Animated Shamanism

Artist Luc Perez has completed a new eleven-minute animation entitled Shaman, to be released as a French-Danish coproduction from Danske Tegnefilms and 24 Images.

The story begins in modern Copenhagen, where Utaaq, an old Inuit, sits at a bus stop. He sees a bird from his native Greenland — rare in Denmark — and he remembers a great battle he once had with a wicked sorcerer who used a tupilak — an avenging monster fabricated out of animal parts — to kill other hunters. The young Utaaq goes into the mountains and becomes a shaman, and, upon his return, he kills the sorcerer with his newly acquired skills. The film ends back at the bus stop — an old man, lost in contemporary civilization, remembering his youth.

Perez has had a long-standing interest in the interaction between painting and computer animation. For this film, he created large paintings of acrylic on paper, scanned them at different stages of completion, and created the animation in part by mixing the same image at its different stages, so that the animated image itself evolves in the course of the action.

If you are interested in seeing what this looks like, a four-minute preview of the eleven-minute film is available here.

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