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Stop-motion short headed for big, big screen

Animator Mark Osborne is wrapping up production on a new short film. Titled More, the film is believed to be the first stop-motion animated large-format film. It is being shot on 65mm film that will be printed on 70mm for projection in large-format cinemas such as the IMAX chains. The film, a co-production of Swell Productions and Bad Clams Productions, is being funded by a private investor, was shown in trailer form at last weeks International Space Theater Consortium conference in Australia. Osborne, a 1992 Cal Arts graduate, is shooting the film at the schools facilities in Valencia, California, with donated equipment made possible by support from the Large Format Cinema Association (LFCA). Animators rarely work in this specialized and costly film format, but the use of animation in large-format films is increasing, said producer Debra Callabresi of Swell Productions, who, earlier this year, produced a large-format version of the Absolut Panushka animation series, as well as shorts by Jules Engel and Bärbel Neubauer and a soon-to-be-completed new film by Christine Panushka. Large format films present a perfect opportunity for experimentation in animation, enthused Callabresi. The sheer size of the screen offers the potential to create worlds and environments impossible in any other visual medium. For instance, Russian paint-on-glass animator Alexander Petrov is expected to complete his 70mm Old Man and the Sea by the end of this year [AF 6/03/98]. The LFCAs third annual conference and film festival will take place in Los Angeles, May 18-22, 1999.

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