Remembering a Forgotten Flier

I’m so pleased with what I wrote on my “Current Work” page that I’ll quote it here:

I’m making an animated documentary about Gustave Whitehead.   He was a flier, and was largely forgotten.  The reason why this is interesting is because he made a controlled, powered flight in a heavier-than-air vehicle two years before the Wright Brother’s flew!  So, I’m making an animated documentary about him.  Perhaps this work will inspire other people to innovate and push the envelope of human discovery, knowing that even if they never achieve fame, even if they die penniless, it’s possible that someone might make an animated documentary about them.  Indeed, a chance at immortality.

Yep — I am indeed doing it!  I’ve made the bulk of the artwork, which is charcoal pencil on heavy watercolor paper, and I’ve got it into After Effects.  The voice track is done and I’m quite pleased with it!  An original score is also underway.  Exciting things!

Below are some low-res captures from my first renderings.  I’ll no doubt do some general color correction and maybe throw a vignette on it and whatever other finishing is needed.  Blah blah.  Here are some stills!

Doomed Pittsburgh Flight

Since when do airplanes cast shadows on the sky? Since I adopted a puppet show aesthetic for my new documentary! That's when.

Gustave in his Pittsburgh Plane

Gustave Whitehead exhorts his assistant to stoke the steam engine!



  1. Laura · November 6, 2009

    I am so excited to see that you are pursuing this project! Yay! Yay! And the artwork is beautiful.

  2. David Stamm · November 9, 2009

    I second that motion! This looks likely to be a compelling treatment of a fascinating subject. And the shadows on the sky are awesome!

  3. kperryfilm · November 9, 2009

    Thank you both for the words of encouragement. I especially appreciate your validation of my contra-physical graphic choices!

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