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In Memoriam: David Anderson (1952-2015)

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It is with regret that we’ve learned of the passing of British animator and filmmaker David Anderson.

Having studied at the Bath Academy of Art, Anderson’s filmmaking career began at the National Film and Television School where he produced Dreamland Express (1981), an adaptation of H.R. Millar’s 1927 book of the same name. The film went on to win a BAFTA for Short Animation in 1983 and was followed by Dreamless Sleep, produced in 1983 as part the Channel 4 series Sweet Disaster alongside work such as Aardman‘s Babylon (Dir. Peter Lord/David Sproxton).

Subsequent to these early successes, Anderson went on to collaborate with writer Russell Hoban for the two-part Channel 4 series Dead Time Stories for Big Folk. The first film of this series Deadsy (1990) was also nominated for a BAFTA the following year alongside Jan Švankmajer‘s The Death Of Stalinism In Bohemia and winner Andrew McEwan’s Toxic. The second film Door (1991) was also well-received, the 1991 McLaren Award amongst its many respectable accolades.

Alongside his short film work, some of which enabled by backing from the Redwing Film Company, Anderson’s other animation work included commercial projects for Clorets, Mastercard, 3i, Smarties, Royal Bank of Scotland and Marmite. He was also amongst the esteemed contributors for Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer video (dir. Stephen R. Johnson, 1986) and later became a visiting professor in film and animation at Harvard University.

Following his 1994 short In the Time of Angels, Anderson maintained his impulse to create avant-garde visual work, combining methods and mediums in the experimental pieces Sense of Gravity and Motion Control (2002), an electro-operatic work of predominantly live-action choreography for the BBC’s Dance For Camera series (2002). In 2008 his final film Tongue of the Hidden was an exploration of Persian culture for Animate Projects based on the book Ten Poems From Havez by Jila Peacock.

To learn more about the fine body of work that makes up his legacy you can visit his website davidandersonfilms.com for a comprehensive assortment of behind-the-scenes production materials and collected documentaries on his working process.

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