Monday, December 26, 2011

The Artist, Perception and Animation

Can this film tell us something about animation?

I recently saw The Artist, the new silent film that has been picking up awards at festivals and is in the running for the major awards this season. It's clear that the film's creators have a genuine fondness for silent Hollywood cinema and I found it to be a very enjoyable experience. I recommend it.

The film is silent, black and white and with a 1.33:1 aspect ratio, taking on all the trappings of films of the silent era. It occurred to me, though, that at this point in time, it's all an affectation.

Silent black and white films existed due to technological obstacles. Early sound and colour systems were unreliable, producing results that clearly failed to meet the audience's standard. Without sound and colour, films compensated with the use of orchestral scores in the larger cities, increasingly sophisticated photography and a style of directing, acting and editing that communicated characters' thoughts clearly to international audiences. Silent film makers like Griffith, Murnau, Lubitsch Vidor, Ford, Borzage, Chaplin, Keaton, etc. made films that can still move audiences (when given the chance) even though audiences are no longer accustomed to the limitations of silent films. The Artist certainly proves that silent film can still be a potent experience.

But it is now an artificial experience. A silent film of the 1920s was as advanced as the technology would allow. The Artist is a conscious decision to go backwards in both time and technology. In its way, it depends as much on novelty as Avatar did with its use of 3D. However, I would be surprised if The Artist was the first of a new wave of silent features.

Audiences embraced sound and colour because it brought film closer to their own perception of the world. Sound became omnipresent in film by 1930. Colour, due to cost, took considerably longer. Black and white films were still being made into the 1960s, some even in Cinemascope.

(What I think sounded the death knell for black and white film was color TV. So long as people were watching black and white at home, they would accept it in films. Once color TV was widespread, a black and white film somehow seemed cheap. And truthfully, the majority of black and white films in the 1960s lacked color due to budget restrictions.)

The Artist got me thinking about the transition from drawn to computer animated features. Perhaps our view was influenced by the weak drawn features that were competing against better computer animated films. Certainly, that's the line that many in the industry and fans took, blaming the films rather than the medium.

While the quality of the films was an undeniable issue, perhaps it hid something larger. Perhaps our own biases in favour of drawing prevented us from seeing things from the audience's point of view. Throughout the 1930s, there was a strong movement to bring animation closer to the audience's perception of the real world. Animation embraced sound and colour early. There were also experiments of various kinds to give animation a greater illusion of depth. In Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Disney was attempting to give a greater impression of depth both with cel painting techniques and the multiplane camera. It was cost that forced him to back away from these techniques and so that in the '60s you have films like 101 Dalmatians, where the linear quality of the animation drawings is extended to the backgrounds and there is no attempt at spatial depth through the use of the camera.

When computer animation came along, it increased the image's verisimilitude to how the audience perceived the world. Light striking the characters provided a more accurate feeling of solidity and shadow. The computer allowed for a greater use of texture and, unlike drawn animation, allowed that texture to move with the characters. The virtual space had depth and perspective similar to the world the audience lived in and the camera had the freedom to move through it. Computer animation succeeded the same way Disney did in Snow White in making the image closer to the audience's experience.

At this point in time, drawn animated features may be seen as a throwback, much as The Artist is, as they deprive the audience of some of their perceptual experience of the world. Of course, just as silent films had qualities that are emotionally powerful, so, too, do drawn features. Much was lost with the death of silent and of black and white films, but those things were developed to compensate for shortcomings. Similarly, much is being lost with the death of drawn animated features, but again, many of these things were developed as a means of compensation.

Furthermore, live action directors who started in silent film (Ford and Hitchcock as an example) continued to use silent film techniques in their sound films. Both directors have long passages driven purely by the visual. Similarly, animation directors such as John Lasseter and Brad Bird have brought drawn animation techniques into computer animation, such as animated acting techniques and the ability to design the on-screen world from scratch.

Every artist knows that limitations are often a blessing, forcing solutions that are more creative than would otherwise be arrived at. But as movies are a mass medium, depending on a world-wide audience in order generate a profit, the artistic love of drawing and understanding of limitations is up against the audience's preference for a world on screen that matches its real world perceptions. It isn't a question of one group being right and the other being wrong. It is simply a question of competing preferences, and as the audience is footing the bill, it wins.


Eric Noble said...

Very interesting. This actually makes me sad. I would hope that drawn features would come back, but I guess we're going to only see those coming from the independents, if at all.

