"Quest" by Tyron Montgomery and Thomas Stellmach's (1996)
"I heard about the nomination via a radio station on Tuesday night while I was working at Kassel University. After all the long and hard work on the film, this was a recognition that broke the tension, and which may change my life from one moment to the other. There was suddenly a great rush by the media. Images of the future are going through my head. Nervousness, even panic and fear followed. How will life go on? Will the next steps be the right ones? For the German public and media, the Academy Awards have become more and more important. There is much more interest in the nomination of Quest than there was seven years ago when the German Oscar winner, Balance was in the competition. Many people in Germany look forward to the ceremony on March 24. There is a lot of tension. Until then, I am trying to work on my diploma film which will be a cel animation."
--Thomas Stellmach, producer
Co-created by Thomas Stellmach, and an animator who goes by the name of Tyron Montgomery, Quest is a mixed-media, stop motion film which uses materials not commonly used in animation. In a quest for water, a sand puppet leaves the sand world in which it lives. It wanders through other worlds made of paper, stone and iron, following the sound of dripping water. In the end, the sand puppet manages to reach the water . . . in a very tragic way. (via)
Web del cortometraje.Web de Tyron Montgomery
Looking Back on the University Days: A Survey of Alumnae
Talents fresh from the world's top animation schools reminisce about their educations.
June 01, 1997
By Heather Kenyon (fragmento)
Tyron Montgomery graduated from the animation department at the University of Kassel, where he directed the stop-motion animated film Quest, winner of the 1997 Academy Award for best animated short film. He is now animating and directing on various projects, including a recent commercial at Cod Steaks in Bristol, England.
"Students from Kassel have won Oscars in 1990 for Balance and in 1997 for Quest. This may give the impression that the Kassel's animation school is a very advanced, top-class institution. But in fact, it isn't. The animation class there has only around ten students, very little equipment, only a few small rooms, and an annual budget of less than $2,700. US dollars (I never know whether I should laugh or cry about this.). There are hardly any formal lectures. If you want to, you can talk to the professors about your projects, if they are around - and that's not very often. So then, what's the secret?
In other schools, where you have lectures and exercises and loads of equipment to play with, students learn something but often forget the most important thing: filmmaking is not about playing around with technology. Filmmaking is about telling stories. Here's one of the advantages of Kassel: the professor of the animation class, Paul Driessen, whose great animated films we all know. He's very good at helping his students to develop the stories for their films. Once you have a good story, creating interesting pictures and a good soundtrack is not a matter of money or modern technology, but a matter of talent and craftsmanship. A big budget and fancy effects will not make your film any better without a convincing storyline
The other advantage to Kassel is freedom. In most schools students must finish one film per year and spend most of their time with lectures and exercises. In Kassel no one really cares what you do, so you can really take your time and concentrate on making your films as good as possible, even if you need a few years.
The fact that the university doesn't teach the students subjects like film language, editing, color design, body language, art history, dramaturgy, etc. . . . is not so important. I've analyzed many films, spoken to filmmakers at festivals, and read loads of books in the library. These events have provided me with a good theoretical base where I could decide for myself what to learn for my own filmmaking process without having to spend time in lessons, learning things I might never need.
My advice to animation students: if you want to become an animator, background artist or some other specialist in the animation industry, stick to your pencil, your computer or whatever tool you need, and learn to use it really well. Nowadays, the industry demands top-quality work. But if you want to become an independent filmmaker, always start with a good story, whether it's your own idea or not. Then try to create interesting pictures, not by using unnecessary effects but by utilizing a well-photographed, well-designed and interesting style. Then try to find sounds and music that match your images and really bring your film to life (sound is a weakness of many animated films). As far as the animation is concerned, good choreography and expressive characters are far more important than technical smoothness.
Quest was filmed with an old Arri camera on an old Russian animation stand. We used old-fashioned models made of wood, polystyrene, and some paint. With the basic elements of story telling, animation, and filmmaking - and of course, love, imagination and patience, we managed to create something special. Actually, Balance is an even better example: half of a ping-pong table, five simple puppets, and a Bolex was all it took [Christoph and Wolfgang Lauenstein] to win an Oscar! Why? Because the film had a good story, an interesting visual style, and simple, but atmospheric, sound. So, wind up your cameras and do it! (via)