One-on-one with filmmaker Timothy David Orme on his animated short “fulcrum”, and more.
Timothy David Orme is a writer, filmmaker, and animator. Although he uses his full name for credits and publication, he goes by Tim. His last name is pronounced O-M (like the sacred hum of the universe). His short films and animations spanning nearly every genre (experimental, narrative, music video, and documentary) have been shown at film festivals and art venues all over the world, including European Media Arts Fest, Jihalva International Documentary Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Philadelphia Film and Animation Festival, Raindance, and the National Gallery of Art among others. His film most recent film, fulcrum was a juried film at the 2022 Thomas Edison Film Festival, won best animation at the 2022 Dam Short Film Festival, 2022 Arizona International Film Festival, 2002 Liverpool Underground Film Festival, and was featured on Short of the Week.
iFilmFestival: Tell us a bit about your most important film so far.
TDO: “The most important film I've made would probably be "fulcrum." "fulcrum" is a film mildly driven and widely inspired by fractals (the Fibonacci sequence specifically), so it's a film that's continuously spiraling around itself and expanding out. I started thinking of loops as a form and wondered what would happen if I created loops that could then break into other loops. As each loop breaks its loop and moves into another, the film creates a kind of spiral shape. (I say this now as if I knew it going in, but it took me some time to realize how that was actually happening.)
iFilmFestival: What were the key challenges making it?
TDO: “Mostly everything. I hand-inked the whole thing, so even when frames were animated in stop motion or in 3D software, they were re-inked. It helps create a specific aesthetic for the film, but it's an absurd amount of labor.”
iFilmFestival: What’s one aspect that you’re particularly proud of?
TDO: “I'm always most proud of the sound design in my films, even though I don't DO the sound design. I typically have a lot of sound ideas, and I love the collaborative aspect between me and the sound designer, Lanier Sammons in this case. On my end, I'm probably most proud of the way the film comes together at the end, as long final shot was a real effort to put together and to get a computer to process.”
fulcrum by Timothy David Orme (2021)
iFilmFestival: How did you get involved in filmmaking?
TDO: “I started writing poetry and other things and just happened to run into a friend who was making films. This was in the early 2000's, so digital gear was just becoming a thing. I then realized putting together crews and building spaces to shoot in is a lot of work, and that I'd prefer to do that on my computer at home.”
iFilmFestival: What new projects are you working on or are you hoping to work on in the future?
TDO: “I just finished a new short, a bit of an anthology film, “vvaaccuumm”. It's the first film I think I really made for myself, and I have no idea if anyone else will find it to be worth watching. I'm curious how people will respond. I'm also releasing a new music video in April [“1 2 12” for Ruinas Nuevas has been released since the time this interview has taken place, ed.] and then another on in November. I'd love to keep working on music videos for larger bands and even to animate on feature-length documentaries or something.”
iFilmFestival: What role do film festivals play?
TDO: “For me they're mostly where my films get seen. I love festivals and being apart of them in whatever way I can. There's something that will always be amazing about the communal viewing experience. I also love meeting other filmmakers!”
iFilmFestival: What is your advice to filmmakers tackling the festival circuit?
TDO: “Don't go broke doing it. Meet people and have fun but don't think it will make you an overnight sensation.”
iFilmFestival: How do you see the future of film?
TDO: “I'm not sure! Things have shifted and theaters aren't as popular, but hopefully they'll stay in business and keep people coming for things like film festivals and concerts and art talks. I think the art form of film is still a great place to experiment and I hope to see people do great things with time (as a medium) in the future.”
iFilmFestival: Which filmmaker do you admire and why?
TDO: “I really love the animated films of Reka Bucsi. They're typically these longer, sprawling anthology films that are tied together only in theme and (maybe) location. She's a raw talent and one people are really excited about, I think.”
iFilmFestival: What film have you recently seen that you have admired in one way or another?
TDO: “It's not super recent, but Will Anderson's "Betty" is mind-blowningly crafted and just beautiful. There's nothing like it and I think that's why it sticks with me so much.”
iFilmFestival: Thank you Timothy for answering our questions!
Interview by iFilmFestival on 15/2/2023.