If you haven’t heard already, Dennis Tupicoff has written a book about his films and his approach to animated documentaries. The book accompanies 9 of his films, curated and freely available on a Youtube channel.
A little about the book: “Dennis Tupicoff, world-renowned animator, writer, and producer, is an expert on the narrative application of death in animation. Take a journey with Tupicoff as he goes in-depth into the many themes, associations, and practices found in film and especially animation. Life in Death: My Animated Films 1976–2020 explores death as it relates to experience, storytelling, theory, and narrative. The examples in the very readable text are organized into three broad categories: cartoon, documentary, and hybrids of various types.”
I was lucky enough to sneak my way on to Dennis’ two day workshop at the Royal College of Art in London, last week.
An Australian director with extensive experience in making both live action and animated documentary films, Dennis provided the MA Animation students with an insight into his work. He screened ‘The Darra Dogs’ and ‘His Mother’s Voice’, as well as recent film ‘Chainsaw’, which blends fact with fiction by using a range of documentary sources to create a narrative story.
Some drawings of the workshop from my notebook…
In the practical session, across two days, Dennis shared his approach to developing a film: pinning down all the details in the script and storyboard before going into production. He prompted us to develop and explore our own film ideas, and gave us some very useful feedback! The students did a great job of rising to the challenge, even attempting to pick up the gauntlet Dennis threw down of developing an animadoc film idea with no voices or voice-over.