Evolution of the Red Star *

Evolution of the Red Star *
Adam Beckett
7'00" · drawing · cameraless · colour
Punto y Raya Festival 2011

This early Adam Beckett film is a hyper-dense drawn animation looped and expanded via his visionary optical printing.

Colored pen-and-ink drawings, like topological maps of biomorphic objects, grow and evolve from the red star. Once the master image is formed, this continuously throbbing, pulsating sight is used to bring changes based on years of optical work.

Music and picture work together to create a mood of ecstatic tranquility.

Adam Beckett
Adam Beckett

1950 | Los Angeles·CA, USA  / +1979

Between 1970 and 1975, Beckett completed seven groundbreaking films: "The Letter" (with James Gore), "Dear Janice", "Evolution of the Red Star", "Sausage City", "Flesh Flows", "Heavy-Light" and "Kitsch in Synch". Two larger independent animations remain unfinished due to Beckett's work in the growing visual effects industry and his tragic and untimely death in 1979 in Los Angeles at the age of 29.
Beckett's approach to animation was distinguished by his use of the optical printer in conjunction with the animation stand. Beckett favored the complex use of animated loops: each successive iteration accreted additional images so that the loops did not merely repeat but evolved, appearing at once the same and different. In addition to drawing, Beckett used the optical camera to re-shoot various cycles: offsetting the frames to create a phasing rhythm and changing the color or re-framing a portion of the drawing for select sequences.
In 1975, Beckett headed his own studio, Infinite Animation and was later recruited to head the Rotoscope and Animation Department on the ground-breaking science fiction film "Star Wars".
-- Pamela Turner