InBetweening America

InBetweening America was Candy Kugel's first film. She created it in 1977 when she first started inbetweening TV commercials at Perpetual Motion Pictures. It was finally completed in 2001 when The Saul Steinberg Foundation gave permission to exhibit it.

Based on a New Yorker magazine cover by Saul Steinberg, twenty American icons morph from one to another, representing the vast diversity in this country.

A definition for all you non-animation people out there: An 'inbetween' is a drawing that connects two animation drawings. Traditionally, the more experienced animator draws only the key drawings in a scene. He is then followed by an assistant who 'cleans-up' the drawings so they look like the animation models and does more intermediate drawings between the animator's poses leaving only single drawings, or 'inbetweens' which are passed on to the least experienced artist, the 'inbetweener', to complete.

Based on Saul Steinberg drawings ©The Saul Steinberg Foundation, which has given permission to exhibit InBetweening America.

InBetweening America was my first film. I created it in 1977 when I was working full-time at Perpetual Motion Pictures. Saul Steinberg was an idol of mine and this was an homage to him. Until 1976, most of the work I’d done at Perpetual Motion Pictures was my own design and animation; I’d never inbetweened fully constructed animated characters.

One evening after a particularly hard day of inbetweening a Hawaiian Punch commercial with a dozen characters in each drawing, I took a bus home. I imagined one passenger's face 'morph' into the next. When I got home, I saw the cover of that week's New Yorker Magazine, drawn by Saul Steinberg. It mirrored my hallucination!!

Unfortunately, although when I screened a workprint for Mr. Steinberg, he seemed to be impressed by my drawings and even suggested a collaboration in the future, he decided that he wanted to make his own film first. He would not allow me to distribute or exhibit "InBetweening America." After his death, The Saul Steinberg Foundation was impressed by its fidelity to Steinberg's style and gave me permission to exhibit it. I finally completed the film and it premiered at the New York Film Festival in 2001, weeks after 9/11. It seemed a very appropriate time.

The AMC series "Behind the Screen" caught me at the opening night of the New York Film Festival-- about 3:50 into the clip!



•39th New York Film Festival, New York, NY
•Castelli Animati
, Genzano, ITALIA


Director/Animator/Writer: Candy Kugel
Based On A Drawing By: Saul Steinberg ©The Saul Steinberg Foundation
Music By: John McKinney
Editor: Thomas Schlamme
Digital Transfer From Mag: Fran at Trackwise
Mix: Allan Silverman at ARF Digital
Telecine Transfer: Princzko Productions
Colorist: Bill Willig
Film Optical: The Effects House (John Alagna)
Film Processed At: Technicolor East Coast Div.
Lab Liason: Tony Romano
Thanks To: Vincent Cafarelli, The Saul Steinberg Foundation, Buzzco Associates, Inc.


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