Sunday, November 8, 2009

Animazing Spotlight: Weekend of Animated Shorts

I spent all weekend at "Animazing Spotlight: Weekend of Animated Shorts," a festival which I learned about just last week when I got the chance to meet Yvette Kaplan (Beavis and Butt-Head, Doug). She gave a talk about MTV and her show, and will also be at CTN next week. She gave me some 10% coupons for CTN if anyone would like.

The first segment on Saturday was "A Crash Course on Character Animation - Eric Goldberg." Eric said his inspiration to make cartoons came from the Woody Woodpecker show, when Walter Lantz would do a weekly segment on how cartoons were made. He called them cheesy, staged pieces, but the closest to an animation education that he could get as a kid. They're actually pretty thorough:

Eric showed his work from Hercules and Aladdin while going over bits from his book "Character Animation Crash Course."

He mentioned things like not letting a second character go dead while the first one is talking and giving proper time and space to strong poses. He talked about establishing a rhythm for an action, and then changing that rhythm as a character reacts to a situation.

In the next segment, Bob Kurtz showed 'the shortest shorts,' tv spots from several decades. In addition to the usual great older (new york produced) stuff, he showed this piece:

It's called "Grrr," made in 2004 by a studio called "Nexus" in London, and it looks as if Lisa Frank had to grow up and get a serious job. Garrison Keillor's magical voice takes you through the slowish opening, but the visuals quickly get together and match the oddness of the lyrics. The actual animation is stiff and odd, as is the render, but I enjoy the overall flow and design. And who doesn't feel proud when rabbits don't have to wear sound proof earmuffs anymore?

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