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New Live Score (Adventures of Prince Achmed)

Sweaty Eyeballs is a monthly independent animation series curated by myself, Phil Davis, and screened at the Parkway Theatre in Baltimore. Past programming has included both feature animations and shorts, free screenings for students and discussions with a diverse range of animators from all parts of the world. For our October 2018 program, we are attempting something spectacular with the pairing of an historic masterpiece, and a live, original, musical score from 12 regional musicians and one Foley sound effects artist.

The Adventures of Prince Achmed by German animator Lotte Reiniger is considered the first feature-length silent animation and was made in 1926. The film is made with paper cut-out silhouette animation, telling the tale of a prince who overcomes the deception of an evil sorcerer, and embarks on a wondrous adventure, finding love and comradery. Our goal is to breathe new life into the film by creating an original score composed by regional musicians and sound artists, and perform it live. The film is 67 minutes long and has been assigned to six musicians/bands in 10-15-minute segments. The unique scores will range from improvisational to formally written, with the purposeful plan of offering the audience multiple sound experiences in a single film, through a broad range of musical styles and instrumentation. Along with the musical accompaniment, a professional Foley sound effects artist will be creating live sound effects to the entire film. A 35mm print of The Adventures of Prince Achmed has already been secured for the screening. The programming will consist of two screenings, each with live musical accompaniment, on Saturday October 13th at the Parkway Theatre.

Between the two screenings will be a free silhouette animation workshop teaching puppet building, lighting techniques, and animating with a smartphone to get community members excited about the techniques used in the film and encourage them to try animating themselves.

Funded by Baltimore, MD (August 2018)