*NB. The above video has been deleted for copyright reasons.
“Men live and die for an idea,
But the idea is immortal.
You can persecute it, judge it, forbid it, condemn it to death,
But the idea continues to live in the minds of men….
He whom it penetrates no longer feels isolated,
For above all the idea remains…..”
(Opening titles of the film, 1932).
Berthold Bartosch was born in Czechoslovakia in 1893 and had collaborated extensively with Lotte Reiniger in the twenties in Berlin. Their most notable work together was in the making of ‘The Adventures of Prince Achmed’, the World’s first feature length animated film. Bartosch was an innovative artist and used a variety of intriguing techniques that were completely new for the time. For his film, ‘The Idea’, he animated jointed cardboard characters on planes of glass, using often as many as 18 superimpositions with his camera – A multi-plane technique that pre-dates Disney’s invention for the film ‘Snow White’ in 1937. In all, he single handedly animated some 45,000 frames to complete the half hour film.
“The Idea was animated on sheets of glass with washtinted blacks and with soap. Some 100-Watt bulbs obliquely lighted Bartosch’s workbench from below, and the light became iridescent in the soap, giving some marvelous effects. The weakness of his lighting obliged him to make very long exposures which he created thanks to a relay with a bicycle pump.”
(Excerpt from ‘Experimental Animation:Origins of a New Art’. Robert Russett & Cecile Starr. Da Capo Press 1976