The Archive: notes…


The Archive of the Movements of Inanimate Objects

“I want people to take as much as they can from the movie. It started as a basic psychodrama, with a character entering a space and investigating what seems strange and then possibly finding something that they can’t understand. The space is defined by the character’s ignorance in relation to what they are seeing. As it’s said in the world, “you see what you want to see.” But, of course, there’s a spirit of truth that lives intrinsically behind what we see and what we don’t. What many people call God, I guess.

“Then the character finds something and has both an external and internal – or objective and subjective – experience with what they take from that place, all of this “mixed experience” is fairly easy to express through animation because it’s all constructed as collage, so what’s interior can be exterior and vice versa, very much like our simultaneous interior and exterior experience of real life. That’s what I love so much about animation is how much better it expresses reality than live action cinematography. Yes motion is inherent to realism, but it’s not the whole story. Internal moving-visual-thinking is the other half, and for some it’s way more than half.

“So, turning that into a kind of essay on the very normal experience of objectification and desire for answers, and then, the capacity for compassion and empathy as well. It’s a real human story about our role in the world, and how it affects the world, and how it affects ourselves for that matter. I found that it reaches way past the narrative itself, and into a kind of poetic metaphorical mythologizing of the questioner of reality, or the scientist, who we all are in some way, and who is also human, and who also has a spiritual side, but then has to make compromises to their own humanity, and to their own empathy, in order to even ask the questions that they want to ask about the world and what they’ve found.

“So it’s a story of poetic redemption, there are consequences, but, maybe to questions that we don’t really have a choice in asking. So, in some ways, the film is a dramatization of everyday experience, and what we do to our minds and to our own spirits in order to navigate this journey that we’re all on. To accept the consequences of our actions, to continue to act, and ask our questions, and make choices about what we will sacrifice on a daily basis, and in many ways also while we sleep and dream.” 

C. Pearce

Posted in Creative ideas and Art, Film Reviews

A Cultural History of Tai Chi

Working with both Scott Phillips, and a fantastic group of student filmmakers at the Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design, was an enlightening experience. Teaching filmmaking techniques while negotiating the expansive combination of history, kinesthetics, art, dance, music, and religious ritual that Scott offered to this documentary was one of the most challenging experiences of professional development I’ve had.

Scott’s book, “Possible Origins”,  furthers and clarifies the ideas summarized in the video, and it’s a great way to get deeper into the compelling arguments he makes to recombine the histories of dance, fighting, religious ritual, and art, that were separated through global politics.

Working with an unorthodox scholar, historian, and practicioner of martial arts was a dream for a filmmaker. Scott is a wealth of mind expansive ideas, sounds, and movements, all around the theme of recombining falsely disparate cultural traditions. Having such a compelling subject actively making his own voice, image, and thinking available to our documentary practice was a boon for a film production teacher and  students expecting a semester of repetitious curriculum.

The film, characteristically, is dense with meaning, metaphor, image, and sound and was a struggle to compress into it’s short length. You can feel the compression while watching as you’re compelled to re-watch the film to get a handle on the complex epiphanies. Each repeat screening rewards the viewer with new understandings, the book is no less insightful.

My crew, the Video and Sound production class in the RMCAD Animation Department, who are all credited at the end of the video, were the most engaged group of learner-makers I’ve had the pleasure to work with. Thanks to everyone involved.

Posted in Uncategorized

The A.M.I.O. at MIFFonEdge, July 2015

Walking to the Lab

If you’re in the Waterville, Maine area and want to take in some art, my new film, (take a breath first) “The Archive of the Movements of Inanimate Objects”,  is in the MIFFonEdge exhibition there for a week or so. I won’t be there because I’m teaching my best summer animation workshop to date, but please drop in to catch it’s first light. I’ve heard great things about this festival already from folks in the know.

The exhibition includes work by the artists Nancy Andrews, David Colagiovanni, Judith Larsen, Heddi Vaughan Siebel, and Stan VanDerBeek. I’m in great company and humbled. Should be a great show.

Watch the film online here

Here’s the link to the 2015 program: MIFFonEdge – Maine International Film Festival 2015

Just a week or so away from this postings date…

Hand and BulbPoem Stanzas

Posted in Creative ideas and Art

JCOS Animation Workshop

I was at the Jefferson County Open School this Spring to teach another animation workshop!

Possibly the best public school in the world. On entering the building each afternoon I was fed by the pervasive enthusiasm of every learner in the building. This is a community built on self-directed, whole child, experiential education.

My love affair with this community did not start here. I’ve had an “in” for 10 years chaperoning trips like “The Art and Culture of L.A.” and “The Independent Film Trip” to the Sundance Film Festival in Park City. But working in the building was a small dream of mine and it came true this March.

This fantastic group of students took their turn at the challenge of making a metamorphic exquisite corpse animation as a group on index cards and they drew almost 800 drawings in their spare time!

With the theme of “Hybrid Creatures” they each designed a hybridized character, like a “Pica-yogurt” (Picachu + yogurt) and a “Squain” (squid + brain) and spent their spare time drawing in-betweens on index cards to transform each creature into the next in an endless loop. This particular loop has some gaps, but those who finished get credit for being the most engaging young animators I’ve ever worked with.


Posted in Teaching Projects

September School Visiting Artist Workshop

I was invited to be the visiting artist at the September School for the first week in November.

The fantastic art teacher Angela and the students took the challenge of making a metamorphic exquisite corpse animation as a group, and with an entirely digital process!!

With the theme of “Mythological Creatures” they each designed a character and spent their in-class time drawing in-betweens in photoshop to transform one creature into another in an endless loop.

