Sunday, November 07, 2010

Illustrating Sandburg's Rootabaga Stories

Sometimes when you're making a film you gotta swing for the fences. Pick some 'best case' option and go for it. That's pretty much what I did with the artist David Cowles. I knew I wanted to illustrate/animate one of Carl Sandburg's Rootabaga Stories for our film "The Day Carl Sandburg Died" so I took a look at some animation that I really liked on-line and loved what he had done for the band They Might Be Giants but I really didn't think he would be available or affordable. So I sent him an e-mail and the next thing I knew (much to his credit) he was working on it. Sometimes you just gotta ask.

Telling the fascinating story of Sandburg writing his wonderfully ahead of its time children's fiction (shortly after almost being arrested for espionage!) was always an important part of the film, but it had to have images as wacky and bizarre as the stories themselves... Thanks to David and his friend and animator Jeremy Galante, and even David's daughter's band "The Girls" contributing a fantastic yukalaylee song they marvelously created Sandburg's village of liver and onions from his Rootabaga Stories. Its a wonderful journey into the surreal portion of Carl Sandburg's brain. I can't wait for everyone to see it when the film premiers.

Thanks again David, Jeremy and Alison.

1 comment:

Jill H-A said...

AWESOME! I truly believe the Rootabaga Stories were both an escape for Sandburg but also a clever way to still state his opinions about the era of U.S. crack down on anything resembling socialism or communism, without putting himself at risk of further prosecution; he had a family to take care of and this was the perfect solution, it helped him lay low, get some much needed emotional/intellectual rest, and still stay in the "game."

Jill H-A