Steven Ball
Marie Craven
Solrun Hoaas
Daryl Dellora

Melbourne independent filmmakers

Leo Berkeley
Giorgio Mangiamele
Michael Buckley
Moira Joseph
 
     


Anthony Lawrence
(Anthony Robert Lawrence)
b. December 20, 1960, Melbourne, Australia.

BIOGRAPHY:   Anthony Lawrence first had the opportunity to make films at Essendon High School between the years of 1975 to 1977 when Media was offered as a Creative Arts subject. He then went on to purchase his own Super 8 gear and made his first, and only, cell animation film Boxed In, which he entered in the 1980 Moomba International Film Festival and which was awarded a Certificate of Merit.

Between 1980 and 1983 Anthony studied Film and television as part of his Bachelor of Education. Portable and colour video was now accessible but Anthony preferred the quality of film and got himself a Beaulieu 4008ZM2. With this he shot a comedy spoof inspired by the first two Mad Max films, entitled The Naughty Boy. Anthony rented the Glasshouse Theatre at RMIT where he showed The Naughty Boy along with his Super 8 Plasmo films and also a Super 8 work by animation director Nick Donkin.

In 1985 Anthony geared up to make a clay animation of a professional standard. The script for the 27 minute film Happy Hatchday to Plasmo took two years to animate and put Anthony in hosptial from an auxiliary vein thrombosis (blood clot in the shoulder) he developed from trying to track read the whole 27 minutes worth of dialogue in a single day in order to return the borrowed equipment in time! The ABC consequently bought the rights to broadcast this film, and spawned the creation of the Plasmo Series for TV, which took five years to secure full funding and then 18 months to prepare and shoot.

 


Since Plasmo Anthony has developed other series concepts, and acquired a rebuilt 35mm Mitchell camera for future animations. In 2001 he completed the 6 minute long puppet animation Looking for Horses which won two Best Animation awards in Australia and a few overseas awards including one at Annecy in 2002.

Anthony was first inspired by animations such as Gumby, The Castle, Wind and the Willows and later by the work of fellow Australian animators such as Nick Donkin, Nick Hilligoss and Glen Hunwick to name a few. He is a fan of directors Kubrick and Kurosawa. His days at college exposed to the works of Corinne and Arthur Cantrill opened up an alternative way of looking at films.



 
 
Plasmo

CRITICAL OVERVIEW:   Clarity and quality of image is one of Anthony's main concerns. Clear and well planned storytelling is another. In puppet animation pre-planning is almost 70% of the work. Anthony does not like public speaking but fully enjoys being present whenever his films are shown.

"Tony Lawrence is one of the Australian masters of stop frame animation. He was responsible for the Plasmo series about an innocent shape-changing alien, broadcast for children by the ABC. In Plasmo there were flashes of joyous perfection, where the puppetry is so exactly right that it honours the reality it imitates. There is a moment where Plasmo swims through the clear, sun-filled waters of a reservoir, bubbles swirling from the aqualung, pink fins trailing weightlessly behind, to rescue a fat alien stuck in the outlet pipe. It is a true delight. But there is a twist in here. Unlike most stop frame animation, Tony is not ultimately interested in creating the perfect illusion. His work is not just hyperrealism. Instead there is a kind of perceptual mirror in the corner of the frame, that calls attention to its own devices."

- David Tiley, "I Spy with my Little Eye - Anthony Lawrence and the Art of Puppet Animation" ABC's "Strange Attractors" website.


FILMOGRAPHY:

(this list does not include the numerous Super 8 home movies made with friends and family for pure enjoyment, nor any television advertisements)

Boxed In (1980, 10 mins, Super 8)

 
 
The Naughty Boy

Pacific (1980, 3 mins, Super 8)

Biton of Rum (1980, 15 mins, Super 8)

Plasmo versus the Space Bullies (1981, 8 mins, Super 8)

Plasmo and the Space Party (1983, 12 mins, Super 8)

Impressions of the Blockade (1984, 12 mins, Super 8 blown up to 16mm)

The Naughty Boy (1985, 42 mins, Super 8)

Happy Hatchday to Plasmo (1989, 27 mins, 16mm)

Plasmo and the Bookworm (1993, 5 mins, 16mm)

Plasmo The Series (1996, 13 x 5 minutes, 16mm, for TV)

Looking for Horses (2001, 6 mins, 35mm)


SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY:

"I Spy with my Little Eye - Anthony Lawrence and the Art of Puppet Animation" by David Tiley, ABC's "Strange Attractors" website.


Anthony Lawrence, March 2006.

Anthony Lawrence's website

Contact Anthony Lawrence

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Melbourne independent filmmakers is compiled by Bill Mousoulis