Zbigniew Rybczyński

Zbigniew Rybczyński is a visionary Polish film director, animator, cinematographer, innovator and experimentator in the technical field of filmmaking. He is a recognized pioneer in HDTV technology, which he used for the first time in 1986, while directing music video for John Lennon’s Imagine. Rybczyński won numerous prestigious industry awards internationally. He also has a distinguished academic career, teaching at universities in Poland, Germany, US and Japan.

Rybczyński is best known for his short animated video Tango, for which, among many other awards, he received an Oscar in 1983. The entire film is shot from a static camera, which focuses on the interior of a medium-sized room. The space is gradually filled with random characters from everyday life, who preoccupied with their daily routine move around the room in infinite loops, avoiding each other miraculously. The ostensible chaos and madness, created by Rybczyński in this scene, in fact happens to be a work of mathematical perfection and an extraordinary montage skill.

“I had to draw and paint about 16.000 cell-mattes, and make several hundred thousand exposures on an optical printer. It took a full seven months, sixteen hours per day, to make the piece […] The miracle is that I made less than one hundred mathematical mistakes out of several hundred thousand possibilities.” [zbigvision]

Tango was an inspiration to many music videos, including excellent (video, not the song!) Kylie Minogue’s Come In To My World directed by Michel Gondry.


Gizycki, M. (2009) Antologia Polskiej Animacji (Anthology of Polish Animated Film), DVD, Poland: Polskie Wydawnictwo Audiowizualne

Zbig Vision: http://www.zbigvision.com/


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