Psychedelic and absurd, Dream Cream follows an elderly couple who become addicted to a mysterious face cream
Noam Sussman creates realities that are ever so slightly different from our own in his suspense-filled animations overlapping a variety of mediums.
- 29 January 2020
- Jyni Ong
- Reading Time
- 3 minutes
An elderly couple becomes addicted to a mysterious “dream cream” advertised in the newspaper, and it has psychedelic powers. This is the premise behind Noam Sussman’s animated short Dream Cream, combining a range of digital, analogue and stop motion techniques to create a mind-bogglingly bizarre four minutes and 45 seconds of hallucinatory visuals. If we rewind a decade or two however, and go back in time to when the animator was a 90s cartoon fanatic, we can trace Dream Cream’s quirkiness back to Noam’s childhood roots.
Before he moved to Toronto at the tender age of 13, Noam lived in Israel where he first became entranced with the eye-popping, gawping-mouthed cartoons of his childhood. “The whacky zany characters are what first attracted me to the medium,” he explains. With their long tongues and hyper-extending limbs, Noam “was basically glued to the TV”, then, once he went to high school, he started experimenting with Flash animation. Back then, he had no idea how to animate characters, and like the rest of us animation-amateurs, “getting characters to move from one pose to another seemed impossible.”
It wasn’t until he enrolled at Sheridan College’s animation degree that he learned how to animate properly. It set him on the course to be a freelance animator, a role he’s fulfilled since graduating in 2012, and one he paused in 2017 when he embarked on a Master’s degree in Tallinn, Estonia. Studying under the acclaimed animation filmmakers Priit Pärn and Olga Pärn, Noam developed his technique, skill and storytelling abilities through animation. Shortly after, while experiencing the wintry depths of the dark and cold Estonian capital, he came up with an idea to counter the coldness of winter.
GalleryNoam Sussman: Dream Cream
As the sun failed to come out, Noam devised the weird and wonderful narrative behind Dream Cream. He built the film around an elderly couple trying to cope with their lonely existence, but at the same time, Noam points out, “the experience was also a way for me to enjoy experimenting with psychedelic visuals and fight the winter blues.”
While Noam’s animations are distinct for their crowded visuals peppered with injections of psychedelia, conceptually, Noam tells us, “there is a good amount of anxiety that the characters are experiencing.” He continues, “Anxiety is something I go back to often, probably because most of us experience it.” Leaning towards the absurd, Dream Cream’s rhythmic pace never fails to lose the viewer’s attention. We are presented with enticing, albeit dreamlike images that seem to pass over the screen so quickly that we experience a number of double takes. Was that really a walking pointed fist with googly eyes, a shirt and a tie? Okay.
“I always aim to make things a bit weird and surreal,” says Noam in agreement. “I try to push for realities that are just slightly off from our own, because it’s more fun to make and (hopefully) more fun to watch.” With Dream Cream in particular, the animated short offered Noam the platform to fully experiment and go wild with creativity. Even though the film is pretty bonkers by most people’s standards, oscillating between a variety of dreamy styles, by Noam’s standards, the film came out far tamer than planned. For him, the short “came out more structured and less bizarre than I had originally planned, with more of a narrative.”
GalleryNoam Sussman: Dream Cream
Noam Sussman: Dream Cream
About the Author
Jyni became a staff writer in March 2019 having previously joined the team as an editorial assistant in August 2018. She graduated from The Glasgow School of Art with a degree in Communication Design in 2017 and her previous roles include Glasgow Women’s Library designer in residence and The Glasgow School of Art’s Graduate Illustrator.