The Animation Show s01e01
Titre original : Welcome To The Show
Produced exclusively for the first year of the Animation Show, this "trilogy" of shorts was animated, photographed, and completed in nine months (Oct 2002 to June 2003), during the off-hours of work on Hertzfeldt's new film, which was at the time three years into production. Shifting gears in the midst of such a difficult and relatively somber project to simultaneously animate something fun and silly again proved to be a welcome and much needed change. What was originally meant to be a very short trilogy to book-end the Show quickly ballooned into a much wilder and more experimental set of cartoons totalling eight minutes.
Collectively, the three films are actually among Bitter Films' most expensive productions, due in large part to the multitude of special effects and trial and error experimentation required in photography. In addition to several optical effects shots - a backlight process developed for the new film but used for the first time here - there was a wealth of experimental animation: double exposures, shadow and lighting effects, stop motion hybrids, and more. The optical backlight effects (fire, lasers, etc) were all achieved traditionally and in-camera, via a process similar in theory to how the optical effects of the original 1977 Star Wars were created. As Hertzfeldt figured out how to pull more of these effects shots off, the metaphorical dam of additional ideas broke and the three pieces grew.