Oskar Fischinger

Active - 1929 - 1947  |   Born - Jun 22, 1900 in Gelnhausen, Germany  |   Genres - Science Fiction, Avant-garde / Experimental

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Avant-garde German animator Oskar Fischinger devised a special color process for making animated films. Fischinger started out as an abstract painter and since the age of 19 had been interested in the possibilities of using animation to interpret music and verse. One of his first efforts was an attempt to map out the emotional progressions and changes with in a play by Shakespeare. In 1920, using a self-designed wax-cutting machine, Fischinger began making his first short films. In the mid '20s he came out with a series of studies which he called "absolute film"; following the advent of sound, these studies were played to classical and jazz music to great effect. In the late '20s he worked with feature filmmaker Fritz Lang to create the special effects for The Woman in the Moon. After developing his color process in 1933, Fischinger created Composition in Blue and won a prize at the Venice Festival two years later. He then moved to the U.S. to create another short film and help create the special effects for The Big Broadcast of 1937 (1936). He next tried working for Disney and did a highly abstract "Toccata and Fugue" segment for Fantasia, but because studio heads considered them too experimental, they were radically modified. Fischinger got angry and left the studio. He did remain in the U.S. and continued experimenting and creating animated commercials. In 1949, Fischinger won the Grand Prix Award at the Brussels Exhibition for his evocative visual representation of the Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, "Motion Painting No. 1."