Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Notes towards a theory of animation response:

As an aspiring animator i found this article very interesting.  In it, Wells talks about the variations that can be found within orthodox and experimental forms of animation.  in short, orthodox animation could be defined as what is portrayed in virtually any Disney animated film.  They have an identifiable character, be it an animal or human, there is a specific narrative in the films such as in what you would expect to see in any film coming out of hollywood (ex. Lion King... Simba wants to be king and goes through many unfortunate events to get there).  However, in Experimental animations the rules for making a film are very different.  When it comes to abstract / experimental films there is much more focus on rhythm and movement in and of themselves instead of a particular character as can be seen in the Norman McLearon film we watched in class.

One of the most interesting things i found to be in this article was Wells' argument about the absence / presence of the artist in the two styles of animation.  in the early development of animation animators would typically mix live-action and animation by showcasing the artist drawing whatever it was they were drawing and then have it interact with the space around them which can be seen in the clip below
Yet with the emergence of cel-animation the role and presence of the artist was removed to focus more on the characters themselves.  Not to mention there are many animators that work on a single film taking away the creative control each individual artist has over the drawings made for the film.  Imagine a Disney film where each artist working on said film drew their own renditions of the characters for the film in question. it would be extremely chaotic (but possibly pretty sweet... if done the right way).  But in experimental animation the films are extremely personal, subjective, original responses which are the work of individuals or a number of artists seeking to use animation in an new creative way to evoke emotions from their viewers.  Sometimes these films resist easy interpretation, being merely the absolutely individual response of the artist bringing the presence of the filmmaker/s into their work.