This year, the Ottawa International Animation Festival received a record-setting 2,377 entries. Animations were received from all across the globe, and only a select few would make the cut. When the dust settled, only 101 finalists remained. And one of them was Ottawa’s own David Borish, a recent graduate of the Glebe Collegiate Institute.
This will be Borish’s second time competing at the OIAF. Last year, judges considered his stop-motion animation Paper Man. He didn’t win, but Borish says he was just glad to be considered. Seeing his film on the big screen wasn’t so bad either, he tells me.
His animation career began innocently enough. “My teacher assigned a stop-motion project as part of our summitives,” he says, “and we did pretty well on it.” Borish’s interest was piqued. And so he turned to the internet.
“I started watching all these stop-motion videos on YouTube, and started thinking about how I could combine different types of stop-motion.” This combination is what makes Borish’s creations special. Many stop-motion filmmakers create animations using toys. Others animate by taking pictures of posing human beings. Borish does both.
“The process involves me standing against a blank wall with my sister or brother taking pictures,” he explains. These pictures are then printed in miniature and photographed in interaction with small objects and toys.
This year, Borish has entered the OIAF with Paper Man 2, his follow up to the original work. The short film features approximately 390 cutout photos (shown above). “I feel like I put a little more work into Paper Man 2,” Borish says. What kind of work? Well, the first thing Borish did for the project was take a swim.
“At one point [in the film], I’m being chased by a Pac-Man and I dive off a cliff,” Borish says. And so, while on vacation with his family, Borish set about creating the photographs that would eventually make up this sequence. “My sister got an underwater camera and took stop-motion pictures of me under water,” Borish tells me. “It took a long time, but it was worth it.”
Paper Man 2 will be featured at this year’s OIAF alongside other Canadian entries, including Thunder River by Pierre Hébert; Demoni, a music video directed by Genie Award winner Theodore Ushev; and Kali the Little Vampire, narrated by Christopher Plummer.
After the OIAF, Borish plans to take his film on tour, entering it in other festivals. And then he says he’d like to try his hand at a different kind of filmmaking: “I think I’d like to build toward making documentaries,” he says. Perhaps one day people will be making documentaries about him.
You can catch Borish’s new film at the OIAF, which runs September 19 through the 23rd. For information on event tickets, check this out.