Your comment about CG films becoming popular due to being more in synch with people's real-world perceptions is especially interesting to me. I was having a discussion on facebook about whether drawn animation is a suitable medium for adapting classic literature, such as Dickens, Cervantes, or Conrad. Will an audience accept a purely animated version of these works, or would the filmmakers have to be more literal in their animation?

Rodney Baker said...

That's for the in depth look at this film. I hope to see this film as it looks beautifully crafted.

There is one aspect of this film that has me scratching my head.
Was this new film actually silent (with the exception of the one song with lyrics)? No sound at all?

It is my understanding that most 'silent' films were almost always be accompanied by live music. As early as 1895 they were said to have a pianist accompaniment and later an orchestras sat in the pit and tried their best to stay in sync.

If there is accompanying music that attempts to replicate that live music then this effort makes more sense from a technical and historical perspective. Barring that it seems we are being asked to return to an age that never existed in the first place.

Of course, having not seen the films in question (present or hisotrical), this is all conjecture.

Mark Mayerson said...

The film has a music track.

Aaron said...

I find your theory interesting but I wonder how stop motion figures in. It is certainly more like the "real world" in terms of depth, texture, lighting and dimensionally, so why not a stop motion boom before the cg boom?

Why didn't Nightmare before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach or Corpse Bride do better? The technique was there, it's dimensional, it feels more real than cg, why did those films not create a stop motion boom?

Pete Emslie said...

I haven't seen "The Artist" as yet, although it's top of my list to see. (Actually, it's about the ONLY film that I'm planning to see these days, sad to say). I have to quibble with you on one thing, though. There's no question that it is an "affectation", as you describe, but I'd argue that it was never meant to be anything more than that. It is undoubtedly meant as a loving homage to those simpler times of the silent films, but it is a one-shot novelty, not in any way hoping to bring about a return of the silent, black and white film as a form of popular entertainment. I think that's quite obvious from the fact that it's set in the 1920s, not using the format to tell a contemporary story. Back in 1976, Mel Brooks gave us "Silent Movie", which was also a love letter to silent films, though one set deliberately in modern day in order to parody it in the Mel Brooks style of absurdity. But that film too was never intended to usher in a new wave of silent pictures.

That's why I think your analogy to handdrawn animated films may ring a bit false here, Mark, with due respect. Whereas nobody would want to bring back the silent film as an ongoing form of popular entertainment, recognizing its inherent limitations that no longer exist since the advent of sound and colour, those of us who champion drawn animation still believe it will always be a valid form of the art. Also, I don't think that opinion is limited to just those of us who work in animation or related fields of visual art. A lot of people, particularly mothers of young kids, do see the difference between traditional drawn animation and CG and have told me that they do indeed miss the former.

Animation may have started out as a novelty on screen, but once Disney and Fleischer popularized the illusion of moving cartoon drawings as a legitimate form of entertainment, it was recognized as a distinct art form in itself, a completely different experience to that of a live-action film. Even the technological advances in features like "Pinocchio", "Fantasia" and especially "Bambi", did not so much blur the line between drawing and live-action, but rather, treated the resulting imagery more like moving paintings, still far removed from live-action cinematography in their graphic visual clarity.

This is why I cringe at what is being done today in the name of "animation", utilizing the computer to replicate everything in live-action: light, shadow, texture, and now, with the introduction of mo-cap, slavishly realistic movement, devoid of creativity and caricature. In short, there really is no such thing as animation anymore, as the industry honchos have decided that the inherent charm of a cartoon drawing seemingly springing to life on the screen is passé, and must never be see again. The rules of photography can be the only goal to aspire to if one is to remain working in Hollywood.

What a sad state our industry has fallen into. Even sadder because nobody working in it has the courage of their convictions to fight back against the madness of it all.

Zartok-35 said...

I guess someone will have to find a place for classic drawn animation to thrive away from audiences that need the relevance to their experience and perception of the world.

Michael Sporn said...

I don't, for a second, believe it's the audience that is rejecting hand drawn animated films in favor of cgi. It was Eisner and Katzenberg that tolled the death knell for cgi at their studios not the audiences. The people just wanted better films than Sindbad and Treasure Planet or Spirit and Atlantis. Crowds flocked to Toy Story because it was a good movie, not because it was cgi.

To date, all cgi features have been done in the style of the little Viewmaster dolls or the pseudo-realistic TinTin. Hand drawn films can imitate Van Gogh, Klee or Daffy Duck. Perhaps if Spielberg had ordered TinTin to be flattened, in the style of the comic strip, it would still have done well (not that it's breaking any records as it is.)

