RIT professors’ film screens at the London International Animation Festival

Abstract short ‘roundabout’ selected from among more than 1,500 films

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The animated short film roundabout, created by two Rochester Institute of Technology professors, recently screened at the prestigious London International Film Festival.

An animated short film created by two Rochester Institute of Technology professors recently screened at the prestigious London International Animation Festival.

The film, roundabout, shown as part of the festival’s exclusive Abstract Showcase, is a 2010 collaboration of College of Imaging Arts and Sciences Associate Professor Peter Byrne (School of Design) and Professor Carole Woodlock (School of Art). The film was selected among 1,500 animated shorts for the festival.

“The Abstract Showcase features animation in its purest form,” says Byrne. “It’s a tremendous honor to be part of this collection of select films focusing entirely on abstract and experimental animation. These highly imaginative films are some of the most intriguing and challenging in the competition.”

Established 10 years ago, the London International Animation Film Festival aims to “dispel the misconception that animation is just cartoons for kids by screening the broadest possible range of intelligent, entertaining and provocative current films from all around the world as well as retrospectives and specialized sessions from countries and animators who don’t normally elicit such attention,” according to the festival’s website.

In addition to screenings, the annual 10-day festival includes film retrospectives, Q&A sessions with filmmakers, workshops, audience voting, and the “Best of the Festival” screening.

About ‘roundabout’

According to Byrne, the animated short film, which runs approximately 7 ½ minutes, is “an inquiry into landscape and memory, movement and flow.” The visual imagery employs gesture, layering, randomness, pattern and color. Live-action footage, featuring hand-drawn and computer-generated composite animation sequences, comes together to establish a shifting and layered sense of time and place.

“Interrupting one’s sense of balance and location, the film features a cascade of imagery and sweeps on a circuitous journey,” says Byrne. “A fragmented sense of place evokes a shifting center and viewpoint in which we seek to unearth the interaction and collapsing of virtual and real spaces.”

Using frequent variations in tempo and pace, the computer-generated music scored by Allan Schindler, administrative director of the Eastman Computer Music Center, is designed to convey a sense of continuous motion and gravitation, Byrne adds.

To view roundabout, go to www.byrnestudio.net/roundabout.mp4.