Animation &Animation Artifacts &Tissa David 27 May 2008 07:49 am

Tissa’s Midsummer

- From 1983-85, Tissa David teamed with three other friends in Holland to begin work on an animated version of Mendelssohn’s Midsummer’s Night Dream.

This film would introduce several animated characters from Shakespeare’s play over a live action orchestral performance of Mendolssohn’s music. These characters chased each other around the orchestra until, eventually, the animation took over, and the orchestra melted away. The tympanist, himself, melded into Bottom.

This film was completely animated by Tissa, including all inbetweens and layouts. She was the film’s director, though in all the time she worked on this film, she never once described her role to me as such. She was just making a film she loved with several extraordinarily talented friends.

Kalman Kozelka was a brilliant cameraman who shot the entire film in a home built multiplane camera. It’s unjust to call it simply photography, because every scene involved seven to ten exposures with mattes and special lighting. Half of the scenes combined live action with the animation, and all of the scenes involved multiple levels with back and front lighting.

Ida Kozelka-Mocsary, Kalman’s wife, designed all the character coloring and colored all the cels . She worked closely in helping Kalman to prepare everything for the photography including mattes.

Richard Fehsl was the brilliant designer who colored and, in many cases, animated the Bg’s. All of these Bg’s were painted with dyes on frosted cels under rather delicate inking.

All four took story credit.

I have a good handful of the overlarge cels and artwork from the film. Here are a few of those cels along with a number of representative frame grabs from the film.

__________________(Click any image to enlarge.)

__________________Titania, the drawing and the cel.



__________________Three of Richard Fehsl’s Bg elements. These were back lit
__________________and front lit and combined with other Bg levels.



___I have so much more art from this film, that there’ll surely be more posts to come.

This video (vhs) can still be located – used copies – on Amazon here.


4 Responses to “Tissa’s Midsummer”

  1. on 27 May 2008 at 8:07 am 1.Mark Mayerson said …

    Is there any way to see this?

  2. on 27 May 2008 at 11:46 am 2.Jenny said …

    Wow…that’s beautiful stuff. Wow.

  3. on 27 May 2008 at 12:46 pm 3.David said …

    Ok, I’m a third: this looks wonderful. I’d love to see it . Sign me up for the DVD if it becomes available on DVD (I’ll check out the used copies available on VHS, thanks for the link)

  4. on 27 May 2008 at 7:47 pm 4.Tom Sito said …

    Beautiful work. Bravo!

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