Friday, April 9, 2010

There is no penalty for nerdiness

by Jennifer Hager
Nerdiness, when examined closely, is akin to crazyness (yes, spelt with a 'y').

Crazyness is a form of curiosity that manifests when an animator experiments with ideas*.

You may have heard me mutter in class, usually in regards to assessment, "There is no penalty for crazyness." It would seem that the same could apply to nerdiness, if either word actually existed in the English language.

Memories of the section in Jennifer Hager's showreel from 2007 ( from about 1:44 to 2:33) were re-kindled while I watched "How to Train Your Dragon". The character interaction and timing in particular were strongly reminiscent. You will note that Jennifer's hero is a girl.

With a bit more research I find she is animating at Disney. Again, great timing; to pursue traditional 2D animation skills as a student and then land a job when Disney needed 2D animators.

Animation is in the timing, Chuck Jones was correct.

It may be pleasing to note, by looking at Jennifer's blog, that she is a self-professed animation nerd (check out her cats' names).

The full "Sky Bound" student film can be seen here (as well as many other CalArts student work).

*That does not mean misunderstanding animation principles. Students have to demonstrate they understand and can apply the animation principles. In saying that, pursuing proper animation delivery should not be a constraint to an animator's imagination. And, hopefully, somewhere in the animation testing things were taken too far before returning to required perfection.

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