Monday, December 23, 2013

Animated? Or Something Else?

I get asked from time to time, "Why is TAG blog tracking Gravity? You think it's an animated feature?"

Well, yeah. ...

You've got small shards of George Clooney and Sandra Bullock here and there, but really. The flick is 80+% created by the usual animation suspects, in the usual black boxes. And also, too, by lighters and riggers and surfacers. And all the other artists, designers and techinicians that you see in your run-of-the-mill animation studio.

Because if you haven't been asleep on a beach in Samoa the last twenty years, you've probably noticed that Cartoonland has been bleeding into live-action movies for decades, at a faster and faster clip. And now, in 2013, the line is increasingly blurry.

Run your eyeballs down any box office list, and you'll find a Frozen, a Despicable Me, but you'll also find a super hero epic or a Peter Jackson film that has a poopload of dress extras, dragons, or twirling objects from outer space in it. And all those things were created and brought to life by overworked, underpaid artists who've spent years on the job and in the classroom learning their 21st century art.

So is Gravity animated? Like the features coming out of Disney, Illumination Entertainment, DreamWorks and Blue Sky Animation Studios?

Bet your ass.


Grant said...

Technically, it may have been 90% animated. But that doesn't mean it's "animated." The first time I saw it, I was wowed by the effects work, and underwhelmed by the story and characters. The problems with the film are magnified greatly when watching the Oscar screener I received. Great effects work, but it ain't character animation compared to Croods, MU, and Epic.

Steve Hulett said...

You're correct, of course, that it's a totally different style of animation. It's "visual effects" style, designed to serve the subject matter.

But the point I'm making is, see all those folks sitting at those computers? Using the same software, exercising the same skill sets they do at Disney and Pixar?

That's what I mean by Gravity (or Life of Pi, or Avatar) being "animated."

It's the same g.d. work.

What drives it home is when I see (as an example) Dave Rand sitting there doing work on Frozen after doing work on Life of Pi, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and I come to the conclusion that

Workwise, it's no different than animation.

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