Academy Leader Variations


Leader is the name for a short piece of film at the beginning or end of a cinema reel. Academy leader is the name for the introductory countdown sequence that was standardised in the 1950s to show a series of numbers (from 11 to 3) marking off each foot of film; the final two feet are always black since these precede the beginning of the film itself.

Academy Leader Variations (1987) is a 6-minute animated film commissioned by ASIFA, the International Animated Film Association, in which a number of animators from different countries produce their own leader countdowns. As with any anthology, the styles are very varied, and some of the contributions are more inventive than others. You also see a couple of pieces using crude computer animation that look a lot more dated than the hand-made offerings.

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