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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Women Animators: Lynn Smith

NOTE: This post originally appeared on my Smudge Animation site on March 2nd, 2010.

I first met Lynn Smith last year (2009) at a workshop presented by the Toronto Animated Image Society and the National Film Board of Canada. Lynn's career as an animator started in 1968 when she lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1975, Lynn moved to Montreal to work for the National Film Board of Canada and became, in her terms, a 'resident alien' of Canada. Lynn is currently on the part-time faculty at Concordia University in Montreal teaching animation and cinema.


Lynn was at the workshop to teach us her own brand of paint-on-glass animation. Unlike Petrov's method, which used bicycle grease to prevent the paint from drying, Lynn uses a small amount of glycerine. Lynn also adds a collage element to her films by cutting out objects in magazines (or creating her own) and duplicating them using a color copier. She then laminates the objects (like eyes, mouths, etc) and animates them under the camera frame-by-frame along with the paint and ink.

The following is one of the films she produced for the National Film Board of Canada. It's called "the Sound Collector" and was created in 1982.



This next film is callled "This is Your Museum Speaking" which Lynn created in 1979. It's about a night watchman and his dog who discover the link between the past and the present as he travels through the museum.



During the workshop, Lynn and I had a wonderful time discussing our respective animation backgrounds. As I am a forensic animator and both Lynn's father and mine worked in the legal arena, we had a fair amount of shared history.


Of course, while Lynn and I were chatting, my friend Jon was at the workstation, creating the following animation: