Monday, 26 March 2012

Animator Profile: Norman McLaren

Norman McLaren was born in 1914 in Stirling, Scotland and attended the Glasgow School of Fine Arts in 1932. McLaren began as a simple art student but would end his career as a renowned film maker and animation pioneer.

In 1933 he created his first film Seven Till Five a “day in the life of an art school” which showed influence from Sergei Eisenstein, the Soviet Montage film maker, and this influence continued through his later work, as seen in Camera Make Whoopee (1935) with heavy use of superimposition and animation.

In 1936 McLaren become interested in political ideals and was at one point part of the Communist Party of Great Britain, and out of this interest he created the film Hell UnLtd (1936)

Once he had graduated, McLaren joined the General Post Office Film Unit (GPOFU) in London, where he worked under John Grierson. It was there that he created Love on the Wing (1937), using the technique of drawing directly on the filmstrip. After expressing his talent, John Grierson asked McLaren to work alongside him as he left for Canada and founded the National Film Board of Canada. It was here that McLaren was asked to help put together the NFB’s first animation team.


Sexton, Jami. Reference Guide to British and Irish Film Directors
University of Stirling

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