Norman McLaren, one of the most famous animation filmmakers in the world, would have been 100 years old in 2014. McLaren brought an energy and vision to animation filmmaking that live on to this day. To celebrate his centenary, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership are inviting artists from around the world to respond to a call for projects entitled McLaren Wall-to-Wall. The selected artists will create four out of a total of eight video works that will be projected onto building façades in Montreal’s cultural district, the Quartier des Spectacles, from April 11 (McLaren’s birthday) to June 1, 2014, as a tribute to this animation filmmaker who holds an incomparable place in the history of world cinema.
Call For Projects: Creative artists from all disciplines—film, digital art, music, and architecture—are invited to engage in a fruitful dialogue with McLaren’s work by proposing ideas for linear films three to eight minutes in length, each of which must be inspired by one of the four McLaren films below and designed to be projected onto one of the four building façades listed below. Each proposed film must also be aimed at a general audience, work aesthetically with the selected building façade, and include a synchronized sound track.
All projects that meet the criteria for this competition will be evaluated by a jury, and the winners will receive cash prizes:
- First Prize of $25,000
- Three additional prizes of $5,000 each
The deadline to register for this competition is 12:00 noon EST on February 20, 2014, and the deadline for submitting the final proposal is 12:00 noon EST on March 6, 2014.
The Creative Canvasses: Each of the four original films selected in this competition must be inspired by one of the four famous McLaren films listed below and include a recognizable visual excerpt—of at least five seconds in length—from that film. Next to each McLaren title appears the name of the building onto which the film inspired by that McLaren title will be projected:
- Neighbours (1952, 8 min 6 s) Centre de Design, UQAM
- Begone Dull Care (1949, 7 min 48 s) UQAM Bell Tower
- Synchromy (1971, 7 min 27 s) Place de la Paix
- Spheres (1969, 7 min 21 s) Cégep du Vieux-Montréal
Works To Be Included: A celebration of the work of this great artist, McLaren Wall-to-Wall will comprise a total of eight video works to be projected onto eight different building façades in Montreal’s city centre. Four of these works will be the films selected in this competition, three will be commissioned interactive works by renowned artists, and one will be a large-scale adaptation of the iPad app McLaren’s Workshop.
The Legacy Of Norman McLaren: The path that Norman McLaren forged in the history of world cinema was illuminated by the many international awards that he received throughout his career: a Palme d’Or in the short film category at Cannes for Blinkity Blank, an Oscar for Neighbours, a Berlin Silver Bear for Rythmetic, a Berlin Silver Medal for Begone Dull Care, BAFTAs for Blinkity Blank, A Chairy Tale and Pas de deux, as well as numerous Canadian awards and the honours that he received in recognition of his lifetime achievements.
McLaren was born in Stirling, Scotland, joined the NFB in 1941, and made his career there for over 40 years. A tremendous innovator, he never stopped experimenting and developing original animation techniques. He pioneered synthesized sound, began drawing and engraving on film in the early 1950s, and experimented with computer-based animation as early as 1967. Even today, McLaren’s work influences hundreds of filmmakers and artists who draw inspiration from his thinking and continue to carry the torch he lit for research and exploration.