Ads for the re-release of Beauty and the Beast have just started airing in NYC. No doubt they'll duplicate the enormous success they had in the re-release of Lion King. They may now be in 3D, but they're still hand-drawn success stories. They're also good movies.

Mark Sonntag said...

I love silent movies, I love black and white. It takes a lot of courage to go out and make a movie or even a short film that doesn't follow the trends. Hope we get it here in Australia.

Mark Mayerson said...

Aaron, I don't know why the stop motion features you mention didn't spark a boom. However, I do find it interesting that stop motion hasn't suffered the same decline as drawn animation in North America. It could be that the resemblance between stop motion and cgi is close enough that audiences are satisfied the same way with both.

Peter and Michael, I expected to get resistance on this post and you both know how much I love drawn animation. My concern is that we're inside a bubble talking to ourselves. The people who visit our respective blogs are all fans of drawing and drawn animation, so are our opinions representative of the general audience?

The preference for realism by the public is well-established, I think. When the abstract expressionists were all the rage with critics, Norman Rockwell was probably more favoured by the average person. Realism is familiar and so it is comforting. Less realistic art requires a more educated eye.

The one exception to this is in the area of humor. A lack of realism is automatically accepted when the goal is to get a laugh. The lack of an educated eye in this area is why so many of the prime time animated series are so brutally ugly. The audience isn't revolted by the poor art and animation in them as "funny looking" equals "funny" even though to us, the same "funny looking" equals ugly.

I'd point out to anybody that's read this far that Peter Emslie has reprinted his comments on his own blog and will accumulate other comments there. Plus, Keith Lango takes off from this post and wonders if the urge for realism will doom animators of all types in favour of motion capture.

Things are changing, often in ways we don't like. I'm not endorsing cgi over drawn (and certainly not mocap over keyframing), but I am trying to figure out why the audience is buying what it's buying. Except for students, everyone else has to take that into account if they want to stay in business.

David B. Levy said...


Excellent post. I think the missing part of the discussion is, assuming one agrees with you, is "what do I do with this information?"

I agree that if one wants to survive in this business they should understand what is selling, but at the same time that concern is more for an executive, not an artist. As animation industry people, the craft side to our livelihood benefits from such examination, but the artist side (the work we do on our own for ourselves) should create freely without concerns for what the market "wants." Otherwise the executives and the artists are arm-in-arm building an industry of junk product.

Ryan said...

This is an interesting post because I've had the sinking feeling for awhile now that audiences have grown to prefer CG over traditional animation. Now, they don't hate 2D (take a look at "The Lion King" re-release's box office), but I think they see it as old-fashioned. CG is new and tech-heavy and it fits in with our increasingly tech-heavy society.

Here's an experiment: can you a name a successful 2D film that wasn't produced by Disney Animation. Kinda difficult, right? Now, can you name a successful CG film that wasn't produced by Disney? That's a little easier.

Audiences have responded to CG within the past two decades far more than they have with 2D. With "Toy Story" people got to see something new and that's what they want now.

Such is life.

The Optimistic Pessimist of your Theories said...

Mark, one major aspect that escapes both you and Keith in your musings on 2D vs CG and the OLD analogue vs NEW technology is the simple fact that people still draw. Very much so.

The strength of 2D animation is that it is anchored to one of the fundamental roots of art and the process of creating beyond any one animation medium.

The technology will grow and evolve, for sure, but I believe it will come full circle.
With the expansion of touch screens, virtual manipulation and new human interface and input technologies, the traditional processes will be brought directly into the digital production even more so than now. And there will be more folks using it and a broader range of things that we can do with it as well.

I only hope that the production software becomes simpler, more intuitive and less convoluted as soon as possible, tracking back to the more archaic interfaces most humans are accustom to. Those with less buttons and more actions and physical doing.

So why does CG3D and Mo-Cap seem like the be all and end all at the moment for big feature productions? Here’s one sliver of a perspective; 2D Anim, the simple traditional pipeline employed, lets say a few 100, vs 3DCG Anim, the newer and more intricate tech pipeline that now employs lets say a good 1000 or so with many more roles and tiers in the production. A bigger hive with more specialist worker bees. Mocap is that hive minus the few 100 or so specializing in one part of the production, sadly in KeyFrame Animation. To $THEM$, for all intents and purposes, it’s the same “Bigger” & “Better Looking” package minus a few grunts.

