Friday, April 29, 2011
In a recent interview Tim Minchin is described, in part, by Melbourne Comedy Festival Director Susan Provan, "... His art is his activism, and he uses it to surprise people into fresh perspectives."
That quote probably applies more to Tim's views on belief, beliefs and the imposition of beliefs in people's lives. But what we have above is the philosophy and words of this artist communicated through animation. Creative, visually engaging, animation.
Animation carrying a provocative undercurrent of meaning rather than solely (soullessly?)designed for the enterprise of commercial entertainment and profit. Animation and entertainment don't need to be dichotomised into mutually exclusive concepts in these cases. They can be both and more.
It shows that animation can be a unique medium to actively tackle controversial issues in a creative way using the Sean Leahy (cartoonist) ethos, "Make them laugh and make them think."
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
The second years have been riding along with my explorations on the theme of the "Moment of Contact".
We watched the meeting sequence in How To Train Your Dragon, where Hiccup makes contact with Toothless - the anticipation was about 7 minutes.
We watched Summer Wars and a different type of contact, this time between two human characters. An initial little finger touch building through at least two more powerful hand holds as the emotion in the story intensified.
Something to realise as an animator is that the sense of touch in humans, a life-form the viewer strongly empathises with, is expressed most strongly through the hands. When people describe something as "touching", they describe the idea that contact was made with their emotions.
Hands are important in communication and animation. In many cases they can be regarded as 'best supporting actors' or 'betrayers of emotion'. The secondary action (an animation principle) portrayed in the hands can be at counterpoint to how the character is acting, but at the same time a revelation of how the character is truly thinking or feeling.
Studying people's hands, the shapes, the gestures, the tension, the floppiness during any communication exchange can reveal so much about the true feeling of a moment and the energy and emotion of the speaker.
Milt Kahl's hand drawings are often referenced as examples (especially search out the ruff versions).
Below is a show reel by Mike Stern who animated on How To Train Your Dragon. Watch, in particular, the hand acting at about 00:36 onward. The acting, the contact, may communicate more in that sequence than the dialogue?