Viewing entries tagged with 'screenwriting'

Guano in 3D

A couple of excerpts from a rare interview (MP3 file, 32 minutes) with independent animator Don Hertzfeldt ( on Scene Unseen Podcast.

Don Hertzfeldt on progress:

"I feel like I'm constantly learning and I think that's the key to keep making new stuff because I think the moment you think you know everything you kind of turn into an asshole and I would think the process is not as much fun any more."

Don Hertzfeldt on Computer Graphics (CG) and traditional animation:

"First of all I don't want to sound anti CG because I'm not. It's just an amazing set of tools. The cool thing about animation is you can literally do anything. It's technically speaking the purest form of film-making because you are literally working one frame at a time, sometimes working with your hands on every single frame of the picture. So you're free to do anything. Anything you can imagine you can put on film which you can never do in live action. So it's just really stupid and ironic to me that with all this amazing new technology here we can push the boundaries of cinema, we can change the language of cinema – they're trying to just get towards photo realism.

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Shady Art from a Sunny Place

Gosh, if you are having a great time right now but you would rather be slightly depressed then go and see one of the Van Morsel/Wiseguy Productions animations. It's very interesting animated art with amazing dialogue. It sounds like audio recordings inspired by automatic writing and one wonders from what depths of the writer's unconscious it comes from. Interesting, yet deeply disturbing.

I am lucky enough to know the artist – but I won't blow his cover here. Let me just say that he lives in a town called Nelson, the most sunny place in all of New Zealand. His art can probably be best described as the opposite.

As a start I recommend Rook but there are heaps of other yet unpublished animations by Van Morsel which I hope will be available some time on YouTube or elsewhere.

The Hero with a Thousand Faces

Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces was the most interesting non-fiction book that I have read in a long time – if not in all time. I can understand that it is often described as one of the most influential works of the 20th century. The book was first published in 1949. Campbell (1904 - 1987), a scholar who spent his life studying mythology of different cultures, reveals in this book of comparative mythology what he calls the monomyth. This, in blunt terms, is a common pattern or structure of all myths and stories regardless of their cultural background, based on what Jung would call the collective unconscious.

A big part of the book attends to the Hero's Journey, the said common story structure, i.e. the call to adventure, the refusal of the call, initiation, thresholds, the road of trials, the return, and a lot more that may happen in one form or another during the hero's adventure.

But this is not merely a book about structure, it is a book about the transformation of the hero, the role of mythology as a vehicle to understand life and to create value for self and society, the task of gods as icons to "transport the mind and spirit, not up to, but past them, into the yonder void" (p. 180); it is about the often underestimated or even ignored power of the unconsciousness, and how all of this can serve us today not as in opposition to modern life and science but as a precious and often forgotten enrichment to everyday life.

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Computers are Useless, They Just Give Answers.

That´s a graffito on a wall in Melbourne. And the most important thing I learnt here in my semester abroad in Melbourne so far. Computers are a tool to realize ideas, but not to develop them. It´s as simple as that. However, it´s the main problem of in the first place multimedia students and also of people working in other fields. The approach of assignments is completely different here. Whilst at the FH Vorarlberg in Austria most of the students started to work on the computer at once, here at RMIT in Melbourne the computer enters the stage at a very late moment. I don´t say that the Austrian uni is that bad at all (it is not), but the kind of understanding multimedia work is obvious: on the one hand the technical equipment is really great, on the other hand there is not offered a drawing course to improve (or even get into) drawing scetches. There is nothing that´s worth more in developing ideas than to roughly (and quickly) bring it to paper. Technique is more important than ideas? This is wrong. It makes us to people who just do their jobs without thinking about it. The modern assembly line designer.
What´s worth more? A perfect 3d animation with a lousy idea or a simple scetch people can laugh about? Final Fantasy or Gary Larson? Without a good idea it´s not worth to start a work. You might love your photorealistic scenery, the audience doesn´t give a shit on the technique if you bore them. And THEY are right.

I am Angry!

Mr. FelixThis is the title of the exercise for Felix´ animation class:

»In brief:
1. Think of something you are angry at.
2. Record a 30 second tirade about the subject.
3. Bring the recording to Animation class...«

»Have courage - the object of the exercise is to look idiotic. Why? Because idiotic characters are interesting.«

»Bring the recording in to class (...). We will play them in class and laugh at each other. The person voted most ridiculous by the group will win a nice cake - supplied by me.«

Sounds easy? It is not. Not at all. It was a very hard assignment for me, really. It´s a very rare experience for me to get angry. But in the end listening to all of the tirades in class was really great fun! Just try yourselves and get angry!

Just one thing which is not so plain to me: Where´s that cake, Felix?

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