Search form

What are all those paint men digging? - 'Imperial Provisor Frombald'

Every Monday or so, Chris Robinson asks an animator how they made a particular film. This week: Elizabeth Hobb's Imperial Provisor Frombald


So, how’d you make this?

I made Imperial Provisor Frombald by printing with hand-carved rubber stamps onto clear 35mm film to illustrate a document about the first exhumation of a suspected vampire in Serbia in 1825.

Why this technique?

Imperial Provisor Frombald was an administrator, so I thought of making it with rubber stamps straight away.  To make the rubber stamps for 35mm means that they are approximately 1.5 x 2.5 cm in dimension, so it’s necessary to greatly simplify the carved image and I really like to have some sort of restriction to work within. 

How long did it take?

Not as long as you’d think perhaps! There are a lot of loops, and I got very quick at making the tiny relief prints. Perhaps 6 months stretched out over a couple of years. I didn’t have the time to cut on 35mm, so I digitised the frames for editing.

What was the most challenging part of the process?

I really enjoyed every moment of making this film, because I used to be a printmaker.  The challenge was perhaps to try and make the narrative clear, and I think it might still be hard to grasp in parts.

Was it worth it?

Yes I think so.  I’d like to have another go at the technique if I can.

Chris Robinson's picture

A well-known figure in the world of independent animation, writer, author & curator Chris Robinson is the Artistic Director of the Ottawa International Animation Festival.