"1001 NIGHTS," an animated film set to live music, premiered on April
30, 1998, kicking off the Filmharmonic, a series of collaborations
between the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and filmmakers.
Director, co-producer and animator Mike Smith and a staff of more
than 120 people created the 23-minute film in just over six months.
Based on images conceived and designed by Japanese artist Yoshitaka
Amano, and created simultaneously with its musical component scored
by David Newman, the film is comprised mainly of elaborate, colorful
drawings on paper as well as some computer animation created with 3D
StudioMAX and Digital Fusion by CGI director Noriaki Kaneko at Blur
Studio. The project came about as a "happy accident" when the
production company's discussions with artist Amano coincided with
L.A. Philharmonic conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen's idea for the
"1001 Nights" is one of these interesting experiences where the music
leads the animation, and not the other way around. The rhythm defines
the kind of "dance" that the animation is performing. Fantasia
stretched the boundaries of animation art and technology in 1940 and
blended sights and sounds to a degree never before seen. This theme,
which continued with Fantasia/2000, has been used by numerous artists
in the past decades: Meredith Monk performs in theaters, together
with musicians and accompanied by surrealistic imagery; independent
filmmaker Bärbel Neubauer produces experimental film mixing images
and sound; and abstract animators like Harry Smith and Hy Hirsh
painted films for Jazz concerts to accompany the music. It is in
these instances that animation can make music visible and paintings
Related articles published in Animation World Magazine:
- In "Dig
This! 1001 Nights: An Animation Symphony," Animation World
Magazine profiled this unusual production in its June 1998 issue.
- You can also view a QuickTime movie clip, quote from the director
and summary of the film in "The
Oscar Short List, Five Other Possible
Nominees..." Animation World Magazine exhibited the five animation
films that were short listed in the 1999 Oscars race, but
unfortunately, weren't nominated. "1001 Nights" was one of them.
New Life For Fantasia As Fantasia 2000's premiere date approached, J.B. Kaufman found
Fantasia's roots and reveals Disney's hopes for their second chance
at awakening Walt's dream.
Disney's Make Mine Music: A Reassessment Robin Allan takes a second look at Make Mine Music, a mixed bag of
animated shorts joined into a feature, and analyzes what it meant to
the Disney Studios during its tumultuous post-WWII period.
Influence of Sound and Music on Images Just as different techniques create different images, different
sounds alter the perception of all images and films. Baerbel Neubauer
and William Moritz investigate and even provide moving examples. This
article includes QuickTime Movie clips created exclusively for
Animation World Magazine!
An Experiment in Images and Music Bärbel Neubauer divulges her creative process and discusses the
production of Roots, an experimental film mixing images and sound.
Includes a Quicktime movie.
of a Faith Forgotten: Unearthing the Harry Smith Archives Rani Singh relates the operations of the Harry Smith Archives as she
and others try to collect, restore and rebuild the works of Harry