Monday, November 7, 2011

Tell 'em What You Told 'em

I really like when I watch movies and television programs that have messages that apply to animation. The one that helped me most recently was from the movie Seven Pounds with Will Smith, in which he is explaining a type of presentation to a company.
He says that you must be clear and:

          Tell your audience what you’re going to tell them
          Tell them
          Then tell them what you told them

This presentation technique reminds me of anticipation, the animation principle that we need to show the audience that something is about to happen. Then it happens and they can follow it because they saw it coming and were ready for it.

Another one of these messages I found in Futurama, in the episode Godfellas (S4_E8), when a race of tiny people worship Bender as their God. Bender tries to help them, and accidentally kills them, he tries not helping them and they end up killing each other. Then Bender runs into the real God, and he tells Bender “Being God isn't easy. If you do too much, people get dependent on you. And if you do nothing, they lose hope. You have to use a light touch.”  God then goes on to say,

”When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all.” 

This is the statement that stuck with me. When I think about animation this way, about how we are trying to create the illusion of life, that when we do our jobs right, the animator's hands will go unseen as the characters live out their lives on screen.

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