Friday, March 03, 2006

the Good News (Lasseter, etcetera)


Far from Biblical, the announcement that Lasseter is attempting to reinstate a feature 2D animation department at Disney still struck me as something spiritual. Aah, the universe can now ring harmonious and yodel joyously at last. This isn't to say that I missed the sight of such atrocities as the vanilla Home on the Range or Treasure Planet at the box offices, but hopefully with the new Disney government good story shall triumph once again over evil banality. More Lion King than Hunchback, shall we say.

Personally, I am in the middle of correcting a scene in my (still untitled) animated monstrosity. The movement of a hand is bothering me by looking too noticeable. It's funny that the smallest details, how noticeable something is, etcetera - can seriously distract, and ultimately detract, from the story. If anything pulls the viewer/reader out of the story, and off on some unrelated mental path, then the storyteller has failed, no matter what the medium is. So I labor to correct the small things, in the hopes of making my tale all the more compelling.

The pic for today is actually from a previous film I've made that I'm extremely proud of, entitled Mora Bund. The name comes from the word 'moribund,' and I'll save you the trouble by saying that it means roughly to be in a dying state or condition. The film is a short experimental piece about a dead girl, old men playing kazoos, and probably the cutest dead fox's head to ever star on celluloid. Alas, I've only submitted that piece to one festival (which rejected it - boo), but I really need to get on the ball about that whole withoutabox.com thing. (Go there if you're a student filmmaker like me and you will find probably the easiest website in existence for submitting your short film to multiple festivals...or so I've been told.) Of course, to submit to festivals you need money, which is what I'm currently working on accumulating. Slowly. Agonizingly slowly.

Animation information for the uninitiated: in animation, a scene is actually one shot in filmmaking terms (a shot being defined as a length of film ended and begun by a cut or other film transition). So, when I say I'm working on a scene, I'm actually working on a four second shot. I learned live action filmmaking terms first, so when someone asked me about a scene, I used to describe all the series of shots that take place in one location...which is correct if you made The Godfather and not Bambi. The animator would look baffled and glazed over for a moment, then correct me, and say that they weren't talking about multiple shots, but the scene...this would continue for a while until they gave up. Eventually, I learned, but still haven't figured out what a scene (a bunch of shots taking place in one location) would be called by animators. Multiple scenes? An act is far too many scenes, so that can't be it. I'm not sure there really is a word for it. Personally, I think animators started calling shots "scenes" when they started feeling as if the animated path before them was too ominously long, and they wanted to feel like they'd actually accomplished something. Hard to say.

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