Talent: 'Notebook' creator Evelien Lohbeck

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Lohbeck, in one of her shorts.
Lohbeck, in one of her shorts.
Combining animation and live action is commonplace in filmmaking today, but it never seems to get old, thanks to artists like Dutch animator Evelien Lohbeck, who continue to reinvent the technique in surprising ways. 26-year-old Lohbeck's short film Notebook, featured in this week's Top 5, is a deceptively simple looking play on words that gives a fanciful twist to our visual assumptions.

"The word 'notebook' has a double meaning," she says. "The modern version is, of course, the notebook computer, but we almost forget the old-fashioned notebook where we write down out notes. I wanted to merge both notebooks to one project. I came up with the idea riding my bike, and I immediately went home to draw a keyboard and a display in my notebook. Then I placed my notebook just as an opened notebook computer and I saw the effect. I was stunned about the strange effect it had and knew right away I wanted to do something with that effect."

Lohbeck spent three months on the film, which has appeared in 14 film festivals in the Netherlands and other countries. It turns out Notebook is actually a trailer for a much bigger, nine-month long effort, her graduation project from the Netherlands' Academy of Arts, St.Joost, which was comprised of 17 films—view them here—and an installation—a real lo-fi notebook on which her films could be viewed.

"[I] look at the world with my eyes wide open in a childish way," she says of her approach. It's also evident from her films that "the contrast between reality and live action I find most interesting to work with," she says. "I like sending people in a wrong direction with my work, and playing with expectations and different realities. A good way to do that is combining animation and live action."

Lohbeck is currently a freelance artist on various projects and doesn't confine herself to just one job or approach. "I get all sorts of ideas, so when I come up with something, I just see what's the best way to present it," she says. "I like to work [on a project-basis] because it is daring and I can do different things all the time." She's also now working on a new exhibition, which she plans to upload to her site soon.
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