Project Description

Simon Pummell

Portrait of Simon Pummell

FSC-Harvard Fellow 2008-09

Simon Pummell’s animated & special FX films for television, idents and promos have won numerous international awards. In 2003 he wrote and directed Bodysong, a feature film & website that used found footage taken from across the last 100 years of cinema to depict an archetypal life story. The project received critical acclaim and won a BAFTA, and a British Independent Film Award, among other awards; the soundtrack, composed by Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead, received an Ivor Novello Nomination. In 2005/6 Pummell received a UK National Endowment for Science, Technology & Art ‘Dream Time Fellowship’ to research ways to harness new media strategies for story telling in film. In 2007 he was a visiting Lecturer in the VES faculty at Harvard. Tests shot during this period became initial steps towards the creation of a method to ‘draw’ or ‘redraw’ lensed images directly: lifting, stretching and twisting film footage frame by frame in ways directly analogous to drawing. His current project with the Film Study Centre will exploit the potential plasticity, and graphic flexibility, inherent in digital moving images to visualise the theology and cosmology of Daniel Paul Schreber, the psychotic writer: whose book — Denkwürdigkeiten ein Nervenkranken (Memoirs of My Nervous Illness 1903) — was made famous by Freud’s critical reading. Schreber, the son of child educator Daniel Gottlieb Moritz Schreber, was raised within bizarre and punitive systems of training and discipline developed by his father, and suffered from severe psychosis later in life.