This was the result with original music by one of the students: (It’s all in the credits, Enjoy!!)

Posted in Teaching Projects

Bill, The Galactic Hero World Premiere – DEC. 12th – 7:30 & 9:30 – IFS – Muenzinger – Boulder












!!! Bill, The Galactic Hero – FEATURE FILM !!!

World Premiere – DEC. 12th – 7:30 & 9:30 – IFS – Muenzinger – Boulder

New Link 2016!!!! – Bill the Galactic Hero Feature Film on Vimeo HERE!!!

Watch the trailer here:

Directed by Alex Cox and produced by a crew made entirely of students, this is the largest student production ever, and I had the honor of directing the animation for the Prologue and the Epilogue for the film !!!

In the spring semester of 2014… on the third floor of the Atlas building… in the CU Film Studies digital lab… the students in my course, FILM 3620, naively accepted the task of creating the animation for the Prologue and Epilogue to the student made feature film, BILL, THE GALACTIC HERO.

They designed, toiled and fought their way through a full 8 minutes of character animation for a measly 3 credit course. They continued working past the end of the semester for another 30 days. Beginning with the production design and concept art by Coley Lubinski (Nicole Raven) and ending with delivery to the editor, the work was unrelenting for six months. Hats off to the animation crew, many of who will be present at the world premiere!

The film will open for it’s world premiere at the International Film Series in the Muenzinger auditorium at 7:30 pm on December 12th!!!





Posted in Teaching Projects

Telluride Film Fest 2014 review

20 fascinating films in 4 days.

Inbetween all those films the mind is filled with ideas. What better way to pass the time than make motion sketches. Blink, like the eyes of the aspens, and you may miss a few frames. Note: plenty of time to sleep when dead.

Telluride 2014 had a handful of gems to look for.

This caveat is unnecessary if you know me: I’m not one for the mainstream. Typically my list includes the strange-and-powerful over the fun-but-easily-forgotten.

Here are my lists (below) responding to the question “WILL YOU SEE IT AGAIN?” (and here’s a link to the program if you want to follow along)


Cried mild at “Wild” and I would do it again. This is how I like to cry. With atheistic forgiveness.

Grunts of approval after “Mr. Turner”. Strap me to the mast to resist the siren of this light!

Long persuasive discussions after “Diplomacy”. And I have an aversion to history.

Pensive shared moments after “The Look of Silence” (much less traumatic theater experience than “The Act of Killing” and a perfect supporting film, although it became obvious to me that the real shocker is not violence on screen but a lack of remorse). The heart of darkness is not a serial killer, but the everyday man turned into one by their government. Serial killing as a learnable skill (shudder again weeks later). “The Act of Killing” I could not see again, but this film I may watch every year.

Between Thanksgiving and Xmas, if I can find some dvds, you will find me screening “Baal”, “California Split”, and “Wicked Woman” as a triple feature, alone in the garage, with a bottle of Bulleit.

The POSSIBLY list:

If it get’s recut for release I may re-screen, “Mommy”, as a Silver-Linings-reality-check.

I may see, “The Salt of the Earth”, again if I’m with my family when I share it with them.

Some strange political optimism after “Rosewater”, This film may come back and be unavoidable.

The NO NEED list:

The over the top images and blunt manipulations of “Wild Tales” are indelibly stuck in my mind so why would I ever need to see it again. Zero subtlety to tease out with repeated viewings. A sort of masochistic kind of fun and humor that may be just right for you, however.

As it is simply validity for my paranoia, I will skip “Merchants of Doubt” next time, and simply worry while I do the dishes instead.

All the best,


Posted in Film Reviews

The Portal

I worked for over two years with the producer/director of The Portal actualizing his visions and designing his experiments into an HD feature. This feature plays behind a live band of extremely talented musicians to create an immersive rock-concert-cinematic-experience. The entire show is precision and emotion to a degree I never thought possible. The feature film is synched to the frame with the music, live and recorded, like a two hour music video.

This project, The Portal, was a test of technique and intuition working collaboratively. At the end of each week I would be utterly drained of my left and right brain simultaneously. It was a fantastic learning experience both technically and creatively.

This video is a rough assembly of a tiny fraction of the animation and compositing that I created for the film. Every shot in this assembly was fully composited. In some cases you can see clearly what was illusion and in some cases it looks so real you may be fooled. I now know Adobe After Effects inside and out. Enjoy.

Posted in Freelance Projects

Opening Titles for “Tall Tales of the 3 Fingered Man”

Tall Tales of the 3-FIngered Man Titles

3FingeredManTitles from Chris Pearce on Vimeo.

“Tall Tales of the 3 Fingered Man” is a personal documentary made by Kimby Caplan, a good friend of mine. This is the opening title sequence for the film. I tried to make it honest and playful in it’s memory and portrayal of Shelly Caplan, a wonderful man and father who I knew and will miss along with many other people.

May Shelly Caplan Rest in Joy, Humor and in Peace!

Posted in Freelance Projects

Snowmass Villiage Glacier Animation

SnowMastodon animation, 2012

SnowmassGlacierAnimation from Chris Pearce on Vimeo.

This 20 seconds of animation was for a short documentary segment as part of the new Denver Museum of Nature and Science Mammoth and Mastodon Exhibit. It plays on a screen about halfway into the exhibit as part of a short doc produced by Straw Hat Pictures about the dig at Snowmass Villiage in 2011 (“Snowmastodon”). I enjoy making animation that illustrates scientific principles, and the exhibit as a whole was great!

Here are some continuing links to the larger project and context:


Posted in Freelance Projects