Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis

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Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis are a Canadian animation duo. On January 24, 2012, they received their second Academy Award nomination, for the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) animated short film, Wild Life.[1] In addition to writing and directing the film, Forbis and Tilby drew and painted every animation frame in guache, and wrote the lyrics for the film's final song. They were only able to work on Wild Life part-time, due to commercial obligations, and the film is reported to have taken them from six to over seven years, from concept to completion.[2][3]

Both originally from Alberta, they first met in Vancouver at the Emily Carr College of Art and Design. In 2003, they relocated from Montreal to Calgary, where Forbis was raised. In addition to their NFB work, they have collaborated on workshops and commercials,[4] working with Los Angeles-based Acme Filmworks on major ad campaigns, most notably for United Airlines.[3] In 2007, they founded the Bleak Midwinter Film Festival in their home neighbourhood of Inglewood, Calgary.[5]

Filmography[edit]

Wendy Tilby[edit]

Director[edit]

  • Wild Life, Short film (2011)
  • United Airlines: The Meeting, Short video (2006)
  • When the Day Breaks, Short film (1999)
  • Inside Out (1995)
  • Strings, Short film (1991)
  • Tables of Contents, Short film (1986)

NFB animation work[edit]

  • A Case Study: Cambodia and East Timor, Short documentary (1994)
  • A Propaganda Model of the Media Plus Exploring Alternative Media, Short (1994)
  • Concision: No Time for New Ideas, Short (1994)
  • Holocaust Denial vs. Freedom of Speech, Short documentary (1994)
  • Toward a Vision of a Future Society, Short documentary (1994)
  • Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media, Documentary (1992)

Writer[edit]

  • Wild Life, Short film (2011)
  • When the Day Breaks, Short film (1999)
  • Strings Short film (1986)[6]

Amanda Forbis[edit]

Director[edit]

  • Wild Life, Short film (2011)
  • United Airlines: The Meeting, Short video (2006)
  • When the Day Breaks, Short film (1999)

NFB animation work[edit]

  • Joe, Short (2003)
  • Seven Crows a Secret, Short Documentary (1994)

Writer[edit]

  • Wild Life, Short film (2011)[7]

Awards[edit]

They were previously nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for their 1999 NFB film When the Day Breaks. This film also won the award for Best Short Film at the Cannes Film Festival, as well as the grand prize at the 2000 World Animation celebration.[8] Tilby was also nominated individually for her 1991 NFB short Strings.[9][10]

Personal lives[edit]

Wendy Tilby[edit]

Wendy Tilby was born in 1960 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Tilby studied visual arts and literature at the University of Victoria before studying film and animation at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, where she met Forbis. Tilby used to teach animation at Harvard and Concordia University. Tilby was also external examiner for animation at the Royal College of Art in London from 2007-2009.[11]

Amanda Forbis[edit]

Amanda Forbis attended the University of Lethbridge as well as the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. Like Tilby, she went on from the Emily Carr Institute to complete animation work for the National Film Board of Canada on the 1995 short The Reluctant Deckhand. Forbis has also worked as an instructor at the Arts Umbrella Children’s Art Centre in Vancouver, as well as leading many animation workshops for children.[12]

Animation Styles[edit]

Strings[edit]

This film was not a collaboration between Tilby and Forbis, it was only worked on by Tilby. The animation style used is reminiscent of Caroline Leaf's method of painting on frosted glass, used in her 1976 short film, The Street. However, Tilby used bottom-lighting in her film, instead of top lighting like Caroline Leaf. She used an animation camera apparatus and worked directly under the camera, she applied, moved, and removed the colored paints on the glass until the frame was finished. When the frame was complete she took two frames worth of footage from the overhead camera. Then she would modify the image to make the next frame, and repeat the process. To make details on the characters' faces and in their body language Tilby used a stylus and scratched details into the paint. She also used her fingers, q-tips, and tissues to move the paint around the glass and change the scene. Tilby enjoys using this method because the artist erases the previous work as they go, and it forces her not to dwell on what she has already shot and keep going with the filming.[13]

When the Day Breaks[edit]

This film was co-directed by Tilby and Forbis and was made using a new animation technique that they designed. The duo used a Hi-8 video camera and shot real life scenes of people and objects, the film focuses in on many mundane inanimate objects, and other things that they thought they might include. They then printed stills from these scenes on a video printer attached to a VCR as three by four inch images that they enlarged slightly. They then would take these stills and draw on them. This technique was designed to save time, however, the film took about four years to complete.[14]

Wild Life[edit]

In the making of Wild Life Tilby and Forbis experimented with many different techniques for animation. They wanted to find a technique that would save them some time, the last film they had made took them four years. However, they also wanted to make sure their technique allowed them to get the look and style that they wanted for their film. They tried many computer drawing and hybrid techniques in an effort to save time, however, they eventually found that the computer drawing wouldn't work, as the effect was too clean and it didn't seem right for this film. They decided to print their images onto paper and use gouache painting. They then scanned these images onto the computer and would sometimes do some composting on some of the images. This process ended up taking about seven years, however, they achieved the texture and style that they wanted to with the film.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.imdb.com/oscars/nominations/
  2. ^ Hall, Jamie (22 February 2012). "Edmonton producer's film Wild Life off to the Oscars". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Dixon, Guy (24 February 2012). "Oscar-nominated NFB animators draw on tradition". Globe and Mail. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  4. ^ "Amanda Forbis & Wendy Tilby". Cannes 11. Telefilm Canada. Retrieved 2 February 2012. 
  5. ^ "Bleak Midwinter Film Festival". Calgary Herald. 17 February 2012. Retrieved 17 February 2012. 
  6. ^ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0863195/?ref_=tt_ov_dr
  7. ^ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0285428/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
  8. ^ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0863195/awards?ref_=nm_awd
  9. ^ Patch, Nick (24 January 2012). "Two National Film Board of Canada animated shorts nominated for Oscars". Toronto Star. Canadian Press. Retrieved 24 January 2012. 
  10. ^ Melissa Leong; Eric Volmers (18 January 2012). "Homegrown films up for Genie Awards". Calgary Herald. Postmedia News. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  11. ^ http://www.tilbyforbis.com/bio-contact/
  12. ^ http://www.tilbyforbis.com/bio-contact/
  13. ^ Jones, G. W. (1991). CANADIAN PRESERVE FOR AN ENDANGERED SPECIES: THE FREE ANIMATOR. Post Script, 10(3), 13-29
  14. ^ http://takeone.athabascau.ca/index.php/takeone/article/viewFile/639/630
  15. ^ http://www.awn.com/animationworld/oscar-2012-wendy-tilby-and-amanda-forbis-talk-wild-life

External links[edit]