"...whosoever tooteth not his own horn,
that horn then shall not be tooted."
- J. Barton Sr.
In 1968, after art school, I decided that animation would be my medium (really, a childhood dream). I bought an 8mm camera and started learning. A year later, I was offered a job as the animator for a commercial film production company. I worked for them on staff for about a year, and then became an independent producer. For the next twenty-eight years I was a free-lance animator. The animation pieces presented here represent both commercial and personal work.
BILLY THE KID (2012) - I started cleaning up the well-known ferrotype image of Billy to see what he looked like, and the idea for this piece came to mind. Pat Garrett was 30 years old when he shot Billy - the photo of him used here might have been made when he was a bit younger. Alan Lomax in Folk Songs of North America credits the song to Frank Crimmitt. This version is sung more slowly.
SOME OF DAVE'S PAINTINGS (2008) - My first class in the UT Art Department was George Bogart's Design 101 and I sat at a table with Dave Elliott, a pleasant young fellow from Plainview, Texas. Through the years, I've known noone else as dedicated as Dave to being a painter. A while back, seeing the finished paintings stacked in the rafters of his studio, I conceived the idea of a film using those images…so here it is.
The soundtrack is from the 1981 Penguin Café Orchestra album. I often danced around the living room to the music on that album, with our infant son in my arms. I was dismayed to find, when researching licensing of the piece used in this film, that Simon Jeffes, co-founder and leader of the PCO, died in 1997 at the age of 48.
LOVER OF THE LORD (2007) - This was my first personal film in 25 years, and it was very exciting to make it. In May, 2006, I retired from the Texas State Library, and immediately began a house remodeling project. As soon as that was finished, I started on this film.
The soundtrack is a rendition of the shape-note hymn on page 124 of The Original Sacred Harp, sung at the Alabama Sacred Harp Singing Convention in 1942, and recorded by Alan Lomax for the Library of Congress (available on Rounder CD 1503).
SANDSCRIPT (1975) – I used a Bolex 16mm camera to film image sequences of sand animation on a light box in 1973-74. In 1975 Eagle Pennell asked me to put a film in a festival he was producing, so with the help of Charlie Sauer & friends, we produced a sound track and I edited the sand animation shots into this film in time for the festival at Austin’s Ritz Theater.
OPUS OCHO (1982) – So-named because it was my 8th personal film, it was done with a grant from the Southwest Alternate Media Project (SWAMP). We worked on it between commercial projects and it took about 18 months. During that time, my first son was born, and John Ponder, who, along with David Everett, produced the soundtrack, said that the film was obviously about becoming a father… Bill Van Buren, Tom Guthery, and Paul Smith provided production help.
TEXAS FLAG A rotoscoped animation loop of a flag waving. A larger version of the animated .gif above, it was first used in a spot for a country music radio station. I don't remember what station, but the ad lady was Carolyn Allen AKA Candie Kicker (her DJ name from the old KOKE-FM Progressive Country days).
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