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filming figure-ground

Click here to download press kit with images and information.


Figure-Ground Theatrical Trailer


Figure-Ground "Making of" Video


Scott Ligon's second short film, Figure Ground, is finished in time for a January 2011 release! The film is actively being submitted to film festivals. The film documents the death of his father as the director slowly comes to terms with the process and its inevitable outcome.

Unlike the (relatively) solitary effort involved in the creation of his first film, the award-winning “Escape Velocity”, “Figure/Ground” involved a very intense filming schedule, multiple locations, and co-ordination of a cast and crew of over 50 people.

The film is a hybrid of live action, composited images and animation. Figures are often modified, painted upon and composited into new environments. The animation and modified images are seamlessly integrated with high definition video footage to create a unique and distinctive look to the finished film.

The father is played by veteran actor Allan Kulakow, who has been in several movies, including Death by Dawn, Syriana, The Good Shepherd, and HBO’s Something the Lord Made. He appeared as the Joint Chief of Staff on West Wing. Actress Naomi Kulakow plays the part of Scott's mother. The real-married couple also recently played husband and wife in a pilot for CBS entitled “The Way”. Scott's sister is played by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Claudia Emerson.


allan kulakow in figure-ground

The Director of Photography for the film is Ian Hinkle. Ian has been producing and shooting around the world since 1992, with an emphasis on social-issue films and documentaries. His camerawork contributed to a number of award-winning films, including "The Living Coast" (Discovery), Anne Makepeace's "Baby It's You" (PBS) and Laszlo Pal's "Born to the Wind" (PBS, National Geographic). Scott met Ian at The Ashland Film Festival (Oregon), and again at the Port Townsend Film Festival (Washington) last year. Ian was instrumental in getting Scott's previous film, “Escape Velocity” signed to an exclusive distribution agreement with Shorts International.


ian hinkle


The Makeup Artist for “Figure/Ground” is Jim A. Choate, who was nominated for a prime time Emmy for his makeup work for "The Revolution" on A&E's History Channel. He’s been the key makeup artist for numerous film and television productions, and studied with Rick Baker of Star Wars fame.

Boston area singer-songwriter Adam Michael Rothberg composed the original music for “Figure/Ground”. Adam has toured with Joan Baez, produced Dar Williams and performed on dozens of CDs and recordings, including his own critically acclaimed solo album “Another Spin”.


figure ground photoshop file


Scott made a series of blogs detailing the creative decisions and techniques used as he developed the film, in hopes that it could be helpful for digital artists and filmmakers. You can view this series here.


Title: Figure-Ground

Director: Scott Ligon

Shooting Format: Hi Def (1080p) Digital Video, Animation

Running Time: 11 min

Aspect Ratio: 16:9



Escape Velocity Theatrical Trailer


Escape Velocity "Making of" Video


Escape Velocity is Scott Ligon's first animated short film (24 min). Escape Velocity explores the connection between A.D.D. and creativity, using the director's own life in self-deprecating, humorous examples. The film is a stream of consciousness, multi-layered narrative that emulates the day-to-day A.D.D. experience. The film is also a reminder of the value of creative thought as the prime mover in human endeavor.

The film has won several awards and has played in festivals and theaters all over the world. Among other awards, "Escape Velocity" won "Best Experimental Film" at the USA Film Festival, Dallas, Texas. This is an Academy Qualified Competition, making "Escape Velocity" one of a handful of films eligible to be nominated for an Academy Award in 2006. "One of the oldest, most prestigious film festivals in the world." -Chris Gore's Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide.

"Escape Velocity" is distributed by Shorts International, the world's leading short film brand. The film made its American television debut on the Documentary Channel in July, 2010, where it continues to play regularly. Escape Velocity is available on iTunes for $1.99.


itunes logo


escape velocity video still


See a complete list of festivals and theaters in which Escape Velocity has played by clicking here.


Title: Escape Velocity

Director: Scott Ligon

Shooting Format: Hi Def (1080p) Digital Video, Animation

Running Time: 24 min

Aspect Ratio: 16:9


escape velocity movie poster



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What Good is Art? Scott talks about the value of creative thinking while wearing a giant fry hat! You'll see some scenes from Figure-Ground used briefly.


"On Becoming My Father" was a video installation at the Washington Convention Center, for DC Arts "New Media Lounge". Scott was one of twelve artists selected by a jury which included David Gariff, Lecturer at the National Gallery of Art. This was the initial reaction to Scott's father passing away, when Scott was about the same age as his father was when Scott was born. This 14 second video is a montage of still photographs beginning with Scott's birth until the present, continuing directly into photos of Scott's father from his forties until his death. It was created as a comment on the ephemeral nature of life. This short video inspired the artist to create the short film Figure-Ground.



"One & Two" was an installation video which debuted in the New Arts Program's "17th Annual Invitational Salon Exhibition". The New Arts Program is a non-profit arts organization and Museum Space in Kutztown, PA. The video is a tribute to the Washington DC Colorfield Painters.









link to info on figure ground video link to info on escape velocity video link to scott ligon's youtube channel