February 20th, 2004

(no subject)

Статья Нэнси Фэлпс об Александре Татарском


The Animation community world wide has been shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of Alexsandr Mikhaylovich Tartarskiy on 22 July 2007. One of the biggest hearts of Russian animation stopped beating when Tatarskiy passed away in his sleep in his Moscow home at the age of 56. In 1988 Tatarskiy co-founded Pilot Studio, the first private animation studio in the new Russia. The great director and producer developed Pilot into one of the world’s leading animation studios, winning many awards at festivals world wide and mentoring several decades of animators and script writers that are now working in all corners of the world.

Tartarskiy started his animation career in 1968 at Kievnauchfilm ( Kiev Science Film) with his first big break coming in 1978 when several animated segments had to be made for the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. The people assigned to the project couldn’t come up with anything interesting but Alexsandr boasted that “I can do it using my left hand” and he did! His success led to his grateful bosses at studio Ecran giving him the chance to direct any film that he would like. The result was the 1981 animated film THE PLASTICINE COW, which has become a Soviet animation classic.

His second claymation work for the television show GOOD NIGHT CHILDREN, footage used to open and close the show, which is still watched by Russian children, continues to be shown daily after 25 years and is in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest continuing running piece of animation.

In 1986 Tartarskiy became the first animator from the USSR to produce animation for a Western client, the American television channel TBS (Turner Broadcasting Station). He went on to explore other forms of animation, winning numerous awards at festivals all over the world.

When Soyuzmult Film Studio began to collapse in the 1990’s, Tartarskity co-founded Pilot Studio to fill the void. In the former Soviet Union, since everyone working in all aspects of animation was trained at the studio where they were employed, Pilot became the major training ground for young animators, with Alexsandr teaching many of the classes himself. In 2004 Pilot Studios undertook one of the most ambitious projects ever taken by a Russian Animation Studio, a series entitled MOUNTAIN OF GEMS. The series is to eventually consist of 52 animated films based on folk tales of the various Russian ethnic groups and created by different animators. 27 films have been completed, each beginning with Tartarskiy’s wonderful clay painting describing the different cultures. I have viewed many of the episodes and they are brilliant, beautifully executed animations based on captivating folk tales. Even if like me you do not understand the Russian language, you will be charmed by the films.

The studio system breakdown in Russia created more isolation for Russian animators, and so to help fill the void he founded and presided over “The Open Russian Festival of Animated Film” in 1996 which is a major Russian animation festival. He was also on the Festival Organizing Committee of the KROK International Festival Committee, Secretary of the Union of Russian Scripwriters for several years, Secretary of the Russian Film Makers Union and a member of the Russian Film Academy, NIKA. In 1998 he received the State Prize of the Russian Federation of Arts.

The following message has been put up on the Pilot Studio website - http://www.pilot-film.com/:
Dear friends, colleagues, and those who love animation…
We have suffered a great loss.
Our leader has left this life.
The soul of our studio.
Our Aleksandr Mikhaylovich Tatarskiy.
There are no words yet. They will come later.
But works have been done. And are. And will be.
And a there is great sense of gratitude for everything.
For the fact that we are in this profession. For the fact that we have not grown up, or have not grown up fully. For the joyous feeling of freedom that was granted to us by our Chief.
It is difficult to say what you feel, when the atmosphere which you have breathed dissappears. Of course, we will continue to live and work, and to create in a way that we will not ashamed before our Teacher.
And still, there must be some time to accept this Loss and calmly think about what to do next.
Thank you to all who responded and mourn with us.

Russian animator Ivan Maximov wrote:
”While talking to him I always noticed that no one but Tatarsky had so much ideas and jokes in his head. Other people would squeeze it out, suffer it out of them, but he had a natural talent, being a fountain of ideas. Many tried to shut this fountain down. Strange fact, that today after he died the water supply to my studio was shut off.”

“The word "Tatarsky" just doesn't go together with the word "dead". He is alive in the people he was teaching, and in his films”, Russian animator Aleksey Budovskiy e-mailed to me, and I believe that this echoes the sentiments of so many of us in the animation community. Aleksandr Mikhaylovich Tatarskiy will live on in his work and in the hearts of all of us who were lucky enough to have known him.

I would like to thank Aleksey Budovskiy for his assistance in translating Russian web site material for me.