NFB Launches McLaren’s Workshop
Montreal – iPad users can now discover the genius of animation pioneer Norman McLaren and find out how their artistic skills compare to his, using his creative tools and techniques to make and share new works of their own. All of this and more can be found in McLaren’s Workshop, the new free iPad app developed by the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and now available in Apple’s App Store.
Selected as the Editor’s Choice at Apple’s App Store, McLaren’s Workshop lets users discover the techniques pioneered by the founder of animation at the NFB, enabling them to bring images to life, just as he did. A number of renowned animators have already tried their hands at the workshops: Koji Yamamura, Don Hertzfeldt, David OReilly and Patrick Doyon have explored the Scratch on Film workshop, Regina Pessoa took the Paper Cut-Out workshop and Renaud Hallée experimented with the Synthetic Sound workshop.
Watch a demo, below:
Watch I Am So Alone and My Head is On Fire by NFB animator David OReilly, below, and view the rest of the films on the NFB Vimeo channel:
In addition to the Paper Cut-Out workshop, the free app features 51 films by McLaren, 11 short documentaries, an illustrated biography and an exclusive essay by Don McWilliams. McLaren’s Workshop also contains in-app purchases for the Scratch on Film and Synthetic Sound workshops.
“The NFB continues to break new ground,” says Tom Perlmutter, Government Film Commissioner and Chairperson of the National Film Board of Canada. “Staying true to McLaren’s creative spirit, this original app presents an exciting new challenge to artists who want to see how they measure up against the great master. It also gives a wider audience the chance to tell their stories as they explore the techniques McLaren invented. And for the first time, we’re launching a free app with the option to purchase other features—a way of ensuring maximum access to our innovations while testing new business models.”
As a follow-up to the mammoth task in 2006 of compiling the seven-DVD box set Norman McLaren – The Master’s Edition, the NFB designers of McLaren’s Workshop worked closely with animation experts and artists who had once worked alongside McLaren himself. Sustained effort went into designing an app that would reproduce the filmmaker’s creative spirit as faithfully as possible. The result highlights McLaren’s legacy while affording a more in-depth understanding of his work and films.