ACTING for ANIMATORS
Ed Hooks Acting Analysis: Zootopia
Here is my acting analysis of Disney's Zootopia. Thanks to Amid Amidi for giving me the opportunity to write for CartoonBrew.com.
Our "Good-Bye!" Yard Sale in La La Land
In the end, it came down to a yard sale. Well, actually, that was the penultimate event. We first sold larger items like beds, sofa and electronics on Craig's List. Then we had the yard sale you see here. This photo was taken on day #2, after Cally had already sold a yard-full. Then we invited friends over for a "take what you want for free" party. We shipped 28 boxes 6,000 miles on a slow boat to Lisbon – guaranteed delivery in two months. Finally (at last!!) we packed the rest of our possessions in five suitcases and took off to the airport.
And now ... drum roll ... we are living in the Principe Real neighborhood of... LISBON, PORTUGAL!
"To be normal is the ideal aim of the unsuccessful." – Carl Jung
U.S. National Support for the Arts: Abysmal!
France’s federal arts budget rose last year to more than US$4 billion. That’s US$575 per person for the arts, as opposed to 45 cents per person in the United States.
Source: Los Angeles Times, Feb. 24, 2017
Acting for Animators Workshop Schedule
March 2017 -- The Animation Workshop, Denmark
March 2017 -- MONSTRA Animation Festival, Portugal
March 2017 -- Animation Dingle (Ireland)
May 2017 -- FMX, Stuttgart, Germany
Why I moved to Lisbon, Portugal
In 1965, a book of short stories by American author Flannery O'Connor was published posthumously under the title, Everything That Rises Must Converge. I was 21 years old at the time and immediately recognized that title as a guiding principle for successful living. No effort in life, I reasoned, would be wasted, as long as it was fully explored – because, in fact, everything that rises does indeed converge. That idea has been with me ever since; it has provided a philosophical framework for trying new things and pursuing far horizons. It was prominent in my mind when my wife, Cally, and I decided to lift anchor in the United States and relocate to Europe.
The entire movie industry is evolving. Vanity Fair magazine, in its current International issue, features an enlightening article by Nick Bilton, "That's All Folks!", in which he suggests that the Hollywood movie industry is, in fact, dying. The major studios are dependant on producing mega-hits, and the formula is not working any more. The largest movie audiences for American-made movies now are in China, which dictates that the studios produce more action/super-hero films loaded with VFX, movies that do not require a command of the English language and do not depend metaphorically on understanding the American culture. Mainly, Hollywood is turning comic books and novels into live-action movies that appeal to the lowest-common-denominator audiences. In the world of feature animation, Mr. Bilton, suggests, Disney Company will probably be the last to go because it owns Marvel, Lucas and Pixar. DreamWorks is gone and, really, Disney and Comcast-Universal own 90% of what remains of the U.S. feature animation industry. This, plus the emergence of new platforms for watching movies – streaming, home-TV, computers – and the success of companies such as Netflix, Amazon.com and HBO, points to strong growth for lower-budget, independently produced feature animation. Instead of the typical US$200 million movie budget, movies are being made for US$10 million -- and even less. Ale Abru's wonderful Brazilian film Boy and the World had a budget of only US$500,000!
There are 39 animated feature films currently in production in Europe, according to the Animation Europe website, and another 33 in pre-production. There are more top-notch animation festivals and video game summits in Europe than I can even count, and several of the world's finest animation schools are located in Europe. I am teaching Acting for Animators at Denmark's extraordinarily fine Animation Workshop next month, as well as the Dingle Animation Festival in Ireland. In May, I will participate in FMX in Stuttgart, Germany and be in residence for a week at The Animation Institute at Filmakademie Baden-Wurtemberg. These are top-drawer organizations and events, and I am privileged to be invited to be part of their programs. I believe that Europe's animators are on track to make of animation the art form that it is – instead of using it as a sales tool, which is the Hollywood approach. There is a creative tsunami coming to this part of the world, and I want to be a part of it. In addition to my Acting for Animators masterclasses, I am starting now to work as a script consultant, a function that I love because good storytelling is at the heart of everything.
Lisbon is strategically and philosophically a better place for me to be at this time in my life than Los Angeles. The relocation also introduces a new chapter of excitement, adventure and romance to Cally's and my marriage – after, ahem, 35 years (!) – and every relationship can stand a bit of that now and then, don't you agree?
Friends ask if we are leaving the United States because of Donald Trump, and the answer is "no." I consider this move to be the pursuit of a positive, not a flight from a negative. It is true, however, that I am extremely concerned about what is happening in the United States. When the President of the U.S wages war against independent mainstream media, the entire world should be alarmed. My sense of things is that the tribes of the world – tribes everywhere, not just in the U.S. and Europe – are troubled and struggling. Historically, when tribes have been in trouble, they have turned to their shamans for inspiration and guidance. Today's shamans are the artists -- yes, you, my friend -- you are a shaman, and the tribe needs to hear from you. Take my business card and stick it in your pocket. When the time is right, give me a call. I want to work with you.
And that is why I moved to Lisbon.
“You remain what you are."
– Everything That Rises
Until next month . . .
"Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none." (All's Well That Ends Well; I, i)
Copyright © 2012-2017 Ed Hooks