This animation is, in part, an homage to some of my early cinema favorites.|
Gertie Takes a Trip to the Moon and a Man Recycles was started in the fall of 1971. I had received a filmmaking grant from Smith college, with which I made a film that was a demonstration of T’ai Chi by, and interview of, Master T.T. Liang. (This film is now available on my DVD entitled “Two by Demian.”)
Because I had come well under budget, I was also able to buy supplies for a frame-by-frame on paper animation.
At that time, I drew 400-odd drawings on paper, and attempted to capture them on color 8mm, and later on b/w 16mm. With both efforts there were camera problems, and I never got a satisfactory print. The soundtrack was a simultaneously-played audio tape with simple sitar droning and a group’s meditative chanting of “Ja-ray Ra-day, Ja-ray Ra-day, Govinda Ra-day …”
I liked the imagery, though not the technical aspects, which made it less than my aspiration. So, it remained largely hidden until some three decades years later when I made a new version of the movie. I digitally capturing the drawings — frame-by-frame — and placed them on the video edit program’s timeline with a four-frame default for each image.
I also made a new sound track by creating a tune via a music generating program, which I subsequently edited to fit the tempo and different sections. I maintained a snippet of the sitar drone and added squeaks, motor sounds, tinkle noise, and one short, digitally distorted, spoken (by me) sentence.
All of this effort may seem like a lot of work to go through for one minute of film. However, it is art, which make it worthwhile.
“Gertie” was finally completed in January 2001, so I can truly say that this 1½ minute animation was 30 years in the making.