Don’t let the sun catch you crying | Toby Gillies & Natalie Baird

Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying is a 6-minute animated documentary centering Edith, an 87-year-old Hungarian Canadian living in a personal care home in Winnipeg. Several animation techniques (rotoscope, hand drawn frame by frame animation, digital compositing) are woven with live action footage to interpret Edith’s thoughts on the inherent beauty and sacredness of the everyday world, the complexities of grief, and her capacity to live “a hundred lives all over again” – all accessed through the simple act of drawing.

This is a film directed by Toby Gillies and Natalie Baird and was made for the National Film Board of Canada. Creating an animated film is an extremely time consuming and labour intensive process, and Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying has taken Gillies and Baird over two years to make. So many drawings, colour tests, and animation tests haven’t made it into the final film, but they are so beautiful and evocative that I invited them to make an exhibition out of them.

The process of making an animation involves making thousands of drawings and testing many ideas and shots that will not make it into the final cut. This exhibition takes those art works and recontextualizes them as stories about.

Image: still image from the animated film Don’t let the sun catch you crying by Toby Gillies & Natalie Baird.

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