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McLaren pictured via the National Film Board of Canada.

Norman McLaren

Club Affiliation

Glasgow School of Art Kinecraft Society




Scottish Amateur Film Festival, 1934 - First Prize
Scottish Amateur Film Festival, 1936 - Best Film Award
Scottish Amateur Film Festival, 1936 - Prize Winner
Scottish Amateur Film Festival, 1937 - First Prize, Class C
International Amateur Movie Show, 1938
National Library of Scotland Moving Image Archive list of titled amateur films


Seven Till Five (1933)

Camera Makes Whoopee (1936)

Colour Cocktail (1935)

Hell Unltd. (1936)

Polychrome Fantasy (1935)



Biographical Notes:

"Norman McLaren was born in Stirling in April 1914. The son of a painter and decorator he was educated at Stirling High School. He studied art and interior design at the Glasgow School of Art from 1933-36. While there he began making short experimental films. His work came to the attention of John Grierson who offered him a job with the GPO film unit in London. In 1939 McLaren left Britain and moved to New York. In 1941 he took up an invitation from John Grierson to work at the National Film Board of Canada, which Grierson had established in 1939.In Canada Grierson gave McLaren the freedom to experiment. He examined the various ways sound and movement could be presented on film and developed a variety of different techniques of animation. McLaren's genius was recognised worldwide with a string of awards for his work including an Oscar in 1953 for his short film Neighbours" University of Stirling Library.

McLaren began as an amateur filmmaker while he was a student at the Glasgow School of Art in the early 1930s. McLaren discussed amateur filmmaking in a talk titled "Experiences of an Amateur Filmmaker," which was originally transcribed in The Photographic Journal (Feb. 1937). The original transcription is reprinted in Journal of Film Preservation (Nov. 1996, 31-33).

Bibliographic Resources:

"Archives & Special Collections: Norman McLaren," University of Stirling Library.
McLaren's amateur films, as well as some of his later films, are held by the National Library of Scotland Moving Image Archive.