Tuesday, July 11, 2006
I have two exciting clips to share with my webfriends today. Those who frequent the SMA board (probably most of my readers) have already most likely seen them both, but I wanted to share these with Shelley... erm, I mean with those who don't! The one above is something I've been super-stoked about since I first heard rumors about it a year or so ago.... Suzie Templeton's incredible Peter and the Wolf project, made to be screened during live performances of Prokofiev's orchestral piece. Suzie, you've come a long way, baby! I mean, I absolutely love Stanley and Dog, but those are more personal, sort of home-made films on a small scale. Somehow, even fronting a massive full-on large scale production she seems to have managed to keep things very intimate and keep a strong sense of individual style intact. I can't get enough of this clip! I've got it looped and full-screened and just keep watching and watching..... in fact I'm going back in as soon as I finish writing the rest of this.
Ok, I know this pic isn't nearly as exciting as the other one, but trust me on this one.... click it to see some truly inspiring animation by a first-timer with way too much talent! It was shot on a webcam, without manual control over the imaging functions, so the video quality is pretty poor, but that doesn't matter. This clip absolutely shines for sheer energy and skill! Justin said he made the puppet on family art night from scraps of 'craft stuff' laying around the house, then designed the movement in traffic while driving home from work on the freeway and animated it that night after everyone was in bed. When the kids woke up they had a cool cartoon to watch. Boy, I'll say! That Bumble's really something! He just absolutley springs to life.... the animation is focused and self assured... not a movement wasted or misspent. It's plain to see this guy's only a scrap of metal and fluffy cloth with some little sculpy claws and teeth, but the way he swings those claws around and roars.... he just completely owns the screen!
In fact, that's one thing I really admire about the clip is the full use of screen space. Every quadrant is utilized, rapidly and in smooth flowing motion. In the book On the Technique of Acting (recommended by Misha Klein as essential for animators and also recommended by me) Michael Checkhov talks about an acting exercise that basically involves just standing and feeling every limb, every part of your body, and moving through the space around you, imagining a sort of half-visible trail being left behind each part of your body, a 3 dimensional echo trail of where you've been. That's what this little Bumble seems to be doing.... each move is so forceful and authoritative and so beautifully executed. If you can't tell, I'm super inspired by this. Now I'm REALLY excited about doing some performance animation of Buster (but I really need to make a more fully animatable Buster puppet... it would really be nice if he could bend his knees and his fingers!)