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They’re Coming to Sketch You, Barbara

By Brian Prisco | Industry | July 23, 2010 |

By Brian Prisco | Industry | July 23, 2010 |

I was fooled in the best possible way by this panel. What I expected was something akin to the Animatrix for the Night of the Living Dead: short films that referenced or reviewed or reimagined characters or moments from the original Romero Night of the Living Dead. What I got was so much fucking cooler.

150 different artists, who never met each other, were asked to recreate scenes from the original movie in their chosen mediums — mixed media painting, cartoon sketches, comic book panels, claymation, stop-motion model manipulations, whatever. Then the brainchild behind this product, Mike Schnieder, assembled the finished products and animated them, either through still animation or through the artist’s own efforts. And he dubbed it to the original soundtrack of the film, dialogue and all. So what results is this sort of patchwork golem that rolls through the entire archetypal film in a haunting and beautiful and sometimes hilarious way. There are scenes that are almost abstract, simple shape and line and scribble dancing like candleflames over the screaming and arguing of the original. There are scenes played out with Legos and cannibalized Furbys, scenes done with paper stop motion, action figure stop motion, clay stop motion. Some are just stick figures, some are fully realized illustrations. They even use the fucking SIMS and video game models to recreate scenes.

It’s a fascinating result, and while there were some folks sighing and walking out, I think the overwhelming artistry and accomplishment of the product merits a view. It blew my mind in the best possible way. The next project for this creative team is called Unseen Horror — they’ve taken old radio plays and animated to the soundtracks of those. If you get a chance, visit the website for details.

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.