Jeff Scher

Jeff Scher is an American filmmaker, animator and painter, based in New York. He was born Jeffery Noyes Scher, on December 24, 1954. Scher graduated from Bard College in 1976. He is married to Bonnie Siegler and they currently live in Brooklyn with their two children. His work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Academy Film Archives, Hirshhorn Museum, Pompidou Centre, Musee d’Art Moderne, Vienna Kunsthalle and Austrian National Archive. Z Animation To supplement his income, Scher creates and directs commercials for HBO, HBO Family, PBS, Nick Jr, Ameritek, International Film Festival and the Sundance Channel. He also teaches graduate courses and at the School of Visual Arts and plans to begin as an instructor at NYU Tisch School of the Arts Kanbar Institute of Film & Television’s Animation program in the fall of 2008. New York Times

Film Methodology

As an underground filmmaker, Scher uses lights, abstractions and visual effects all paired with music to create experimental short films. His films have been described as animated still life as they are made from various drawings in which the images change to trigger responses within the human mind. He uses his paintings and collages by overlapping the colors and textures to seem as if they are in fact “moving” in a hypnotic fashion. Images of influential behaviorists, Hermann Rorschach and Ivan Pavlov, appear in some of his films. The films are highly irrational in their juxtapositions, but this is the intention of the filmmaker. Scher wants his viewers to create their own stories from the visuals he provides. Films such as All the Wrong Reasons seek to create of feeling of dreaming. One should have a sense of dreaming while awake and a connection to the subconscious mind.

Scher’s abstract films are all approximately two and a half minutes long. He feels that this amount of time is more than enough to allow the viewer to become engaged. Although digital tools are cheaper and faster for creating film, Scher prefers vintage machinery and technologies to create his image-rich films to effectively affect the senses. He uses the rotoscopic technique which involves projecting film frames on to paper and then tracing them by hand. After this, the paper images are animated by separately shooting each sheet as a single frame.


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