I Love Bryan Cranston man! Such a good actor! I know some think acting and animation is an easy/cushy job... But, there's a lot that goes into bringing performances to life! Both on the technical side, and the emotional side.
It's taxing to get what you're after, but when you pull from personal experiences/life, you will always end with something authentic! Honest! Something that people can connect with. There's a big difference in a performance that simply works, and one that's honest.
Animators = Actors with a pencil/computer! ;)
Enjoy the clip! If you haven't seen Breaking Bad! Watch it!! It's a great series, on many levels! The acting, is only one of them.
Still grinding away at Kung Fu Panda 3. But, we're at the finish line.. a few more weeks of production for the animation team!
I have to say, although sometimes the show shuffling, redos, and many story changes can be frustrating... This has still been a really fun show to be a part of. As I mentioned in my last post, I feel there's always a push in each shot. Even if the shot is simple, I always look at a post-it I have near my monitor that says "Are you pushing yourself"... Many times, trying to push things for your contributions, may not be what the director wants, or what's best for the shot, so the audience never sees it.. But you'll know you at least explored a bit!! ;-)
We saw a screening of the film a few weeks ago, and I think that when you see it in January, you'll dig it! It has a little something for everyone.. Kids, Adults, even the new teens that won't admit they still like to watch cartoons. haha! The film has a charm to it that I hope shines through everything we do to bring it to life. This is my favorite franchise from DreamWorks Animation, so I feel extra special to be a part of it.
I have news on what's next for me after KFP3 wraps.. But I'll save that for another post! ;-)
It's been a while since my last post, but I just wanted to post a quick update on what's been going on..
I'm still at DreamWorks Animation, and I've been Animating on Kung Fu Panda 3 since September of last year (shortly after my last blog post)! It's been a great ride so far, and I am so thankful to be a part of this film.. I LOOOOVED the first one, and the second as well. I feel like I can really relate to Po, and his character. So, I was super excited when I got the news that the Head of Animation wanted to have me on the film. I'm constantly being pushed, and I feel myself growing with every shot.. So, I couldn't be happier!
I'll post some more updates soon, but until then, continue to push yourselves, and stay inspired!
It's been a while since my last post (8 Months tomorrow)! A lot has happened since then. I finished up on Big Hero 6 at Disney Animation, then headed over to DreamWorks Animation a little over a month ago, and had the pleasure of working on a cool Christmas Project called "DreamPlace" (Directed by Gary Trousdale), which will be a fun experience for the kids. It will be in malls this Christmas (The Glendale galleria, if you live in the LA area). After that I started working on some marketing animation for "The Penguins of Madagascar", which has been a very cool experience so far! Be sure to check that film out in November! It... Is... HILARIOUS!!
DreamWorks has been great so far. I'm learning, growing, and just continuing to find ways to push myself. The free food is a nice perk as well, haha!
On the more personal side, I found out that I'm going to be a father at the end of November!! That's been the biggest news for me all year. I'm really excited about this new journey in my life. Growing up without a father- there's been a lot of things that I've missed out on. I want to be there for my son, to help teach him, guide him, and just be a solid role model for him. Show him that you can literally do ANYTHING you are willing to work towards! My mother always put that in our heads growing up. There are no boundaries, don't let people tell you where your abilities lie. If you want to do something in your life, find a way to make it happen!
So, this has been an interesting year so far, and there's still more of the year to go!
Last night, I was talking to my students about pantomime,
and simplicity in communicating who a character is.. Also reinforcing
the idea of seeing, thinking, and acting, because at times when we know
what we want to do going into planning and reference, the spontaneity in
our shots can suffer (at least with me sometimes, lol).
So, I wanted to share one of the clips I analyzed with with my
class, just as inspiration. I think Rowan Atkinson is so good at what
he does, and his poses, intention, etc are always so clear!!
this clip it's cool to see how the conflict is established, as well (as
the character), then how his actions during the story/journey reveal
nice character specific choices.
So it's been about 2.5 months since I started at Disney. The training has been really fun, and incredibly challenging. I haven't been at a studio where I can focus on Acting in a few years, so it's been a real treat! Although I've done some personal acting tests, it's not quite the same as being in that type of environment. When I got started at Disney, I began training with some of the Wreck-it Ralph characters. Those characters are fun, but also challenging! You can easily over-complicate a pose, using too many controls etc. Keep things simple, clean, and clear.
The latest shot I've been working on is a dialogue test with a character from Disney's "Frozen". When I heard I was gonna animate one of these characters I was pretty excited... I've had a rough time doing this shot. #1 They are human characters, so I felt a level of complexity had to be there, but it's not always easy to execute. #2 It was hard for me to find a way to connect with the line I ended up getting. I understood it, but I didn't quite connect with it (if that makes sense). I had my heart set on animating something else, so that could have played a factor in my lack of connection, I don't know.
I'm getting through it, and throughout this shot I've learned a lot of things. Some key things were:
1. Trust my instincts-
I began getting too wrapped up into what I felt the Sup's would want to see based on their feedback, rather than taking their feedback, and adding to it with my own flair.
2. Make sure the mechanics are right, even if the legs aren't in the shot-
I made sure I animated the legs in the shot, but through shifting things around, and seeing how the acting etc was playing in the scene camera, the mechanics slowly began to fall behind. I was getting lost in the acting, and forgetting to keep an eye on the fundamentals.
3. Make clear choices-
Some areas in the shot lacked a sense of connection. The connection with whom the character was talking to, and the connection with the character and their own thoughts. This was a result of not having clear choices in the acting. Letting the audience know how this character feels in the SIMPLEST way possible.
4. Don't move just to move-
Motivate your outward actions from within! Moving a character well isn't enough! If you can do that, AND show what's going on in a character's head that leads to movement, you're on to something...
I've gone through some ups and downs on this piece. There have been times where I felt like I wasn't good enough to be at the studio, and there have been times where I could see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I knew exactly what I needed to do. You'll never have all the answers, all the time. It's a learning process. You learn, you grow, you progress.
Animation is tough- you can't take shortcuts with performance! If you're working for someone in animation keep in mind that, although you're doing work for someone else, most likely you were hired for that special something you put into your work. So keep adding that special something and trust your gut!