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?

The following text is the "exercise 2" of animation class and animation workshop by Felix Hude at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia in semester 2 2003. The original was located at For some reason it disappeared. As the text was really useful to me to do write Café IMPERIAL and because I like the exercise (somehow) - even if I only read through it - I keep a copy on this site. Enjoy.

I am Angry!

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 at 9:30 on Weds 14/8.

In length:

1. Think of something you are angry at.

It can be anything, but it MUST be petty. The pettier, the better. Eg. Getting a parking ticket, parking inspectors, tram inspectors, Mick Jagger, RMIT lecturers, people who ride bicycles, people who live in the suburbs, people who live in the inner city, stubbing your toe, running out of hot water in the shower, spaghetti bolognaise, condoms, waiting in queues, the price of movie tickets, the price of marijuana, your dope dealer, people who fart at the dinner table, people who fart in class, having to come to class on time, bent forks, blunt knives, tying your shoe laces, house-trance music, rock and roll music etc
Stay clear of deep and meaningful things that you would be right to be angry at. Eg. Politicians, Muslim terrorists, Australia's policy on refugees, RMIT lecturers, Israeli soldiers, Palestinian suicide bombers, the Khmer Rouge, John Howard, Jorg Haider etc.

Hint 1: When you thought of the thing you hate, you got a SPECIFIC image in your mind, a snapshot. Remember that specific snapshot. eg. A particular parking ticket on your car, a particular rock song, a particular house-trance scene, a particular image of Mick Jagger etc.

Hint 2: The first thing you thought of is the best. If you filter things and say to yourself "Oh, I better not talk about such and such because I will look like an idiot...", then you are cheating yourself of some real fun, not to mention good creativity. Have courage - the object of the exercise is to look idiotic. Why? Because idiotic characters are interesting characters.

Hint 3: Stop filtering. Stop making sense. Let it rip! Go wild, go crazy! Have fun!

2. Record a 30 second tirade about the subject.

The recording doesn't have to be of first class quality. Record straight in to the computer, or on a tape recorder. The main thing is to get it down.

The object of the exercise: The object of the exercise is to be as emotional, over-the-top, illogical, opinionated and thoroughly ridiculous as you can be. Get in to a real lather about the thing you hate. Remonstrate, get your body in to it, get your EMOTIONS in to it.

Hint 1: When you start talking, keep talking. It doesn't matter if you repeat yourself over and over, just keep the words coming, and the emotions flowing. Get REAL ANGRY!

Hint 2: Start with: "I hate such and such. I really hate such and such..." and then let it flow. Tell us why you hate it. Talk about it, give us all the reasons off the top of your head why you hate it, but be spontaneous. Keep talking, don't stop to think! Don't stop to edit, or filter yourself. If you filter, you will kill off the character.

Hint 3: Stop making sense. Go with the flow, free associate.

It's OK to say things like: "I hate Mick Jagger because he thinks he's so good and he's so rich and he's so rich and he's so rich and he has so many girlfriends...yeah, well he's a skinny shithead from England and he's a dwarf and I hate dwarfs and his mother was a fairy penguin and fairy penguins really shit me because they're so cute and smelly and I want to stomp on them, stomp the life out of them...dead!...dead!Dead!... and they're gonna be bloody and sweaty and skin everywhere and I'm gonna fly through air and be king of the world.....and I hate him up there on stage, he's a dickhead and he wears a wig and his finger is up his nose..blah! blah! blah!..."

Or, you might get in to a rave about how you hate parking tickets because you were having a nice hamburger and ..."I got this parking ticket and it spoilt my day and god knows life is tough enough but you come back to your car and there's this ticket fluttering in the breeze and I feel like smashing my windscreen and then you go back to the office and you've got to be nice to people and Mary comes in all smiley and I feel like hitting her and what does she care that I've got a parking ticket, oh no she doesn't care, nobody cares about me I mean what am I to anyone I'm just a nobody with a parking ticket so who cares about me and my pain nobody cares about my pain.... blah! blah! blah!.."

Hint 4: It's all in the emotion and the spontaneity. Think about it: As characters, we are all spontaneously ourselves, and much of how we read people, work out what they're on about, is emotional. It's not so much what people say, as how they say it.
Hint 5: It's OK to go off on verbal tangents, in fact, that is encouraged. Verbal tangents tell us a lot about a character, and maybe even what the real problem is. But every now and then come back to the subject. When you get lost, bring the IMAGE-SNAPSHOT back in to your mind and begin to talk again. Remember, it's OK to repeat yourself.

Method - This is IMPORTANT!
  • To start with, turn on the recorder, take a deep breath and just go for it for 30 seconds. Don't stop for anything. Repeating things is OK. Don't listen to the recording. Then, take another breath, and just go for it again! Don't listen to the recording. Then, take another breath, and go for it a 3rd time.
  • When you've done that, sit back and listen to yourself. You should be appalled and amused at the same time. You should be laughing at yourself, you should be making yourself sick. Your opinion of yourself should have dropped to almost zero. You should appear like the most opinionated jerk on the planet. Good! Now, pick up on some of the more amusing things you've said.
  • Now repeat the process 2 or 3 times more, and when you get a chance, slip in some of the things you said in the first 3 runs. But don't just repeat them, try to keep them fresh and spontaneous. For example, I might go on again about fairy penguins but say something completely different such as: "I bet he sleeps with fairy penguins..'cos he's corrupt! He's a danger to society! He should be hanged!...... up in the hotel with all those fairy penguin groupies...he's an animal!...". When you get lost, don't forget to bring the image-snapshot back in to your mind.
  • Pick out your best recording and bring it in to class ready to play (Either as a sound file, to be played out of the computer or on tape - but bring the tape recorder!) Don't splice or edit the best bits, just bring in the recording unedited.
3. Bring the recording in to class

    at 9:30 AM on Weds 14/8. We will play them in class and laugh at each other.

4. The person voted most ridiculous by the group will win a nice cake

- supplied by me.

Have fun! You only have one life. There is no dress rehearsal. This is it.

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