THE SMA FORUM ARCHIVE
STOP-MOTION FILM DISCUSSION
Posted by barry purves (Guest), on 2001-03-25 00:32:19
our own best and worst!!
NOTE: the following messages have been transferred from the original SMA.com Message Board
User ID: 0568574 Feb 9th 2:40 PM
well since we have been quite free with the films of others that have less than pleased us, let me the first to own up to my own worst piece of animation. And not surprisingly it was for a commercial, for chips. Not just chips but chips working out in a gym, trying to be fat free. I am not a great lover of commercials, not for the artistic side but for the army of people involved all getting paid far too much to talk absolute tripe. And such was the case on this commercial. I could not believe the pretentious conversations that were had about the colouring and motivation of a chip. It was a relatively classy ad in the end, but I hated seeing so many people, including myself, devoting such much effort and time and money to such rubbish - the even sadder thing was that the ad people really believed that housewives were going to be concerned over such and such a property of this chip. If only this effort, and money, could have been spent on something more interesting. Some of my worst animation has been for commercial animating things that really should not be animated, like broccoli. Yes I was king of the dancing food stuffs at one point. I am grateful that CG can do this stuff well now. Interstingly, I am not sure, unlike most animators, that I ever had a great passion to animate dinosausrs but the nearest I got was to animate a pteradactyl made of crisps - don't ask!! But I was pleased with the result, even with it being a big three foot wingspan model.
Of a favourite amongst my own stuff has to be Achilles, as I think I got most things right and it is the only film I can sit through without thinking that I'd like to reshoot every frame, or wishe that I'd thought a certain aspect through more clearly or whatever. I am also pleased with Achilles as it never fails to provoke a reaction one way or another.It was also beautifully lit by the DOP I am working with now on Hamilton Mattress. And the puppets are probably the best Mackinnon Saunders have made. Actually the more I think about it, I like Achilles for what other people brought to it; those lovely ceramics, great music and the wonderful Derek Jacobi. If I can be a little pleased with myself I like the animation as I finally learned to put into practice that less really is so much more, and one pure gesture is more powerful than twenty fussy ones.
User ID: 1502094 Feb 9th 3:50 PM
Barry you have expressed my sentiments exactly about animating on commercials. Not my favorite thing to work on.
Stan M. Strawn
User ID: 0798784 Feb 10th 4:39 PM
Yeah Barry, That sucked, you should be ashamed of yourself! Just kidding; I'm sure it was fine.
User ID: 2553434 Feb 12th 8:17 PM
I few years back, I was assisting on a series of tv spots, and remember the animation director's frustration (as well as that of the animation and model crew) on being forced to succumb to the ad agency's idea of having a round "blob" (affectionately named "the blob" by the ad agency--so original) wander through a barren stop-motion set, sniffing here and there, looking for that elusive agency product: household cleaners. What goes through the minds of these clients is beyond the scope of common reason.
User ID: 1752694 Feb 12th 10:56 PM
My best and worst are all my own fault. Turtle World was my best idea, but my lack of storytelling skills meant that I didn't quite get it right. Some bits too long, other chopped short. Lower Orders started from nothing more than "what can I come up with to use this cockroach, rat, and fly puppet left over from a pilot that didn't happen?", but, surprisingly, was probably my best effort in terms of direction, the animation was adequate, and the music was just right. My worst animating experience, though, was animating a shot on (you guessed it) a commercial. A friend was animating California Walnut ads, and had wrapped and left town when they decided they wanted to re-do a wide shot. The director (not an animator) had fixed the set to the back of a table, with 2 feet of tabletop to lean over that wasn't even in shot, then the visible floor of the set another 2 feet deep. Every move had to be made off balance, with arms stretched to reach the puppet. It took 4 1/2 hours to shoot, and a week for my back to recover. I've done propmaking for ads before, and can never get over how few people there are to do the actual work, and how many ad agency wankers with no obvious function there are hanging around getting in the way.
Posted by Stix, on 2003-07-28 16:02:10
What films by Barry are available on DVD in the US?
Posted by catizone, on 2003-07-28 16:52:29
I haven't done my best yet...at least I hope not.
As to the worst, I suppose that would be my first :30 sec spot where I just needed more talent. It worked fine...but compared to my drawing ability and understanding of animation (at least to this point), it wasn't what it could have been.
Posted by David Rosler, on 2003-07-29 02:06:15
Here's an evasive, idealistic response if ever there was one: My worst is whatever I just did, because that is the one which must be bettered by the next. My best needs to be the one that betters it, which by definition is whatever I'm doing now (not likely in practical terms since as of this writing, besides my independant feature(s),that is some highly festive 3-d backgrounds for an animated 2-d pilot - or something like a pilot anyway, they apparently have a deal min place to sell peicemeal to the home vid crowd, God bless 'em). Until I'm old and grey, I'll let others judge my work objectively.
This is by no means the way I think anyone else should operate.
We're all here because we love some aspect of the work. I can't pretend to be able to say I can live up to my lofty ideals, either. But I love the work by approaching it this way, and am too selfish in that love to look at it any other way. The only exception to that rule would be should the unlikely day ever come that I ever get a series of independant personal features under my belt. Then I'll be much better to answer that question, since when it comes to independant creation as significant personal expression I'm definately a long-form man at heart. Anything else reduces down for me to individual shots, and then it's just a matter of the next one being better than anything else, and who wants to take the time to look through all that to make an opinion?! :-)
Posted by jim danforth, on 2003-07-29 10:00:34
If I listed all my worst shots (isn't that an oxymoron), it would crash Anthony's server.
Actually, I think the 'worst' shot is a less-than-satisfactory shot from which one has learned nothing.
Posted by Nick H, on 2003-07-30 02:10:21
It's just possible that all those "worst" shots of yours are on a level I'm still aspiring to!
>Actually, I think the 'worst' shot is a
>less-than-satisfactory shot from which one has learned
I like that attitude! So I've been learning lots and lots...
I usually learn not to make the same mistake again, but there seems to be an infinite supply of fresh new mistakes out there waiting for me, ready to leap out when I least expect it. As for less-than-satisfactory, there seem to be a few that I was actually quite pleased about at the time, but which now make me cringe. Pretty much all my animation before frame grabbing, for a start. Like Obie's work, it was sometimes expressive, but never smooth, and without his dramatic timing.