Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Dark Years...

Posted by Arna:

THE DARK YEARS is a three-part animated docudrama. Produced by Barna-Alper Productions in co-production with the National Film Board of Canada and in association with History Television. You can see it on the History Channel this Friday, March 21, beginning at 3:00 PM. Start times are 3, 4, and 5 pm for the entire three parter.

Set in the 1930’s in Canada, it follows the path of the great Depression as told by reporters of The Toronto Star newspaper.

Our pal, John Halfpenny directed the animation, that is to say was co director of the three parter with documentarian Stephen Silver.

Here’s John in an interview describing the process.

This is an ambitious animated epic all done in FLASH, full of great moments. Though I feel it does not always ‘work’ in the story sense, I find its images always compelling. I love the rawness of the animated forms and the stark simplified way the characters move against the textured backgrounds. There is really nothing else like it.

Backgrounds for this epic evoke the art of the era, all the more remarkable since they were painted digitally by artists Maureen Paxton and Clive Powsey.

Here’s a still from a crazy sequence in which the reporter Gordon Sinclair interviews Adolph Hitler! Chuck Gammage did the animation posing for this sequence. Rex Hackelberg designed the characters for this part.


Go to the NFB multimedia pages and watch a bit of the film.

9 comments:

Joe Kresoja said...

dig your blog

the doodlers said...

Thanks Joe! Your paintings rock.

Jack Ruttan said...

Hope this is getting on TV. So much better, at least in concept, than "Chilly Beach." (what were they thinking? Was this the only in-budget proposal from a reasonable studio they had?)

the doodlers said...

Hi Jack, can't tell you about the behind the scenes story on this one, but I know the NFB wanted to produce several long form animated documentaries...this is just one of the ones originally proposed. Another proposal was actually Persepolis!!..but that was before the film was made in France... And of course there's Riel, not sure if that is still going...

kp said...

I didn't know about this project at all! This looks really cool. I wish I had access to the Canadian History Channel down here. Do you know if they're releasing a DVD after the airing?

Were you boarding on it?
Kris.

the doodlers said...

Hey Kris, I wanted to board really badly on this, but they called me when I was otherwise gainfully employed so no luck.

I only got to do a quick little bit of work on the script a year before they started the full production.

Dan Lafrance was one of the board artists and John Halpenny, the director boarded plenty of it himself.

the doodlers said...

Uh yeah, the DVD is in limbo... check this site for future announcements...

http://www.nfb.ca/webextension/dark-years/buy.php

the doodlers said...

Ummm that would be 'Halfpenny' ...

walleye said...

Cool! Thanks Arna...I'll look for it.