Purple Television

[May 27 2014] : music

Tom Waits For No One (1979)

Tom Waits For No One (1979) by John Lamb

Following the opening of broadway play The Tempest at A.R.T. with music by Tom Waits we look back at the magical short rotoscoped movie Tom Waits for No One. Produced and directed by John Lam of Lyon Lam, the live action was shot with 5 cameras – 2 high, 2 low and one hand held. The music from “The One That Got Away” played in the background as Tom sang the lyrics while dancer Donna Gordon performs as the stripper. 6 takes and 13 hours of video footage were edited to make a 5 1/2 minute live action short which we turned into animation. A total of 5,500 frames were captured, re-drawn, inked and painted by hand onto celluloid acitate to create this film. Inspired by his performance at the Roxy in 1977, the short was unfortunately never released commercially and didn’t see the light of day until the advent of YouTube. In 1979, an Academy Award for Scientific and Technical Achievement was presented to Lyon Lamb for the combination of rotoscoping and pencil test used in this short.

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