October 20, 2009

Silence of the Clams and Love Means Never Asking You To Shave Your Legs by Paul Ullrich

Did Paul Ullrich produce other cartoons besides The Bicycle Lesson? Yes, he did.

Paul took up animation in 1990, when he joined the Manitoba Society of Independent Animators. He also served on their board.

His first animated cartoon Silence of the Clams (1994) premiered at Cinematheque. It received the Manitoba Motion Picture Industry Association's Blizzard Award for Best Animation, 1995. It also earned third place, Best Independent Animation at 'The Canadian International Annual Film/Video Festival', 1999.

Silence of the Clams was broadcast on PPTV's Prairie Filmakers VI and on CBC's Open Wide. It screened as part of the Winnipeg Film Group's 20th Anniversary Retrospective, as well as showing in festivals in Fargo, Sweden, Melbourne, Newfoundland and Campbell River, B.C.

Paul's second cartoon Love Means Never Asking You To Shave Your Legs (1996) also premiered at the Cinematheque. It was nominated for MMPIA's Blizzard award, 1997. It won two awards at 'The Canadian International Annual Film and Video Festival' in 2000: first place, Best Independent Animation and third place, Best Independent Entry.

It was broadcast on The Knowledge Network, The Comedy Network and CBC's Open Wide.

Love Means Never Asking You To Shave Your Legs has proven to be a favourite. It was included this year in the 'Media and Self-Image - Body Image Awareness Forum' held at the University of Winnipeg. In 2004 it was shown in 'The Indie-Amins: Winnipeg Independent Animation', as well as in 'The Sugar and Splice Feminist Film Festival', both in Winnipeg. It has also screened in Vancouver, Regina, Toronto, Sudbury, Rouyn-Noranda and Campbell River, B.C.

The process of creating a two-dimensional cartoon has changed since 1990. But, even with sophisticated computer programs, it is still a long, slow process. Paul made pencil drawings of each frame, then an ink version to be scanned into his computer. He coloured the 1,100 different cels on his computer. Then he created a transparent version to place over the background which was a combination of hand drawings and photographs.

All this work so you could enjoy a fine cartoon. So, come tonight to the Cinematheque to see Paul's The Bicycle Lesson. That's October 20 at 7:00 pm (come at 6:00 pm to see the total 'The Bike Shorts Film Festival'). It's also showing on Friday, October 30 at 9:00 pm.

Have a great day. How can you miss - you're in Winnipeg!

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