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!

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