I hesitated to put this up because a lot of people don't like ballet, probably because they've only seen it on TV. It's a medium that has to be seen live. The thump on the floorboards, the sweat, the commitment and almost super-human determination of the dancers to do impossible things; none of this translates to the screen. In almost every case the people who don't like ballet are the ones who've never seen a good one.
Anyway, there are a lot of parallels between ballet and animation. The examples I'll use here come from the collaboration between Balanchine and his star ballerina, Suzanne Farrell. Balanchine fell in love with 16yr.-old Farrell who was forty years younger. They both new it couldn't work in the long run but they were determined to translate the intensity of what they were feeling into art. It was a case of two first-rate people giving everything they had to an ephemeral medium.
Here (below) is an excerpt from Joan Acocella's "Twenty-Eight Artists and Two Saints." Farrell eventually became a teacher and here's what Acocella says went on in her class. Click to enlarge the page.
Holy Cow! I never heard of developpe' before and now I'm dying to try it in animation. Not an animated ballet, I mean something funny that requires a long, nuanced unravelling in a single scene! And what's this thing about gathering space to make a turn? Maybe I could use that if only I could see an example of what Farrell was talking about!
Wow! True enough! An animator has to be in the moment too, in a sense. A really good and unique performer is wasted by a director with a too specific view of how an action should be done (this doesn't apply to John).
This (above) is why I don't believe in animatics. Even the wrong choices a first-rate artist/filmmaker makes give a feeling of live performance and spontaneity to a piece. Choices, good or bad, reflect the character of a filmmaker. Getting too precious in a quest for perfection is a big mistake.
BTW, I do believe in careful editing, I just don't believe in animatics, which are a tool of the devil.
Unbelievable genius! Balanchine (above) was right! You can't change artists, all you can do is develop what they already have. Clampett was great at this. He didn't try for a homogenized unit. He pushed Scribner and others to take what they were already good at and make it even better.
Much wisdom here (above)! This is one of the many reasons why animation scripts should never, ever be written by writers. Writers don't know what individual artists in the unit are good at. Only another artist could appreciate that. A good story has to be tailor-made to fit the strengths of the artists who will work on the show.