Welles narration is from a fully animated short film (42 minutes) directed by Larry Jordan, using the classic black and white line engravings of Gustave Dore in a cut-out style of animation a la Lotte Reininger. I haven't seen it, but it sounds like the combination of Dore and Welles would make for a beautiful little movie.
RAY PRIVETT: Can you tell me where (The Rime of the Ancient Mariner) project came from, and how Orson Welles came aboard as the narrator?
LARRY JORDAN: I decided the only way I could do it right would be to use the whole poem as voiceover. I listened to a twenty-minute recording that Ralph Richardson had done reading the poem. I said to myself, I can do a twenty-minute film. But the only voice that could do it right, in my opinion, was that of Orson Welles, though I thought getting Welles to do it was pretty much a pipe dream. Still, I was on the board of the AFI, and we were going to give Welles a life achievement award. So I made up a packet with the script that I had, some visual material, and a cover letter, and gave it to him. Afterward, he wrote back a note saying he would like to be involved. On the basis of that I got an NEA grant. But I knew that I would have to give Welles carte blanche on the narration, with no suggestions or interference by me. So he did it on his own and sent me the raw tapes.
By the time I got it edited, the reading was forty-two minutes long. I had never intended to make a forty-two minute film. But I was committed to the project, so I proceeded to work out the appropriate background scenes to his reading. I didn't jump around much over the Dore illustrations. I tried to keep them integral. The tough part was a lot of them were vertical, so I did a lot of pans to try to show their breadth. Then I animated over them, attempting to give an overlay of some kind of subjective response to the poem. Sometimes the figures, like the albatross, came right out of the text. But at other times they were pretty subjective responses of mine.
Above excerpt from an interview online here:
http://www.facets.org/asticat?function= ... withjordan