Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Psychological Pauses

One last Stanislavski (for now)....
On the power of psychological pauses...
"They all fill out the words. They often act with greater intensity,
finesse, are more irresistible in silence than when used in conjunction
with words. Their wordless conversation can be no less interesting,
substantial and convincing than one carried on verbally."
Psychological pauses are those quiet moments between words where we can see the character thinking, feeling. We see the drama of the unspoken internal realities shifting inside them as it plays out of their eyes, their face, their bodies. When a character is silent that is where you can find gold. Don't just do a moving hold drift-o-matic and a few blinks. It is our job to get inside their mind, their heart. Explore the shifts as they react to their world, their thoughts, their emotions. Dig deep into those pauses, those quiet moments. And if the audio track doesn't give you a pause where you need one it is your duty to pitch a pause to the director. Never forget: in animation we are the actors! No director worth his or her salt would lightly dismiss a performance idea introduced by his actors on set. They may not agree with it, he or she may not use it, but they do not lightly dismiss it. We need to defend the reality of our characters, we need to understand and expand these souls we animate. Start by looking in the dark, quiet corners of the story.

3 comments:

Drew said...

IN-Tense!
sadly, this is the kind of thing that most schools don't touch on (at least enough). thanks for the inspiration. when you are that far inside of a character's head, the "stuff" comes to you. it is no longer a matter of plugging in a generic action for the character to do during a pause, but something natural that just comes into your head because you are into the character.
-d

Ethan said...

Great post. It's always good to look for any spot where you can really show the character thinking. It's good to have a definition on this space in time.

MattG said...

I've been trying very hard to get our model to look like he's thinking in the last few assignments. It's hard enough to make ME look like I'm thinking! this is a great post on why it's important though.

I'm definitely thinking I need to get that book.