The Yellow Ball Workshop


Yvonne Andersen began making films with children in Massachusets in the early 1960's. The Yellow Ball Workshop became a film studio where kids of all ages could realize their own animated film works from start to finish; creating special effects, operating 16mm cameras and light meters, editing and creating soundtracks. Andersen and her husband Dominic Falcone had run the Sun Gallery in Provincetown from 1955-1959, a progressive space that hosted experimental film screenings and gave Red Grooms his first solo show. They also collaborated with Grooms on his films Fat Feet and Spaghetti Trouble. The style of those films- of a world fully realized with a hand painted, slapdash cardboard esthetic- carried over into the Yellow Ball productions. The id of children is allowed to manifest in colorful and surprising narratives containing collage, stop motion, puppetry, screaming and funny accents, delightful genre exercises, absurd satire, hippies, vampiric romance, and heavy political statements.


The radical idea of empowering children to create their own film works was a successful one, and parallelled other 1970's projects to publish children's artwork and writing, such as the magazine Cricket. Andersen's class tripled in size and employed assistants, some of them former workshop students. Andersen travelled with her workshop, teaching at public schools and universities all over the country. She published three books on teaching animation and produced the documentary Let's Make A Film for CBS. Andersen also taught filmmaking at RISD beginning in 1979. Her work has continued to amaze and inspire generations of filmmakers. Jonas Mekas reviewed a Yellow Ball retrospective screening in the Village Voice, praising "The feeling that comes through, the amazing strength and directness with which children can catch a mood, a situation, their humor. Without any exaggeration, these are about the best animated films made anywhere today."

June 28, 2013
301 Saratoga Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11233
8 PM

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Plum Pudding. A collection of short animated films made by children ages 11-17. (18 minutes)

Pre Teens. Animated stories in cut-outs and clay. (17 minutes)

Teenagers. Animated cut outs, flip books, pixillation. (18 minutes)

Masterpiece. Teenagers animate their favorite painting at the Boston MFA. (14 minutes)

The Trembling Cartoon Band. A collection of animated films made by children age 7-18 (20 minutes)

Amy Kravitz. Five stories made from ages 11-18 by one of the Workshop's star pupils. (10 minutes)

Let's Make A Film. Documentary about Yellow Ball Workshop. (13 minutes)