So tell me, with the biggest animation industry at the moment (in terms of volume) arguably being the Animation Education Industry, what do you think all these kids will do if your prediction of the future arrives with no changes to the current direction or model, or alternative perceptions and content in the mainstream feature industry? Will they simply help produce more TV Animation? More TVCs? More I-phone/Product Apps & Games? More? Internet?? Pffffft!! There will be animated feature films made in a greater array of ways in the future as there have ever been made in the past. Most likely from the same monolyths of the industry such as Disney Feature Animation and so on.

The Audiences herd mentality is defined by what is currently out in the market, and what’s currently in the market is Spielberg, Lucas, Jackson, Cameron, Weta, etc. All simultaneously directors and men with $means$ to make their merchandise. But the terrain will roll & change and… surprise surprise… so will the audiences taste. Will they have become more enlightened as a collective? Not really. But if you build “the barn”, it’ll draw its crowd.
So what do you need to build “the big barns” of feature animation? Big money wells the likes of Steve Jobs, Philip H. Knigh & Disney Corp™ of course.
Perhaps in the future age of the internet we’ll even see the first crowd funded feature film production, animation or otherwise.

... But I’m getting off topic.

So, to summarise; People still Draw (with ink & lead). Technology & software improves to suit its users needs and desires. And you still need substantial $Dough$ to put on a substation (feature sized) *Show* or to build a feature studio.
What’s changed?

Thad said...

The thing is, I'm pretty sure just about any filmmaker since day one would have opted to use sound if given the choice. Fewer than that would choose color over black-and-white. I'm doubtful Walt would go for the Jackson-Speilberg look if given the chance in his time.

I'm with Mike Sporn. In the beginning, Pixar was simply giving audiences quality with their earliest stuff that just wasn't seen in the hand-drawn features. Disney hadn't had a hit since The Lion King, and people just wanted something good, and that came with Toy Story, and that's where their cash started going. The proof is the popularity of the rereleases of the Katzenberg era features.

CG may have rubbed out hand-drawn in the theaters, but as the press is constantly telling us, the theater experience is dead anyway, so who cares. The majority of animation seen on television, direct-to-video, and online is hand-drawn, and it will remain so.

Peter said...

Thad is "pretty sure just about any filmmaker since day one would have opted to use sound if given the choice", but I'm not entirely sure this is so. I've read accounts of 20s filmmaking that suggest that many filmmakers resented the coming of sound because it spoiled the 'artform' that they had been creating - a very stylised form of communication: a vocabulary of looks and gestures that they saw as visual poetry. The 'realism' of sound would sweep all that away, and it is a similar fear that Mark is voicing - the possible loss of a particular style of moviemaking as technology supercedes it.

What the coming of sound actually did (which smaller, non-American studios were most troubled by) was limit the international market for cinema. Silent films (requiring, at most, translated intertitles to be cut in) were totally accessible to global audiences, whereas sound films needed either expensive redubbing or subtitles added, and in either case audiences were aware that they were watching a 'foreign' film. Markets shrank, filmmaking became relatively more expensive, and small companies closed down.

Now the very platforms for film are in flux. I think 2D animation will continue to be created, but it may be a while before it can win the attention of the money men, and be granted big budgets.

Perhaps limited funds may be a good thing, as big budgets lead to too much scrutiny and interference, and a resultant timidity in production decisions. IMHO.

David said...

Very thought provoking and challenging post here , Mark. I'm still digesting it. My default position of course inside my hand-drawn "bubble" is to more or less agree with Pete Emslie's and Michael Sporn's comments.

I also found Aaron's commens about Stop Motion interesting. I think the average movie-goer would not be able to tell you if Nightmare Before Christmas, The Corpse Bride, Coraline, or the forthcoming ParaNorman was made in CG or was "hand-crafted". So why haven't those stop-motion features been more successful if what the audience is looking for is that kind of 3D realism ? I think it's that audiences are not necessarily just looking for the the 3D realism. It's something else. I liked Coraline a lot , but I recognize that it was basically an "art house" film appealing to a certain type of film fan who appreciates "quirky" films over mainstream films (I'd include Henry Selick's other films , James and the Giant Peach and Nightmare Before Christmas in that "quirky" art-house film category , along with The Corpse Bride). I think the Aardman stop-motion movies , Chicken Run and Wallace & Gromit in Curse of the Were-Rabbit were more commercially successful , through both of those movies were less realistic, more "cartoony". Although there have not been any stop-motion mega-hits on the level of a hand-drawn movie like "The Lion King" or a CG movie like "Finding Nemo" , it does seem as if the stop-motion animation community (which is even smaller and more tight-knit than the hand-drawn animation community) doesn't seem to have the same defeated/defensive attitude as many hand-drawn animators. (and I'm including myself in that) If anything should have died out in the face of the CG tidal wave it should have been Stop-Motion, right? But it didn't die . The stop-motion practioners just keep chugging along , making their films in their chosen medium, apparently without the angst and hand-wringing that afflicts us aficionados of drawn animation.

