Thursday, August 27, 2015

Just the Beginning

My background in After Effects? At this point, slim. My experience with animation? Unless you count the endless hours spent watching and rewatching Pixar's Classics as a child--not extensive.

I open with this statement, not to demean myself, but to express my excitement in the journey ahead. I'm already impressed (and admittedly a bit overwhelmed) with some of the intricate and interesting posts of my peers. I hope to learn a lot from you in the coming weeks.

So what do I know about animation? The first time I recall watching an animated piece from a analytical perspective was in high school. We'd been discussing the basic elements of production--specifically related to short film--in a media class I was taking, when one afternoon my teacher began class with this:

(This is just the trailer)

Now, I assume many of you have seen Paperman. At the time, it was a fairly new piece and most people in my class were not familiar with it. I can still hear the collective "awe" we each sighed as the credits began to role. Even the toughest of stereotypical high school boys couldn't hide their enjoyment.

As I pondered what I might write about in this first post, I came across a list (found here) of the top animated shorts that "define Disney's success." As a friendly reminder of that day back in Mr. Zayatz's class, I was pleased to see Paperman ranked at #1. Having been in the back of my mind already, I figured that was enough a sign to write about it. Not only did Paperman win an Oscar in 2012, but it was also the first Disney animated short to win an Academy Award in 43 years.

What is it about this piece that people can't resist? It's storyline is simple, yes. And yet the animation, combined with incredible sound composition, takes the viewer on a romantic journey--dialogue not even needed! I think animation in general has a way of stretching the parameters of film. And that's why I'm so excited to explore all this class has to offer.

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