Thursday, January 03, 2008

Various Linkages

The first issue of Dean Yeagle's comic book version of Roald Dahl's Gremlins, pictured at left, will hit the comic shops on March 5.

In this Variety article, Brad Bird talks about writing animation and live action as well as naming some of his storytelling heroes.

In the January issue of Flip, Steve Moore editorializes about the current state of the industry:
"Since the animation boom of the 1990's, an animation industry culture has developed that permeates mainstream animation in the world today. The artists making the films all know each other, move in the same social circles, know the same films, music, and pop culture trivia. The result has been a cross pollination of ideas, where artists of today plagiarize each others' plagiarization of the past. The result is, the audience gets a third hand experience. The animated character are even less genuine, less alive. The characters in one film move and speak and behave like characters in the other films. They express humor, love, anger, and angst all the same way. The indusrty-at-large has become homogenized. Creatively in-bred."
The same page has some letters from people who studied under Eric Larsen at Disney, including this quote from Larsen: "Animate in your head first, then draw it next." Those letters are in response to an earlier article by Dan Jeup about his experiences learning from Larsen.

Animated News has the release dates for seven animated features coming in 2008.

Hans Perk has completed posting the animation drafts for Disney's Alice in Wonderland.

Musician David Byrne talks about different business models evolving in his industry. While music and animation are very different businesses, it's always encouraging to hear that there are ways around corporate ownership and control of creative work.

Along the same lines, Andrew O'Hehir of Salon interviews independent film maker John Sayles about his latest project Honeydripper.
"You know, it would be great to just be an artist and sit back and make these little creations and have somebody else figure out how to get people to see them. But you're probably not going to get to do that. You're probably going to have to be a marketer, a showman, whatever. It's part of the job."


Pete Emslie said...

Great assessment by Steve Moore. Perhaps because of the nature of the business nowadays, with animators mostly working contract to contract and moving around a lot, there really is no longer any such thing as a distinct house style at any studio, large or small. At one time, Disney had a pretty stable crew of animators, as did Warners, as did MGM, etc. With the current lack of job security, nobody stays put in any one studio for very long to help establish a distinct "look".

Another problem I feel is that the animators of yesteryear often came from small rural towns as well as big cities, everyone bringing a more unique set of life experiences to the table. Today's young animators, through no fault of their own, really have too much of the same influences in pop culture, movies, video games etc. to bring much individuality to their art. The pop culture references drive me nuts, actually, even when done subtly like the in-jokes created mostly for the benefit of the animators themselves. As much as I like the PIxar films, do we really need to keep seeing cameos and artifacts from their previous films in each new release? Yeah, everything is looking rather homogenous and inbred...

Jen DT said...

There's another John Sayles (my hero) interview here:

that may be of interest. They talk about the problems they face with distribution, amongst other topics.