Saturday, April 23, 2005

Realism in Animation articles on AWN

Ellen Besen continues here intriguing exploratory series of articles over on AWN.com. What started off as a bit of fawning over the subtelty of Chris Landreth's Ryan while taking a bit of a swipe at cartoony CG animation (dimissing pose to pose as a method that results invariably in poor acting) has evolved into quite the discussion in the narrative. I'm thankful she's broadened the sampling of opinions to include traditional animators like Charlie Bonifacio. She asks more questions than provides answers, which I think is great. I especially appreciated her summary of the possibilities of the future of animation where we see a mixture of 2d principles, cartoony, traditional elements and the possibilities for great subtlety in CG all mixed together in one fun toss around. She writes...

So maybe the most interesting future scenario for animation lies in the willingness to consider the possibility of new contexts that allow new reference points. We still may be dealing with apples and oranges but what happens if we do a little slice and dice? Fruit salad would be a pretty tasty outcome, one that could mean more creative possibilities for everyone.


Anyhow, read all three of the articles in the series. You'll probably find some of it infuriating and disagree with what's being said, but I still think it's a great internal dialog she's holding. I'm glad she's letting us peek through the windows into the process.

3 comments:

Ellen Besen said...

I just wanted to clarify that it was always my intention to widen the dialogue in the realism series.

I know the first installment felt like a poke in the eye but the idea was to examine Landreth's controversial rethinking of animation, first from his outsider's point of view and then from other POV's that would challenge his and give it some context.

Thanks for your comments, Keith. This is a nice site. I'm glad Charlie suggested I pay a visit.

Keith Lango said...

Thanks for dropping by, Ellen! It's great to have ya in the conversation. And thanks for the clarification as well. Like a good writer you kicked open some doors to get some attention in that first piece. A good bit of dialog was happening as a result. I'm just hopeful that the animation community can someday get beyond the notion that in order to construct something different you must destruct that which already is. It's not a universal sentiment, but it seems to be something that keeps rearing its head through the years. I don't think we're playing a zero sum game. It's cool that Chris has found a different style that works for the kinds of stories he wishes to tell. His approach serves him and his films very well. But that doesn't mean that other styles are no longer valid nor relevant. Fads aside (the current "CG only" mantra out of Hollywood for example) the story must define the medium, and then the style. Good stuff all around, though!

Ellen Besen said...

Thanks Keith!

I'm right with you on the idea that we should be adding to the mix of techniques, not replacing one with the other.

As for story defining medium, I agree with you but think that the relationship is more interactive: new approaches to the medium also open doors to new kinds of stories and new ways of telling them.

This is often the tricky bit- recognizing the new potential- like when pioneer filmmakers stopped just filming plays because they had figured out that they could move the camera....