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Aleksandr Petrov "making of" videos

Aleksandr Petrov "making of" videos

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drawing, old man
Here are a few videos in which director Aleksandr Petrov talks about how he makes his films. To turn on my English subtitles, click on CC in the lower-right-hand corner. (P.S. these videos have been added to the new article on the Animatsiya Wiki: List of subtitled films and reports about Russian animation)

This is a news report that appeared on Nov.18, 2009, during an exhibition of Petrov's work in Izhevsk gallery. About the film "My Love" (2006) (the film itself can be seen here, though it's in slightly the wrong aspect ratio...):



In 2 parts, this covers the making of "The Mermaid" and the Oscar-winning The Old Man and the Sea:





You can see the substantial changes to Petrov's working methods over the years. In the mid-1990s, Petrov was still working mostly alone, on a single layer of glass, on film, without computers. 10 years later, he worked on two separate layers (one for backgrounds, one for characters), and used assistants and computers (I can't find it now, but there was a video of the work that Mikhail Tumelya did on the computer - he animated a cat jumping out of a balcony, the 3D camera movements, and various elements, for Petrov to use as a base).

So what has Petrov been doing since 2006? He made a commercial or two before the financial crisis hit. In a 2009 interview, Petrov said that he didn't have a job and was using up the last of his previously-earned money. According to this article (not translated):

"Aleksandr Petrov would like to start working on an animated feature film, an idea of which he's been thinking for a long time, but how can one start making anything when there's little to no money""

It is sad that Russia can find the money to make second-class imitations of Western computer-animated films, but cannot find the money to nurture a homegrown talent and method which has not been mastered anywhere else in the world.

An entire feature made using Petrov's technique would be an unprecedented and fantastic undertaking.
  • // It is sad that Russia can find the money to make second-class imitations of Western computer-animated films, but cannot find the money to nurture a homegrown talent and method which has not been mastered anywhere else in the world. //

    I absolutely agree with animator Aleksandr Petrov... It is shame that Russian producers can't see further than their own noses :(
    • Just to clear things up, the bolded text is my opinion, not a quote from Petrov.
      • Oh,
        so, I agree with you - and it would be great if Russian producers hold the same opinion...
  • (Anonymous)
    Thank you so much for translating these!
    I have watched in absolute awe previously, understanding about 1 word in 100 and marvelling at the brilliance :)

    Rima
    intothehermitage.blogspot.com
  • (Anonymous)
    Actually, there is one feature film produced with paint on glass animation, Heroic Times.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWPq51-L7cw
    http://one1more2time3.wordpress.com/?s=heroic+times

    The first link is a clip, and the second is screenshots of the entire film. I wish I'd secured a copy from Hans Bacher when I'd had the chance as its probably gone now. Oh well.

    regomarliam from IMDb
    • That's amazing! I had never heard of it.

      Though it looks to me that it's not paint-on-glass, but paint on celluloid - more like traditional animation in that the previous painting is not changed to make the next frame, but saved and a new one created. Another example is in "The Cat Who Walked by Herself" (beginning 3 minutes into the film):
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcORuOjuQfA
      Also:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjD_MaTI27Y
      http://mults.spb.ru/mults/?id=2394

      Also, the claim in that link that Aleksandr Petrov worked on it seems a bit unlikely to me... I'd have to see the film's credits for myself before I believe it.

      Still a pretty fantastic thing, though.
    • I'm pretty sure I remember reading in Richard Taylor's Encyclopaedia of Animation Techniques, which is where I first learnt of that film, that Heroic Times was painted on frosted cels (though, on the other hand, I know that book to not be the most bulletproofedly accurate).

      These (paint-on-glass, frosted cel, painted cut-out and total animation like Johanna Quinn's Wife of Bath's Tale) are the kind of films I tend to think of as most benefiting from Blu-ray Disc as opposed to SD video; though in truth it's a big improvement for most anything, sod's law would appear to confirm this in that they're also the kind that least tend to released on it. To anyone who has invested in the move (I haven't, due to the lack of such films and the uncertainty of region encoding, let alone the cost, though I know a couple of people who have) La Planète sauvage is getting an English-subtitled BD release in the UK this summer (a non-English-friendly and interlaced one has been out in France since last autumn), making it probably the first even arguably eastern European animation (it was done at the Jiří Trnka studio) to make it to the format – as well as the first of "this kind" that I can think of.
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