Peter Millard, Since the Better (2015) This animation starts with a blank screen that shimmers with slight variations in white/cream while a shrill cild/female/robot/alien? distorted voice sings a vaguely familiar melody. This creates tension and anticipation waiting for something to happen. Then the voice suddenly changes to the more familiar deep male opera voice as the childlike simple pencil drawing of a man’s face moves slowly at the same speed and horizontal position across the screen. This drawing ‘boils’ with slight apparently random changes in the drawing as a whole – size and shape of the face circle, eyes and pupils and length of the line of the mouth. This creates a real poignancy of sameness, thinness of the line and blank expression in contrast to the heavy emotion of the ‘we will overcome’ vincera aria that also references the masculinity and tribalism of football matches as well as the operatic strength itself. The title ‘since the better’ then adds a layer of loss and past ‘glory’.
Peter Millard is a London-based animator. He creates his absurdist animations on paper (all recycled) with oil bar and paint. Then he scans the large images in with a large scanner, sizes them up in After Effects before using Premiere Pro to edit.