The other thing that puzzles me about the apparent rejection of hand-drawn animation is that as "The Optimistic Pessimist" points out : people still DRAW. A lot. Drawing per se is not unpopular and it's neither "old fashioned" or "modern". There are different styles of drawing , some more modern, some classical, some that are definitely "retro" or "old-fashioned", but drawing as such isn't something that is out of style or something that people don't respond to. Any of us artists who have ever had the experience of opening up a sketchbook and drawing in front of people in a public place will know that non-artists tend to get very excited to see someone drawing. They are AMAZED by it , almost always manifesting an "Oh, WOW , how do you do that? That's so cool!" sort of attitude when they see someone drawing. And there's the continuing popularity of drawn comics. Comics are a niche market certainly, but many fans respond specifically to a certain artist's style of drawing, even with old well established characters like Batman or Spiderman. The actual drawings make a difference. And yet those older, established characters in particular could simply be replicated as CG models in an "asset library" , posed out by a comic book editor with no pencilers or inkers involved , rendered in a flat "toon-shading" style that looks to the average person like classical cartooning on the surface . But why hasn't the value placed on drawing diminised in comics like it apparently has for hand-drawn animation? I don't think it's because people don't respond well to drawings. There's something else at play here, I just can't quite put my finger on it yet. No answers, I'm just thinking out loud ... sorry for the rambling post.

David said...

By the way, I LOVED "The Artist" (no surprise there, eh ?) . And of course, even before I read your blog post I was thinking about the parallels between the apparent death hand-drawn animation and what happened to the silent films.

But I do have to agree with Pete's comments there:

"I think your analogy to hand drawn animated films may ring a bit false here, Mark, with due respect. Whereas nobody would want to bring back the silent film as an ongoing form of popular entertainment, recognizing its inherent limitations that no longer exist since the advent of sound and colour, those of us who champion drawn animation still believe it will always be a valid form of the art."

I don't think anyone would advocate that we go back to only silent-era film making techniques, anymore than the ONLY form of animation should be hand-drawn animation, but it wouldn't bother me at all to EXPAND the possibilities open to film makers by allowing for mainstream releases of non-talking B & W films , or a
B & W sound film on occasion, when the material being presented makes it appropriate. (and how about colour/sound non-talking movies, like the first 30 minutes of Wall-E or the mostly non-talking sequence at the start of UP ? A whole movie could be made like that.) The feeling I get watching a film like "The Artist" is different from how I feel watching a whizz-bang popcorn movie like "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol" but I wouldn't say that a silent B & W film like The Artist is inherently any more "artificial" an experience than Ghost Protocol just because The Artist doesn't use dialogue, colour, and modern cinematography techniques. I feel the same way about different forms of animation: it's all good. I'd like to have the choice to see a regular number of hand-drawn, stop-motion, or CG animated films. Of course, I realize that I'm probably just talking inside the bubble to fellow true believers when I say that .

Floyd Norman said...

A fascinating discussion. I've enjoyed it very much.

As an old guy who sat in meetings with Walt, I wonder what the old man would have to say about all this?

Philip Street said...

Interesting post and discussion. There was a time when the stylizations of UPA and others were widely accepted in commercials and cartoons. The greater abstraction of this style pushed wit to the foreground and also explored the use of pure colour. Sound and music were often abstract and witty too, at Warner's as well as at UPA. Fashions change and I confess nostalgia for the "cartoon modern" period. But I hope that audiences will still respond to strong work. Norman Rockwell didn't bury the moderns. But if it's true that audiences will increasingly demand "realism", whatever that means, it's a sign of the decay of imagination.

Peter said...

While there may be a case for arguing that audiences are attracted to "realism", I think the issue may be more about expectations. I fear that 2D has become equated in the popular mind with old-school Disney, and, by dilution through the quantity of derivative sat-AM TV animation, seen as old hat. A type of movie that, having seen once, you never need to see again, because you know it already. It may once have been magic but now it's just disappointing. In other words, in the mind of the audience it has peaked, and ossified.

