and over again. It was drawn one frame at a time on the animation stand, under a camera connected to a computer. This allowed me to see what I was drawing in a video monitor superimposed over the frame(s) that preceded it (a process called onion skinning). I did, in fact, empty a dozen pens.
This film reminds me of John Ruskin’s words, “All art is but dirtying the paper delicately.” Here the dirtying was just a little more thorough than usual. 

The music is an original score by Shay Lynch.

Watch here.

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