Friday, May 23, 2014

The Story Tao of Vance Gerry

Disney story director Mark Kennedy relates the teachings of a grand master of feature animation story telling.

... Vance [Gerry] is saying that--in general--you want to use simplified anatomy and direct lines for readability and to get the audience to grasp the point of a story sketch quickly and directly. Usually the goal in story sketch is for the audience to grasp the meaning of the sketch in a quick glance. Many times, when story sketches are cut together to make a story reel, they are on the screen for a second (or even less time than that). So you need to eliminate any confusion that might arise in the viewer. The audience won't have time to hunt for the point of the sketch and decipher what they're seeing. ...

Vance made storyboarding ... and animation story work in general ... appear effortless.

He had a gift for staging, for the use of color, shadow and light. And he had a genius for creating the right drawing for the tale he wanted to tell the first time out of the box. Which is rare talent. As Ed Gombert says:

"Vance could get more work done in a day than most of us accomplished in a week. ..."

You've seen Vance's work on screen for years. You just didn't know it was his.


Tim said...

Storyboarding is a hidden art.

Floyd Norman said...

I was one lucky kid to have Vance Gerry as my mentor on Walt Disney's The Jungle Book.

Steve Hulett said...

Me, too.

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