A major motivation for my embarking on this film came during my interview for Kevin Burke's documentary, 24x36: A Movie About Movie Posters. I marveled at the guy's determination -- traveling across the country on a shoestring budget, and making a film with a minimal crew.*
This carried over to the film's post production, where Kevin created some elaborate and lively animations of the poster artwork mentioned during the interviews. I talked to Kevin after seeing his completed film, and his approach to the animated sequences was perhaps the most fascinating topic. It's certainly a challenging learning process, even after all these years of my using Photoshop and After Effects.
For AMSEL: ILLUSTRATOR OF THE LOST ART, the documentary will toggle between two central focal points: personal remembrances of Richard Amsel's life, and artistic commentary on his creative work. To help illustrate the latter (and to keep the film from being just a collection of "talking heads"), I've made no secret about drawing inspiration from the animations within Kevin's film.**
And so began a three-year process of acquiring the best available images of Richard Amsel's artwork...scanning, cleaning, color-correcting...ultimately leading to the creation of my own animations from some of Amsel's most iconic work. The final stage involved several months of rigorous work, with the support from two supremely awesome motion graphic interns, Nastasya Thibodeaux and Steve Norton.
This four minute sequence showcases some of the work completed thus far, including posters for RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, THE DARK CRYSTAL, THE STING, THE SHOOTIST, and FLASH GORDON.
Enjoy. There's more to come.
*Kevin's "shoestring" budget nevertheless allowed him a Red Camera that I'm still drooling over.
**Thankfully, Kevin also gave me his blessing.