Animation World Magazine, Issue 3.3, June 1998

Dig This!
1001 Nights: An Animation Symphony

by Wendy Jackson

© 1998 1001 Nights Production/Bellsystem24.  1998 1001 Nights Production/Bellsystem24. #
1001 Nights, a new animated film set to live music premiered on April 30, 1998 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, kicking off the Filmharmonic, a series of collaborations between the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and filmmakers.

Director, co-producer and animator Mike Smith oversaw production of the film at Hyperion Studio in Glendale, California, where he 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 Studio MAX and Digital Fusion by CGI director Noriaki Kaneko at Blur Studio.

© 1998 1001 Nights Production/Bellsystem24. © 1998 1001 Nights roduction/Bellsystem24.

Hyperion president Tom Wilhite said the project came about as a "happy accident" when their discussions with Amano, which started a year and a half ago, coincided with L.A. Philharmonic conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen's idea for the Filmharmonic series, which will also include collaborations with filmmakers Paul Verhoeven, Tim Burton, composer Danny Elfman and others. 1001 Nights played in Los Angeles for only a few days, but co-producer John Lanza, Jr. said the performance may have future life in other venues, such as the Hollywood Bowl or with Philharmonic orchestras elsewhere in the country. An exhibit of the exquisite artwork from the film was displayed in the new Sunset Landmark gallery space. The exhibit showcased storyboard, concept drawings, exposure sheets and the detailed paintings and drawings on paper which were used in the film. Hopefully, if the show is remounted, so will this fascinating exhibit.

Wendy Jackson is associate editor of Animation World Magazine.

What else should we dig? Every month, Animation World Magazine will highlight the most interesting, exciting happenings in animation, in "Dig This!" Send us your ideas, suggestions, videos, products or works-in-progress today. You dig?

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