Scaramouche

L'Heure du concert
Announcer: Henri Bergeron
Producer: Françoys Bernier
Graphic artist: Frédéric Back

Synopsis

Pianists Charles Reiner and one of his students play Darius Milhaud's Scaramouche, illustrated with an animated film by Frédéric Back.

First experience with 16mm film

Using puppets cut out of paper and sheet metal, Frédéric Back made an 8½-minute animated film in less than three weeks - a unique exploit in the history of L'Heure du concert. Based on a pre-recorded soundtrack of Scaramouche, he made these characters move and dance in perfect time to the music by manipulating them on a pane of glass over a hand-drawn set, while at the same time moving certain parts of the set. Not only did he simultaneously animate images on two planes under an overhead camera but the film consisted of a single, unbroken shot! However, this masterful feat did not produce the desired results on air since the film was broadcast to music played live by the two pianists and, unfortunately, their rendition was a little faster than the pre-recorded version Back had used. Although it was a fascinating experience, it was never repeated.