Thursday, November 27, 2008

Horton's Debut!

Being in New York has many perks, such as getting to see Horton's debut in person at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade! I have to say, it was pretty cool to see him as a balloon in the parade. It's kind of one of those moments when it hits me that I really am working as an animator. It's strange! It's strange to see this character, (more specifically, this version based on the Blue Sky design), in a huge parade, when not even a year ago he pretty much only existed in a few floors of a non-descript building in White Plains. It's strange to have worked so many long hours on something you feel is yours, that really belongs to everyone now. And although I'm the last person to say that animation is just for kids, it was pretty cool to see the kids wearing Horton ears, in anticipation of the balloon. They don't care how much money the movie made in the theatres or on DVD, they care about Horton, the character. I think Dr. Seuss created a character who really resonates with children, and for being a tiny part of that, I'm very grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
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Saturday, November 22, 2008

New Ice Age 3 trailer!

Check out the new Scrat trailer for Ice Age 3 on Apple's website, or before Disney's "Bolt" in 3D!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Brian Henson at Blue Sky

The awesome guests just keep coming, today we got to listen to a lecture by Brian Henson, son of Jim Henson! I wish I had pictures to show, but I'll just have to be on the lookout for others who may have taken some. It was great to hear his ideas on performing with a puppet, and comparing/contrasting that to animation. What he boiled it down to was that puppetry is a very imprecise performance that generates it's entertainment through being spontaneous, error prone, while animation is extremely planned but can give the illusion of spontaneity. Since starting in animation, I've really come to admire the instant performaces that puppeteers can get from their characters. How freeing would that be to not have to worry about every single little twitch, every frame of movement, and just go for the emotion, the comedy, the heart! I have no idea if I would be any good at it, but maybe someday I'll get the chance to try my "hand" at it...har har har...

Something else interesting that I never thought about, was how the puppeteers always look at a live shot from the camera as they perform, and never look up at the puppet. As an animator that makes sense to me, it shows how they have to be aware of things such as staging, and screen space...if they weren't looking at the shot, they might not be able to tell if they were even staying in the shot!

So, this brings the guests at Blue Sky to: Richard Williams, Sergio Pablos, Mike Kunkel, Ken Duncan, and Brian Henson. Big thanks to everyone who made this possible, to keep our engines running just a little better during the crunch!