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Drawing on Experience

Drawing on Experience

Television viewers will be taken on two fascinating journeys through the art of creating pictures and images - both moving and still – thanks to funding from NZ On Air. While one documentary focuses on the immense talent of print cartoonists, the other explores the tradition of cutting-edge art and technology built up by our animators.

”Top cartoonist and writer Tom Scott presents Not Drawing Blanks, a guide to great Kiwi cartoons and their creators," said NZ On Air Chief Executive Jo Tyndall. "Whether they make you laugh out loud, or make you want to cry, cartoons pack an emotional punch. Early on, David Low was on Hitler's personal hit-list for his work in The Times. Tom brings us from there, through to the biting satire in the dailies - from Hodgson and Webb to Bromhead and of course, his own work. We also find out what inspired favourite comic strips such as Bogor and Footrot Flats.

"This is a fascinating insight into what makes New Zealand cartoonists tick, what makes them laugh, or what drives them to draw a stingingly sarcastic critique of some topical political development.

"Not Drawing Blanks will also look at the impact of television and computer technology on cartooning, where still images can become moving ones," Ms Tyndall said. "For example, Trace Hodgson's original designs for TV's Public Eye series were transformed into 3D caricatures by then unknown Richard Taylor – now an Oscar winner for his special effects work on the Lord of the Rings movies."

New Zealand's emergence as a centre for excellence in animation will be showcased in From Len Lye to Shrek, a programme that traces the history of this specialized craft from the 1929 pioneering work of Lye's "movement in time" films to the state-of-the-art imagery created by New Zealand artists for today's box-office smash movies.

"From Len Lye to Shrek demonstrates how New Zealand animators have developed world class skills," said Ms Tyndall. "The programme follows the growth of animation from Kiwi icons like Ches'n'Dale and the TV2 Goodnight Kiwi to Footrot Flats – The Movie, The Legends of New Zealand, and Peter Jackson's early movies. It also looks at the development of the technology that enables Americas Cup watchers to follow the action on the water through Virtual Spectator," she said.

"From Len Lye to Shrek is a history of animation in New Zealand. It is an industry that has many applications today – not just in entertainment, but also in architecture, medicine and industrial design. New Zealanders have shown they have the technical skills and creative talent to excel in all forms on animation, and this programme is a celebration of that."

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