Friday, August 28, 2009

The Friday Links

Now with tangy Add On,

Another weekend, so let the linkage commence.

J. Lasseter gives the secret for making quality animated features (again).

He is adamant that teams not be allowed to sequester themselves or work too long without sharing their progress with others. No matter what state a project is in, every three months, directors are required to put their film up on reels and test how it screens. That way, Lasseter and his fellow leaders can identify problems early.

Lasseter doesn't believe in mandatory notes, introducing instead what he calls the "creative brain trust" at Pixar, a peer-support strategy in which all the directors and key story people from around the company get together and selflessly help on one another's films. "It doesn't matter whose idea it is, the best idea gets used," he explains.

"Animation is the most collaborative art form there is in the whole world," continues Lasseter, who says his goal at both Pixar and Disney Animation has been "to build a studio where everyone's working for the same thing, to make the best movie you can, and then to be open enough to let people put their two cents into it. The next thing you know, you're seeing stuff you would never have thought of yourself."

See? The method worked real well at the Disney Hyperion studio in the 1930s, and it works fine today up in Emeryville ...

Screenwriter Stan Berkowitz tells of the fun of writing a memorable cartoon villain.

[T]his is Luthor’s story. Luthor has more dialogue than either Batman or Superman. And frankly, I actually gave him even more dialogue in those long speeches because I was hoping Clancy Brown would get the part, which he did. It’s so pleasurable to watch – and hear – Clancy do those Luthor lines, to watch Clancy’s descent into madness. It just brought me back to the days when I got into this medium in the first place. Suddenly, I was just a 13-year-old with a movie camera having fun with my friends and doing these little movies ...

Elijah Wood discusses voice work in Toonland:

With animated features, you work on one project over the course of several years, so there's time to really develop the character and the story. For my character's specific arc [in 9], he started out quite innocent and naive to his world and who he is, but then we started to make him more heroic and more assertive ...

The students and profs of San Jose State have created a feature length animated feature:

Bye-Bye Bin Laden, the first film of its kind to be produced at a university, was created by students and faculty at San Jose State University. Writer-director Scott Sublett describes the film as South Park meets The Daily Show ...

The Guardian weighs in with snark regarding James Cameron's new epic:

Avatar trailer: Get your flashy 3D stick out of my face, Mr Cameron.

If James Cameron's 3D space epic is so revolutionary, why does it remind me of Ferngully? ...

Hey now. I liked Ferngully ...

Singer Paul Simon is getting into the animation game:

Paul Simon, of Simon & Garfunkel ... will be voicing the role of Yankee great Thurman Munson in Henry and Me, an animated film set to premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival next year ...

ASIFA's archives puts up some dandy Looney Tunes artwork from the late 1930s:

Plac-emat art, no less.

The Hollywood Reporter posts that Indian animation growth rate will decline:

India's animation industry will see slower growth according to the annual report by the National Association of Software and Services Companies.

“The Animation and Gaming Report 2008-09” has revised its forecast for the sector, expecting a dip in growth rates for two years before becoming a billion-dollar industry by 2012 ...

Slow growth of domestic box-office for animation movies, absence of adequate proof of concept or intellectual property creation, and lack of availability of skills for the animation industry are other factors that have led Nasscom to revise its earlier forecast.

Add On: The L.A. Times reviews an anthology on the thoughts on Japanese culture, animation and Hayao Miyzaki:

... [R]are insights into one of the greatest talents the art of animation has produced make "Starting Point" essential reading for anyone interested in Japanese -- or Western -- animation. However, the anthology covers only to 1996, before Miyazaki made his most mature films: "Princess Mononoke" (1997), "Spirited Away" (2001) and "Howl's Moving Castle" (2004). Readers and viewers can only hope a second volume is already in the works.

Have a restful weekend. And don't inhale any more smoke and ash than you need to.


Anonymous said...

"Lasseter doesn't believe in mandatory notes"

And I've got a bridge in Brooklyn that might interest you.

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