Dear Janice (1972) - restored!
Still from Early Animations or Quacked Jokes (before restoration)
Adam Beckett Project
Following is an overview of information about the animator Adam Beckett, whose work I am currently researching, as a research associate at The iotaCenter.
The iotaCenter is the premiere organization for visual music, and as a non-profit organization relies on donations to fund special projects. If you would like to contribute to the work being done for the Adam Beckett Project you can donate at the iota website, and specify that your donation be used for this project.
Adam spent most of his life in California, except for 2 years at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and a year with his family in India. He also traveled with the free-spirited group The Hog Farm, who received media attention for their role as food and security providers at Woodstock. He continued his undergraduate studies at CalArts, enrolling there the year it opened, 1970.
He is consistently described, by those who knew him, as a unique, gifted, and truly brilliant individual and artist. His works influenced many emerging filmmakers at CalArts, in the Los Angeles area, and beyond due to the success of his work in numerous festivals internationally.
Adam developed a unique technique that involved creating a loop of images that continued to evolve with each loop cycle. In this way a series of drawings, say 12, would be shot, modified and re-shot, so that by the end of the film, the original drawings no longer existed. This was augmented with phasing of the imagery, changing the area of view, and other sophisticated use of the optical printer, which he learned from the master, Pat O'Neill, while at CalArts. This technique, and the wonderful mind and imagery that Adam brought to his film, resulted in truly remarkable, distinctive body of work.
In 1974 he began his independent animation company, Infinite Animation, where he continued to produce his own work. In addition to his animation, he taught at CalArts and worked in the film industry, most notably at ILM, as head of Animation and Rotoscoping on Star Wars.
Although his work is now over thirty years old, Adam's work continues to be shown and those who have been fortunate enough to see his work still refer to him as an influence.
Preservation and Research Project
The iotaCenter is working to preserve Adam's films and is supporting the research into his life and work. In 2006 Adam's family through a Deed of Gift, transferred their collection of Adam's animated films to The iotaCenter. This work is now safely housed in The Academy Film Archive in Hollywood. This deposit includes all of the original elements for “Sausage City” and “Heavy-Light”, plus many elements and prints - over 600 pieces in all!
Thank you Julie, Evan and Deirdre!
- Pamela Taylor Turner
Evolution of the Red Star
Works never completed:
Commercial and commissioned work
Evolution of the Red Star
Kitsch in Synch
All six of his released films (from 1972 - 1975) are distributed through Canyon Cinema - newly restored prints are now available, including Dear Janice!
The Letter (Une Lettre a une Ami) - 1971, with James Gore
Self Portraits: Adam Beckett and Kathy Rose
(Image from a sketchbook.)
Images courtesy of Adam Beckett family and The iotaCenter.
Please do not copy text or images without permission.
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