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!