Monday, September 25, 2006

Cool People

Still from Woman Without a Past by animator, Lisa Barcy.

One of the animation professionals I met at the Aero yesterday was Lisa Barcy. She was sitting with LAFCA/American Cinematheque film critique/presenter for the screening, Ray Greene, and animation historian, Charles Solomon, right behind Himself and meself.

She was very warm and kind and not at all snooty, like an award winning animator, Adjunct Assistant Professor in the department of Film, Video and New Media (FVNM) at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, might have a right to be. She carries on the Starewitch tradition of traditional stop-motion through her own short films and through sparking the love of the art in her students*. My favorite of her clips I've seen so far is Woman Without a Past where she's employed cut paper and book leaves to tell the start of an intriguing tale.

There's something exciting about knowing there are young women artists out there loving the medium, making their art, and especially in Lisa's case, teaching others the love of it.

Very cool.

*From one of her animation class students: "Lisa is really great. she has interesting, varying projects, shows a lot of cool animation videos, shows some of her own stuff (but not flaunting). she is passionate about animation and it really shows. she is patient, kind and intelligent. i think she is one of the best teachers saic has. it is a time consuming class..lots of drawings & FUN!" and "Lisa is helpful, intelligent, and knows what she's doing. Her classes are a lot of work, but you will come out with a portfolio to be proud of. She is also willing to work with individual students whatever their ideas or situations. She is also not afraid to be honest about your work, which you will appreciate in the long run (really)."


  1. Wow Shelley, thanks for posting this! I had never heard of Lisa, but her films are fantastic! She's obviously infused with the work of the Czech surrealists (including not only Svankie and the Quays, but apparently even Barta!) and yet she's not overwhelmed by the influence. She even manages to keep the films fun and lighthearted... something male animators can't seem to do when charged with these same influences, and very refreshing to see. And this made me think again about our ongoing conversation on the message board about male and female animators... can you always tell the difference just by the work, and if so how?

    But you've absolutely positively GOT to download the longer clips of the films! (Dialup users need not apply) The brief little snippets posted at the site fail to demonstrate the excellence of the longer ones.

  2. I agree Shelley, wow! I am so pleased to be introduced to Lisa's work. It makes me want to get into my studio, and work. Thanks for yet another kick in the butt, I hope to have something to show in a few weeks!
    Nell Morningstar

  3. Hi Mike, I KNOW!!! I am completely blown away that she exists! I had no idea young women were even into stop motion?! Lisa is like a crazy revelation to me. I never even realized Chicago had a Film Video and New Media Department! The stop motion classes I took in 1993 at the School of Visual Art was taught by an 75 year old, Czech animator grandfather type who did nothing but complain about these kids and there stupid digital animations! I really assumed it was a dying or dead already art form!! Here we are all online loving it to pieces like desert tribes not realizing the big cities have whole stop-motion societies filming happily. Yikes! I've still got to download some of Lisa's whole clips. I'll back to rave further later I'm sure.

    Hi Nell, I'm so glad this got you percolating! Do it!!! Hooray for inspirations!!


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