blackbirdonline journalSpring 2021  Vol. 20  No. 1

The Junebugs

Oddfellows says of the 2016 work:

Our first studio short, the film serves as an animated interpretation of “The Junebugs,” a poem written by American author and poet Steve Scafidi.

We first heard “The Junebugs” read by the poet from an early manuscript that would later become To the Briar and the Bramble, a book of poems that renders the development of Abraham Lincoln’s vision in all of its clumsiness and beauty. The unromanticized, and deeply human portrayal of Lincoln begged for a visual reinterpretation. Years later the poem would become our first animated short.

Visual deveopment—influences—The Junebugs animation

Visually the film draws inspiration from the paintings of Andrew Wyeth and Terrence Malick’s 1978 film, Days of Heaven—rural landscapes, fields of thick knee high grasses gathering light in slow waves as the wind ripples over the surface.

The Junebugs, visual development
The scene is cut up by stands of trees, rough hewn fences, and in the distance a plain simple homestead. It is late afternoon, just as the light wanes into twilight. A father and son are still hard at work in their field.   

Original poem by Steve Scafidi
Read by David Purdham
Directed by Oddfellows
Creative Direction: Chris Kelly
Art Direction: Colin Trenter
Producer: TJ Kearney
Screenplay: Justin Kelly
Design and Illustration: Yuki Yamada, Hana kim
Title Design: Lisa Mishima
Animation: Stan Cameron, Chris Anderson, Nata Metlukh, Josh Parker, Kavan Magsoodi,
                 Jay Quercia, Lorraine Sorlet, Chris Kelly, Colin Trenter, Jordan Scott
Music and Sound by Antfood

Closed Captioning by Blackbird media editor Chase Ober.

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