Monday, 10 October 2016

Lotte Reigniger

Lotte Reigniger was a film director and silhouette animator who was born on the 2nd June in Charlottenburg, Berlin, Germany. Growing up she became interested in Chinese shadow puppetry and the films created by Georges Melies, known for his special effects in theatrical film making. This sparked an interest for Lotte as a child. She often made small, shadow puppet shows for her close family and friends.

She later became interested Paul Wegener a German actor, writer and Director. As a young women, Reigniger managed to find a job in designing inter-titles for his films. When working on the film The Pied Piper of Hamelin (1918), Paul Wegener had a problem when it came to animating live rats! They even tried guinea-pigsSo he asked for Lotte's assistance!

Here she speaks of her first encounter with Animation

"So it had to be wooden rats and stop-motion. We were again hidden in our cellars, loaded with wooden rats this time. The Piper piped, the shot was fired and we put our rats out of the window and withdrew hastily. We came out again, moved our rats a fraction, withdrew again, and doing this from five o’clock in the morning until the sun was setting we really had moved our rats all along the street."

Lotte then discovered the experimental animation studio, called the Berliner Institut für Kulturforschung, where she worked along side  Bertolt Brecht and her future husband Carl Koch. This is where she practiced and refined aher artistic approach to film making! 

Here is one of her animations for you to enjoy! 

First Animated GIF