BFI London Film Festival Screening of ‘Tower’

 

My animated documentary The Five Senses of Asperger Syndrome

On 9th October 2016, I went to Hackney Picturehouse to see Tower (directed by Keith Maitland, 2016) as part of BFI London Film Festival. I chose to see that film because it is an animated documentary, I learnt about the genre when I was at university and I even made my own animated documentary entitled The Five Senses of Asperger Syndrome.

Trailer for Tower 

Tower documents the first ever mass university shooting at the University of Texas on 1st August 1966 and focuses on people who were both involved in the shooting and people who witnessed it. It uses a combination of rotoscoping (animation that is produced by tracing over live-action footage) and live-action archive footage. I found the film to be a harrowing and intriguing watch; I like the animation style because it is lifelike and eye catching; and I also like the soundtrack of dramatic incidental music, realistic sound effects and popular 1960s music.

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Keith Maitland (left on stage), director of Tower

After the screening, the audience got to ask Keith Maitland some questions. I asked him the following:

Were the animated segments traced over film footage that was filmed more recently as opposed to the archive footage?

He then gave me this answer:

The animated sequences were traced over more recent film footage but most of the film was shot in the director’s garden because filming was not allowed on the campus. In the animated shots where the campus was included the animation was traced over a combination of archive footage of the campus and actors who played the roles of those who were involved in the shootings or those who witnessed them.

Overall Tower is a must-see animated documentary that I would most likely want to see again and I would definitely purchase it if it ever becomes available on DVD. I give this film a rating of 9/10.

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