Friday, September 20, 2013

2013 Films: A World of Difference

A World of Difference by Gerald Guthrie
Urbana, IL (Milwaukee Premiere)
Running Time: 8 Minutes
Screening Time: Oct 25th 6:30pm

Tickets $10.00 Buy Tickets Here:

'A World of Difference' is a digital animation that moves us along a bumpy path through Space and Time to discover Truth, Perfection and Meaning.

Director Statement
Most often, the inspiration for my work begins with a real world object. I have always been attracted to microscopes; not only for their visual appeal, but also for the way they reveal a mysterious world. Since a microscope enables us to increase the perceptual scale of objects, it seemed appropriately ironic to increase the physical size of the microscope itself. This device might then be able to reveal our hidden world at both a microscopic and macroscopic level.

This microscope needed to be located in an older style classroom, so I wandered through the University of Illinois campus looking for a likely example. It is contrary to the reputation of a great university to be outdated, but the challenging search finally ended on the top floor of the English building. A re-creation of this small, old-fashioned classroom now became the environment for a standard scale microscope. Since the classroom still had slate blackboards, it fit with another goal to use a chalk drawing to set up a pretext for the animation.

I found a pseudoscientific sketch on an obscure “time travel” website which worked quite well for this purpose. Only later, after the premise was defined was it apparent that the sketch was even more accurate than hoped, depicting a passage between the Andromeda galaxy and the Milky Way galaxy – coincidentally, essentially much what happens in the animation.
Another interior space that was appropriated from the University of Illinois campus is that of the Armory Building. Entering this huge building reminds me of a recurring dream I have of large interior spaces. Invoking some artistic liberties, this space became the site of the oversize microscope.

After five months of preparatory object making and animation, I began a fellowship with eDream Institute at the University of Illinois. This group, led by Donna Cox, is dedicated to bringing the arts and sciences together in any number of creative collaborations. Besides helpful advice and critique, they provided a network rendering solution that facilitated the production of a high definition animation after hours and hours of computer rendering. I would not have been able to accomplish the work without this important resource.

Working with the general theme of micro/macro, the final sequence, to be viewed through the lens of the large microscope, offered an opportunity to combine and contrast cosmic scale with microscopic scale. I came across some beautiful video clips online of microscopic animal life created by videographer, Craig Smith. I finally decided on a small pond worm because the water debris surrounding the animal blended well with the stars in the galactic environment. The amazing M81(Andromeda) galaxy animation was produced by Robert Patterson and Stuart Levy of the eDream group specifically for this sequence.

Though I created and mixed many of the foley noises or sound effects, my long time friend, John Chase, composed and performed the wonderful music that dramatically ties the work together. I feel his music adds the, not mutually exclusive, aspects of warmth and tension.

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