Jan Svankmajer is a Surrealist artist who inspired some of the most innovative contemporary filmmakers of our time. Born in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1939 and at the young age of eight Svankmajer was introduced into an imaginary make-up world. Svankmajer was given a puppetry theater, which really opened up his imagination as a young boy
Svankmajer has been creating films since the mid 60’s and he uses many different techniques that include 3-D stop motion animations, puppets, and live action. Svankmajer uses live action mixed with 3-d stop motion animation in his film Food and Dimensions of Dialogue. Throughout these films he includes some clay work and the use of fruit, vegetables, silverware, and many other household items.
In 1982 Jan Svankmajer created a film called Dimensions of Dialogue, which is a stop motion film split into 3 parts Exhaustive Discussion, Passionate Discussion, and Factual Conversation. This is what Paul J. Gallagher had to say about this piece and Jan Svankmajer as an artist. (Dimensions of Dialogue site 1)
“Jan Svankmajer’s stop-motion work uses familiar, unremarkable objects in a way, which is deeply disturbing. The first film of his that I saw was Alice, and I was extremely unsettled by the image of an animated rabbit, which had real fur and real eyes. His films always leave me with mixed feelings, but they all have moments that really get to me; moments that evoke the nightmarish spectre of seeing commonplace things coming unexpectedly to life.”
In 1992 Svankmajer directed a film by the name of Food which a short film that includes both live action and claymation. In this short film he helps us examine the human relationship with food. The film is broken up into 3 parts breakfast, lunch, and dinner. These normal rituals we go through everyday as humans Svankmajer view as clever mask for chaos, which he expressed in this film.
In my piece I tried to show some of Svankmajer use of live action and stop motion animation. I rented a camera and a tripod from the liberty to ensure I would have a consistent and clean animation. I believe my animation was successful in that I created a short comical story without using sound. It was a real struggle directing the film because I chose to use friends. My friends did a good job but during the animation they would create not smooth movements. It was hard to help direct them to move in small increments.