Whereas CGI is still searching for a form, and despite the formulaic storylines and performances there is still something fresh turning up amongst the dross - enough to both amuse audiences and to provide a sense of novelty.

In short, despite CGI rehashing all the formulaic devices of 2D animation, I think audiences are over-familiar with 2D, and think it passé.

So I think 2D will remain in the doldrums until someone comes up with a fresh approach, ditching traditional tropes (sentimental songs, cute characters, stock responses, etc) and taking inspiration from some completely different sources.

And, of course, it would have to be entertaining.

I can't see anyone putting money into such a project, so it would have to evolve from small independent animators.

It doesn't have to be 'art' (probably shouldn't be!) but it does need someone as obsessive as Walt Disney see a new direction and push it to success. (And it isn't just obsession - Ralph Bakshi and Dick Williams both tried and failed. It needs someone who is also in touch with the audience - who doesn't want "good animation" but good entertainment.)

Thad said...

"Pretty sure" could easily turn into "pretty wrong", yes, but the holdouts who would keep movies silent in the name of art (which I accounted for originally anyway), were not a majority, and the paradigm of silent to sound/black-and-white to color is completely different from the gravitation from hand-drawn to CGI. Most audiences actively wanted those changes. I've never heard of mass audiences actually clamoring for CGI over hand-drawn.

Andy Latham said...

A really interesting post. If I may make a simple point that I think may have been missed: Why are there still animated films if the audiences are wanting realism? Why not just stick with live action?

GW said...

The reason that animation's realism is different from live action's is that there are things that live action can't show very well but animation can. There's a multitude of things that animation can show inside a living person's body that live action couldn't for ethical reasons and there's no bulldogs that look like the way they were, I believe, in the early 1800's. There may be only a partial use of animation for the things that need to be changed, but for a more extreme case, like a setting on Mars where everything has a different gravity, it probably has to be animated.

There's all sorts of distinctions like that. Though motion capture stifles many of the distinctions and I think it ought to be obsoleted, for most cases, in favor of a more fully animated approach that doesn't have the vestiges of live action. I need to reiterate that it's still not as convincing as live action and I don't know how good it will get in the future. Nevertheless, this won't keep it from being useful within its current limits.

Anonymous said...

In the beginning, Pixar was simply giving audiences quality with their earliest stuff that just wasn't seen in the hand-drawn features. Disney hadn't had a hit since The Lion King, and people just wanted something good, and that came with Toy Story, and that's where their cash started going.

This is both true and false: The fact is, if Toy Story had been done in 2D, it probably would NOT have been the smashing success that it was. It would still have been a good film, and have had the charm and sweetness and sass it did, but really, what made it a megahit was that AND the technique, giving the story a wow factor and novelty that brought people in to see something different-LOOKING. That coupled with a nice, strong story with humor was what put it over the top.
Pixar played pointedly to their strengths and compensated for the weaknesses of CG of that time by gearing the entire thing to characters that would look good when reading as "stiff" or hard and plastic.

The Optimistic Pessimist of "2D can't $ell" said...

Forgive me for continuing to bang the drum over here Mark, but have you seen this yet?
Some fantastic people giving a fantastic, but apparently “dying”, form of visual & literary entertainment their efforts.

At any rate I recognise my own clear bias and think there have been good points raised & conceded on both sides of the proverbial discussion fence in this thread, and I for one would love to hear further comments from you, Keith or others. An Encore to this debate if you will.


Martin Juneau said...

A film like the Artist can be not only a good reflexion about the animation how it grows technically but also to the motion picture itself. Many producers seems much interested to the CGI techniques than for the talents of actors or a good story. If a story is stiff, if actors plays bad, CGI effects can't even saved. We can think to the Transformers pictures by example or the last year's Razzie winner Last Airbender. Such moneys wasted for not something.

Señor Spielbergo said...

Steven Spielberg - Adventures of Tintin Post Golden Globes Q&A

"I learnt everything from Andy Serkis"

I don't know why, but I can't stop coughing *HACk! hacK!... HackK Hack, HACK!*

Señor Spielbergo said...

Well… this process doesn’t seem hilariously convoluted at all.

I guess with all those digital stage crew running about it makes Steven feel like he’s on a proper set. fascinating!

And what’s that visual middle ground they keep mentioning there at the end? I didn’t see it anywhere in the film. More here