Paper Cuts: Maya Erdelyi Experiments with Form



Experimental animation filmmaking is not necessarily a genre in which I can boast broad familiarity; so it was a great opportunity to recently watch the films six such animators whose work can be seen here: Rock Ross, Nina Paley, Brent Green, Stacey Steers and Maya Erdelyi.

Though I ended up only interviewing Maya Erdelyi, I felt that by the end of our conversation, I had some semblance of a rudimentary education. Maya is a tremendously talented filmmaker and craftsperson who uses myriad types of paper to create unforgettable and abstract stories. Where does she get her inspirations? Most filmmakers are most inspired by their forebears, but much of Maya’s inspiration comes from fine artists and photographers. This makes sense once you listen to Maya talk about her process.

“I like to work with garbage. Yeah, I work a lot with found textures. I’ve been meaning to go to the print department [at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts, where she teaches] and sift through the garbage.” She goes on to describe how she recently visited an Indian reservation gift shop, proceeded to purchase various things; kept the packaging but tossed out the products inside. She also urges people to send her any unique types of paper, so long as they’re not “dangerous.”

Using post-production tools and methods such as green screens, digital photo tools, stop animation and collaging in films like Pareidolia and PhosphenaMaya Erdelyi creates something fresh, colorful and unique.

Listen to Filmwax Radio: Maya Erdelyi

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