Friday, January 20, 2012
You must think I'm nuts for reposting these two videos so soon after I'd posted them before. I'm doing it because I really do have something new to say about them. They've pointed me in a new direction and I'm so happy about it that I can barely contain myself.
What I see in them is a personal style of acting that's been simmering in my head for a long time. I'm picturing how this live action style would look in animation. If I could draw it the way I act it out, then I'd have a style that would be completely my own. Isn't that what every artist prays for...a unique style?
To see what I see in this video (above) imagine the roles of the little girl and the stern schoolmaster combined in one person. I picture a little girl who obsessively acts out what other people say to her, so there's lots of opportunities for back and forth acting in the same person. I love the idea of writing for the acting, something that few animation writers do. If you want to see what I mean, watch the video from 4:10 to 6:05.
On a different but related topic, I wonder why animation took the path it did, where animators learn general skills then apply those skills in whatever way their employer directs them. That's a good plan for most animation, but does it all have to be done that way?
Why can't I have a character that I animate particularly well, and shop him (or variants of him) around to the studios for use in their own projects? The studio would own the variant of my character that I do for them, but I could animate other variants for other studios. It's as if Clark Gable were a free agent who played many roles for many bosses, but was always recognizably Clark Gable. Does that make sense? Am I explaining it right?
I told this to John and he thought the idea was completely hair-brained, just the dumbest thing he'd ever heard. In his view having an independent artist come in would undermine the director's vision and make it difficult for other animators and designers to get on the same track. Maybe, but in my view John's putting too much emphasis on the independence of the animator. Clark Gable still took direction wherever he went, and so would my hypothetical artist. Anyway, I wouldn't recommend this way of working to John because the way he does things made him the funniest animation director of his time. Why mess with something that works?
Mike Barrier stirred up a big controversy when he suggested something similar to what I'm saying here. You should have seen the letters he got! People were outraged. Me...I think there's something in it.
Posted by Eddie Fitzgerald at 1:26 AM