Bootler"s Yearly Random (But Interesting) Fact

7-Up was origanally named Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Golden Bortons 2008 -- Interview #3: John Erik Taylor

John Erik Taylor, a.k.a. nobody, talks about his animated short, Jungle Swing.

You can watch the musical animated film in this link!

KS: What made you interested in filmmaking?

JET: An active imagination I guess, I'm always coming up with plots. It's the form they take, how i imagine them. I've thought of writing books before and still plan to. But really i'm more into movies then reading.

KS: What were some of your earliest experiments in filmmaking?

JET: GCSE art class, which i guess is around when i was 16. I believe we had to each do a short animation. I think everyone did a stop motion piece except me, i did a 10 second hand drawn piece called 'The Tower', its incomplete i forget how it was meant to end. (it should be on my website). after that i remember lots of brief stop action animations using a digital camcorder i got one Christmas. And when i got the camcorder i remember just filming anything, non of it came of any use. I still have the tapes somewhere...

KS: What's the origin of "Jungle Swing"?

JET: Anton proposed we that make films for 'Ape Week' and so i decided to do a tribute to the great apes of cinema. at one point i even thought of doing a montage of ape b-movies. I went on to look for music and went to my Cab Calloway tracks first, when i heard Jungle Swing the idea just hit me to animate the story being told (even in just the literal sense) and I manage to keep my original idea in there as well.

KS: How did you film and edit "Jungle Swing"?

JET: Everything is drawn on standard printer paper, in pencil and ink. Then I scanned everything a drew and edited on Final Cut Pro. And I think I done some basic editing on Photoshop as well.

KS: Other than the Cab Calloway music, what were some influences on the "Jungle Swing" (both film and otherwise)?

JET: I guess the way it was laid out, it was constructed not too unlike a childrens book, although this was more due to time constraints. As for my general drawn style, and this goes all my animations, it would be early animations of the 20s and 30s. Simply because it was so basic and crude and thats the sort level I'm on.

KS: You mentioned how pretty much everyone else in that class did stop-motion, whereas you did hand-drawn animation. Why do you think you gravitated toward that style of animation instead? Do you generally prefer 2D and hand-drawn?

JET: I'm a drawer by heart and most of the animation i grew up with and loved has been cel animation. It's like choosing between painting and sculpting. With the art class i think we were all expected to do stop-motion as this was to be done by camera, i decided my preference and did it my way. The same happened in University. We were meant to do an animation on 16mm, most people went for stop motion, but a small few of us decided to do 2d, which required the use of a rostrum, a device for actually doing proper cel animation, with the camera practically on the ceiling pointing down. I did cut outs rather then drawing that time, It was interesting using the rostrum.

KS: You mentioned how time constraints made it so that the animation was more simple. But if you had more time, would you have made the animation more full and fluid, or do you think the limited, simple illustrations were enough for this piece?

JET: There was a lot plain still i used, with more time i may done more to that. However the entire itself was all down to a time constraint so it could of been something entirely different. As for being more fluid, i don't know. That's a bit more difficult. There's still some charm in there.

KS: Do you have any more plans to work with 2D animation? What other projects do you have in mind for the future in general?

JET: I certainly do plan to continue animating, maybe i'll do another some perhaps? Other than that I'm still trying to write a feature. Live action. It's been a while since i was actually writing. In the meantime i'm just trying absorb as much as i can, watch as much new, interesting films as i can and get reading.

KS: Do you have any advice or suggestions for a fellow aspiring filmmaker?

JET: Plenty, get a camera, please record and you're a filmmaker. simple as that. Just keep trying new things and always stay original, to yourself and otherwise.

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