Saturday, March 14, 2009

Morning Desolation in Limited Animation

One of the things I love about studio animation VS Independent animation (or kids in their basement doing Flash) is the collaboration with other artists. When you are lucky enough to be surrounded by top talent, like I have been, you get to witness lots of different styles and combine ideas that you by yourself might never come up with. This sequence opens up with Aaron Springer scenes. I gave him only general direction and maybe a rough storyboard, but told him to draw it in his own style - jumping off of HB's and mine. Oh - and to never draw Ranger Smith the same way in any 2 scenes of course. He came up with these 3 stylish scenes that really stand out from my blander scenes that follow.
He loves his gnome feet.
I always say I want strong styles in my own cartoons, but even I would be taken aback and inititially outraged by Aaron's scenes. They would be so much weirder and cartoonier than my own, that I would be shocked to my core. It's not easy to shock me. Even I would be tempted to change his stuff, either because it was just TOOOO weird, or that I was jealous. I would fight off the urge to tone down his stuff, because I knew it would make for a better picture if I just locked myself in the bathroom and counted to 10. I imagine this is an internal fight executives and producers have every day over stuff way less creative than what Aaron can do. So by direct experience, I know the ugly feeling bland people get when they have the overpowering urge to make everything "consistent" at the expense of the film entertainment. The difference is I have will power and can submerge my considerable ego for the sake of the film. Plus I wanna be a fan of new stuff.

One thing I've learned is that the longer time oozes by, the less radical, radical drawings seem and the more I am glad I didn't tone them down.

Here's my blander part of the section:

Ever have a job where you have to get up really early in the morning? Like, before everyone else? It's still dark out and your only company is the lowly hooting, screeches, grunts and calls of animals mating or ripping each other's flesh and fur apart.
I had a job smelting steel once that was like that. Being up at 4 in the morning dreading a long boring day where you might be vaporized by molten steel. Or having to go work on the Smurfs. That's how I feel right now actually, up at 5:30 making inane blog posts for you. I hope you appreciate it as you sleep in till noon in cool linen sheets dreaming of when your Harem comes to awake you by rubbing grapes over your naked toes and turning on Dora the Explorer for you.
This lonely morning desolation was the feeling I was trying to evoke in this sequence using the meanest of limited animation. Going to a routine job every day with nothing to live for, out of the lonely need for sheer survival.
I think it should have been painted darker and dingier to get the feeling across.Something like this.
Some of my limited tricks. I love limited animation when it doesn't try to hide.
Well, I better try to get some more winks in and be lively for Dora. I don't wanna miss out on a nice lesson in tolerance. Should they change the show's name to be more topical?"Little Drug Cartels"? "Gangland Babies"?