This book examines the life and animated art of the late Adam K. Beckett. Beckett is known for his six award-winning animations, made between the years 1972-1975, that were ground-breaking at the time and that continue to influence artists today. He is also recognized for his contributions to the first Star Wars movie, as he was head of the animation and rotoscoping area. Beckett was a shooting star during a critical time of change; an innovative genius as well as a unique and compelling character. His life and work illuminates significant social and cultural changes of that time: the emerging independent animation movement of the 1970s in the United States; the rebirth of the visual effects industry; the intersection of animation with newly developed video imaging and computer graphics; and the intense Cultural Revolution that occurred in the 1960s. Beckett’s work in animation and effects was pioneering. His premature death cemented his mythic reputation as a larger than life artist and personality.
- A comprehensive biography of Adam Beckett, based on original research
- Photographs of and drawings by Beckett that are not yet published or available
- Critical look at his six primary films that include insight into his techniques and process
- Insight into the re-emerging visual effects field, through Beckett's work at Robert Abel and Associations and Industrial Light and Magic
- The emergence of a "golden age" of independent animation in the United States
Table of Contents
1. Auspicious Beginnings: The Young Artist in 1950s Los Angeles and Abroad. 2. Transitions: Adam in Motion. 3. The "Idealistic Young Mystic" at Antioch College. 4. Two Letters and a New School. 5. The Evolving Artist in Eden. 6. From the Carnal to the Cosmic. 7. Sausage City and Adam's Music. 8. Bridging Art and Effects: A New Generation Emerges. 9. A Star Adrift.
Pamela Taylor Turner is an Associate Professor of animation and media arts studies in the School of the Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her scholarly work focuses on an expanded inquiry into independent animation in the United States, following connections to visual effects and new media practices. She has presented her extensive research on the animated films of Adam K. Beckett at REDCAT in Los Angeles, the National Gallery of Art in DC, and at numerous conferences and film venues. She is the director of the Adam K. Beckett project at the iotaCenter in LA. The interdisciplinary nature of animation is integral to her studio work, which is situated in cultural introspection and individual experience of natural space and phenomenon. Her films have been exhibited both nationally and internationally at galleries and film festivals.