Commentary &Daily post 31 Dec 2006 09:26 am

Out With The Old

- I can’t find a better thing to say than Oscar Grillo has posted on his site. A brilliant drawing set against a brilliant soundtrack, with words to match. Go.


- Taking a quick tour of a lot of sites this morning, I found that the griping about promotion for animators is high on the list on a number of blogs. It all started with George Miller‘s insensitive comments in the New York Times about his animation staff. Miller got a bit of promotion in the Times article on dancer/choreographer, Savion Glover. He was trying to help Glover and a lot of animators got slapped as a result.

Mark Mayerson suggests that animators need more promotion for themselves to counteract some of this public image. Keith Lango follows this with other thoughtful comments agreeing with Mark. Of course, the problem starts entering when a number of the comments on these blogs react by swiping at Miller in an even less sensitive display. They respect him, even less that he respects animators.

I don’t think Miller, like any good director, thinks any less of his animation crew than he does his electrical crew. He believes that they are all in service to him. And they are. At least, this is true using Motion Capture.The “animators” are no longer the actors. They’re technical service personnel. Special Effects wizards with computers who transfer the dances of Savion Glover into penguins dancing. The delicate movements of the characters perfectly capture the motions of Glover so that it looks like Glover dancing.

(Actually, I’ve seen Glover on stage and in film so many times, that I’d probably prefer seeing him dancing rather than 100 versions of him as a penguin dancing.)

I enjoyed watching the film Happy Feet, but probably won’t see it again. Yet, I’ve watched Dumbo at least 100 times. Just yesterday I watched Ward Kimball‘s dance sequence from that film. I have no doubt it was choreographed, shot on film for him to study and, finally, animated by him. All those drawings cannot be captured by the MoCap technology. I think that’s the message we have to talk about in 2007.

Until we take back the creating part of these films, we can’t blame others for taking and handing out credit.

(Click any image to enlarge.)

2 Responses to “Out With The Old”

  1. on 31 Dec 2006 at 1:26 pm 1.anonymous said …

    Regarding your comment that Miller thinks well of his animators: I have heard stories from animators who worked directly for him that indicate otherwise. From the way things went with the keyframe-animated segments of Happy Feet (no, it was not all mocap), it sounds like he has no clue about the animation process, and made things very difficult for everyone. He said some very rude, disrespectful things to the team.

    His comment in that article seems in keeping with the dismissive attitude he displayed towards the animators who worked for him.

  2. on 31 Dec 2006 at 2:43 pm 2.0scar Grillo said …

    Happy New Year, Mike, and thanks for the wonderful postings you regaled us with us during 2006.

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