Raymond McCarthy Bergeron’s candy-colored short film re÷belief has won a huge array of festival awards, and it’s not hard to see why—it’s inventive and pulses with an unusual rhythm. This is due to the process he used to make it: 3D printed zoetropes.
Here’s how the filmmaker, who created the film for his graduate thesis at Rochester Institute of Technology’s School of Film and Animation, explains the meaning behind his method (and check out behind-the-scenes production stills on his blog):
Much of this film is a personal story that recalls nine very specific instances of my life. These are memories that have repeatedly haunted me throughout my youth and adulthood. The memories regularly reflected times of bliss mixed with sullen, miserable moments.
Ultimately, the story thread focuses on cycles, and choosing 3D printed zoetropes as the metaphor and medium within a short film seemed perfect to share a story about childhood, religion and relationships. After all, ‘Zoe’ translates as ‘life’ and ‘trope’ is a reoccurring motif. 3D Printing, handcrafting and manufacturing these zoetropes are physical representations that impart a physicality within this film.
It is hoped that while watching this experimental, filmed animation, the viewer would allow their own life experiences, moments and feelings to emerge and discover the resonances of the film’s themes within their own memories or consciousness.