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Untold Tales Series #6 – The Stereoscopic Society, by Kate Sullivan

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Today we take a look at the final film from the Untold Tales project – a six part micro-commissioned series that sees seven renowned British animators bring voice to untold stories of life in the UK, and to explore diverse communities. Each animator brings their distinctive voice and animation style to these bitesize treats.

The Untold Tales project, commissioned by Anim18 and Animate Projects, sought out animators from a broad range of backgrounds, whose stories explore the UK’s rich and culturally diverse communities. The brief was relatively open, and could include anything from folklore traditions, to current issues or contemporary communities.

The final animator in the series, Kate Sullivan, is an award winning independent filmmaker. Her work includes animation for Ben Elton’s sitcom ‘Upstart Crow’, interactive projections for Misha Glenny’s live lecture ‘Mc Mafia’; and is currently working on a 16mm animated documentary about a British computer animation pioneer. Kate is a lifelong lover, creator and collector of all things 3D, and is a member of the Stereoscopic Society. (You can follow Kate’s work on Twitter, Instagram and her website.)

The Stereoscopic Society, is a portrait of the London-based society and its members. Historically, stereography (3D photography) was a means by which the ‘armchair tourist’ could visit exotic lands and their inhabitants. The film takes the audience on a similar voyage of discovery through a mix of pixilation created from 3D photographs, and will be shot from a first-person POV angle, creating the illusion that the viewer is visiting the club. The use of pixilation is an attempt to evoke the ‘non-time’ and ‘non-place’ of a ‘hidden magical world’ – a simpler time, a cozy nostalgia. Kate supplies the voice over for the film – recorded in the style of a typical live commentary given during slideshows.

Why 3D?
Sometimes seen as simply a commercial gimmick, I reckon there’s more to 3D. I think that it allows the viewer to re-experience the world, making the ordinary extraordinary – and I think it’s a great tool for showing something which is has a touch of magic about it, too. 3D photos have also got a long history (since Victorian times) of being used by the armchair traveller.

Why film clubs?
I’m working on a larger 2D project about film clubs and earlier this year I attended UNICA, a non-commercial movie contest held in the Czech Republic. I interviewed filmmakers from all around the world. Many have kindly agreed to contribute a short film about their club back home and I wanted to do the same.

It was very important to me that when I visited the festival that I worked with the other filmmakers. Similarly, I made The Stereoscopic Society with The Stereoscopic Society. It wasn’t easy shooting everything during one meeting! Luckily we’re all still friends!

– Kate Sullivan

Look out for the films on Instagram (both anim18uk and animateprojectsuk) or Vimeo (animateprojects). You can read more about the other film projects here:

Untold Tales were commissioned by Anim18 and Animate Projects, and are supported by Lottery funds from Arts Council England, British Film Institute and British Council. #untoldtales #anim18

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