Ted Nemeth in the studio, ca. 1936

Ted Nemeth (1911-1986) was an early animation pioneer and cinematographer, who served in the latter capacity on Jim Henson's short film Time Piece. As Frank Oz recalled in a 2001 FilmForce interview, "Jim would scrape enough money up through commercials and we would go out shooting on weekends with Ted Nemeth, who had an old 35mm rackover camera."[1]

Early in his career, Nemeth had been working on commercial advertising and documentary projects when, in 1933, he served as camerman on Rhythm in Light, an experimental short by Mary-Ellen Bute, who he would soon wed. The couple, sometimes in collaboration with Norman McLaren (future auteur with The National Film Board of Canada), produced a number of experimental avant-garde animated shorts, between the 1930s and the 1950s. He later provided cinematography for Bute's 1966 film version of Finnegan's Wake, which she wrote and directed. Nemeth had a particular keen eye for color, reflected in the tones which adorn Time Piece, but even moreso in the 1969 short film Rama, for which he developed a new color photography technique, using filters to create a pastel watercolor look.


  1. Ken Plume, "IGN: Interview with Frank Oz", February 10, 2000
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