Film

I received my MFA from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television with an emphasis in animation in 1995. Below are links to a selection of my independent short animated, documentary and experimental films.

 

Clawed and Sally (a work in progress)

Clawed loves Sally.
Sally loves Clawed.
The only thing the Serpent ever wanted was love.

An ever evolving work in progress.

 

The Common Sense of the Wisdom Tree

From the natural gifts of air, wood, and food, to the nurturing of the human spirit, the Wisdom Tree's convincing appeal to the senses inspires a boy to a new appreciation for trees and the interconnectedness of all life. The Common Sense of the Wisdom Tree screened in 30 international film festivals and was honored with 7 awards.

 

 

Wonder Water Web

Through poetic narration and vibrant flowing animation, Wonder Water Web carries its voyager on a nautical journey from a drop in the clouds to the depth of the seas. This tribute to the oceans raises awareness about the relationship between humans and the seas while playfully inspiring an appreciation for the interconnectedness of life. Wonder Water Web screened in 25 international film festivals and was featured in the theaters of several aquariums throughout the United States.

 

 

Train of Thought

A head trip on the brain train from darkness into the light, Train of Thought was my first "Poemation™" created in the UCLA Animation Workshop. It screened in many animation festivals, including the prestigious Zagreb festival and was honored with the UCLA Spotlight Award in a gala screening at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

 

 

TreeMan

The film was created before computers had the ability to output to digital video, so I had to go through the entire traditional film process to create the illusion of the talking tree. I first recorded the dialogue and then analyzed the soundtrack to determine which mouth positions were required for each frame. I then scanned into the computer a series of photographs to represent every mouth position, manipulated the images in Adobe Photoshop 2.0 (before layers!), and shot them one frame at a time directly off the computer screen with a 16mm film camera. The film took 4 months to create. Today I could do it in one day in After Effects!

Sow N' Till

This entire film was drawn in a 36-hour marathon at the UCLA "Falling Lizard" weekend in January 1994 as an artistic response to the '94 Northridge earthquake. I later recorded myself playing my original piano composition and synchronized the music to the film.

 

 

 

Stress Dream

"Stress Dream" was my very first animated film. I created it for my application portfolio to UCLA Film School. I used the inside corner of a picture frame and paper clips to register the drawings and shot the film on my dad's old Super 8 film camera. I created the soundtrack by blasting the music on the stereo in my bedroom and shouting the limerick while dubbing straight to VHS. .

 

 

Grandpa's Dream

My dad, Lloyd Blonder, had been planning a retirement vacation to DisneyWorld with the grandchildren since before they were born. I, his "spitiually evolved" son, had other ideas about the best way to celebrate life. When the time for the trip finally came, Grandpa's Dream took some unexpected turns which set the stage for a touching testimonial to the connections between a father and his son.

 

 

NewJew Media Arts
As the Director of Media Arts at New Community Jewish High School, I work with teams of faculty and students to create experimental media projects involving the entire student body. Here are a few favorites that I conceived, produced and directed.

 

Etz Chaim He - The Tree of Life

"It is a Tree of Life to them that hold fast to it." The theme of the NCJHS All-School Shabbaton was based on this passage from the Torah about the Tree of Life. I worked with a group of students to paint the tree on a field which was used a giant green screen. I then animated our Head of School planting the seed to grow the "Tree of Life".

 

 

The Crossing of the Red Sea

On the moonless night of April 3, 2008, the entire student body of New Community Jewish High School in West Hills, CA gathered on a dark field to re-enact the seminal event in the story of the Jewish People: The Exodus from Egypt through the Red Sea.

 

 

 

Ich Bin Du

Yom HaShoah (Holocaust memorial) programs at NCJHS strive to create a balance between celebration of Jewish civilization before the war and solemn memorial for the lives and worlds lost. During this program, students were filmed against a green screen as they entered the room. They sat in circles on the floor, interacted with photographs and artifacts from the Yiddish world and wrote poetry to process their thoughts and emotions while considering the theme Ich Bin Du: Here I Am. While working in their groups, I filled the video silhouettes of walking students with footage of life before the war (from the documentary film "Image Before Our Eyes") and composited the video against background paintings created by students in NCJHS art classes. The audio recording of this video was recorded live in the room as the students viewed the media composition on a big screen at the end of the program.