ACTING for ANIMATORS
Angela Entzminger, storyboard artist, founding member and Co-President of Women in Animation San Francisco, is currently working at Nickelodeon on The Loud House. She also produces a top-drawer podcast called The Animated Journey. If you are not yet familiar with Angela and The Animated Journey, I strongly recommend that you tune in. She is an uncommonly talented interviewer, one of those special, insightful and multi-talented individuals that I love to be around. Even if you have heard me interviewed previously, you will learn new things about me and my ideas about acting in this podcast. Angela starts off by asking about my childhood and very earliest experiences as an actor and then connects the dots through the years to the point when I started teaching animators. Good stuff. I had really had fun time talking with her. Part I of the interview is available now, and you can access it several ways: on iTunes, at the Animated Journey Website, and on Tumblr.
“Love is not just a passion spark between two people; there is infinite difference between falling in love and standing in love. Rather, love is a way of being, a 'giving to,' not a 'falling for'; a mode of relating at large, not an act limited to a single person.”– Irvin D. Yalom, psychiatrist and author
Live-Action Remakes of Animated Films?
It's All About the Money...
The Hollywood Reporter recently ran a smart article about the trend of major studios producing live-action remakes of famous animated movies such as Disney's Beauty and the Beast. The remakes are making big money. That means, for better or worse, we are likely to see live-action remakes of all the classic animated movies.
Acting for Animators Workshop Schedule
May 2-5 – FMX, Stuttgart, Germany
May 8-11 Filmakademie Baden-Wurtemburg, Ludwigsburg, Germany
Sept 1-2 Rome, Italy (public Acting for Animation workshop)
September 27 – Oct. 2, Komiza, Island of Vis, Croatia
A Primer on Face "Sided-ness"...
Portrait artists learn early that the left side of a person's face is different from the right side. I asked Paul Ekman[ about this some years ago and, while he acknowledged the "sided-ness" distinction, he said there was not yet sufficient science behind it to support the statement of a firm principle. Since Dr. Ekman is an international expert on facial expression, I readily accept his judgement. Still, if you study a photograph of a person's face, covering up the left side and exposing only the right, you definitely will get a "feeling" about that person's personality. Then switch so that it is the right side of the face that is covered, and you might do a double-take because the personality seems so different.
According to Evolutionary Psychology theory, (sorry...I have lost track of my original source. I know Desmond Morris addresses the subject in his book The Naked Ape: A Zoologist's Study of the Human Animal (1999), face sided-ness can be explained because of the way we scan a person's face when we look at it. Although you cannot see the human eye's micro-movement, it is in fact moving constantly, thousands of times each second. This is known as "saccadic movement". When you look into a friend's face, although it feels like you are gazing steadily at him, your gaze first goes to his right eye, then to his left, then to his mouth and then back to the right eye, very rapidly.
Evolutionary theory holds that, because we scan faces like this, we have adapted to present to the world the way we want to be perceived on the right side of our face. If you want to know what a person is more truly like personality-wise, cover the right side and look only at his left. The idea is that the left side of a person's face always tells the truth.
There are many uses for this insight in animation, particularly if you are working with realistic CG. A villain, for example, might seem very charming on the right side of his face. But if you look at the left side, you might feel that the character would gladly take a bite out of your throat.
As a factor of psychological health, it would be ideal if both sides of the face were the same. Really, it ought not be necessary to project something on one side of the face that is not authentically true. This is why the models you see in magazine advertisements are so symmetrical facially. The two sides of their faces seem to match. From a marketing perspective, there is a subliminal message: "Buy this product, and you will be psychologically healthy. Then you will get rich, marry another beautiful person and have many lovely children."
Psychology Today magazine ran an interesting feature article on this subject last year ("Chirality: A Look at Emotional Asymmetry of the Face," by Joe Navarro, M.A., May 21, 2016) In particular, look at the facial study of actor Harrison Ford's face in that article. Wow
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