Today's YoungArts Infatuation Moment of the Day (YAIMD) features my good friend and incredible person Conrad Tao:
And he has yet to turn 18! Anyway, I don't think there's much more to say other than to just let you watch this video and soak up the wisdom. Shout out to my other ooooober-talented friend Tyler Rabinowitz for putting together this video.
I'm very proud of it, and happy to have a new film to show around. I'll be leaving it up for about a month, since these days ya can't really trust the internet with creative goods. But I hope you enjoy it and share it 'round for now, because that's what it's all about! I'm hoping to submit to several festivals, however, as well as continue making dance/animation collaborations, so this isn't the last you'll see of this. Promise!
And here are a few fun pictures of the process:
Shooting the dance sequence back in March with the lovely dancer, Yanina, and my super-helpful classmate Eben trying to work a steady cam device. (It didn't work. Thank goodness for tripods.)
Paper, paper, paper. Working on the animation. (picture by Amanda Candler)
Referencing the dance footage on my computer/eating my headphones. (picture by Amanda Candler)
Actually working. (picture by Amanda Candler)
The final stack: 1960 drawings. Sorry, environment. And hand.
*Note: This post is an assignment for my "Animation and the 'Body'" class with Maija Burnett. However, I hope you read and enjoy it regardless, because...well, just because!*
Thought of You (2010) by animator and Brigham Young University professor Ryan Woodard is in essence a very simple animation: the
background is a seamless span of beige, the film’s two characters are gesture
drawings, and the concept is a story of unrequited love. But as Woodward states
on his website’s homepage, “A graceful moving human form can communicate more
emotion than any length of dialogue.”
It's the combination of dance and animation that makes this possible for his film. This isn't necessarily a new combination of mediums, and, as it turns out, it happens rather organically. At the bottom of it, dance and
animation have a wealth of qualities in common, lending to each other
unique understandings of movement and motion as humans perceive and
produce it--understandings of basic human bodies and experiences. From an animator's perspective, observing dance helps understand what "moving human form" even means, and how that is present in the work we make.
So let's watch a cool dance video.
This is generally and universally cool, so I don't want to destroy it too much by trying to interpret his movements into written emotions. But the reaction to this is indubitable: watching the dancer move through space like that, watching his limbs wave through the air fluidly, see him defy the normal effects of gravity--you, as the viewer, feel it. In your own limbs, almost, that something beautiful is surging through another human being's limbs, and that you, too, are a human being with limbs, and that you, too, are, in some parallel universe, capable of such beauty.
This weekend we put up the BFA1 Experimental Animation Gallery show at CalArts, just to share some of the work we do on the side and for classes, especially since our program is a bit of a quiet and mysterious one for the most part. Shattered glass, fallen boxes, and faded lights excluded, here are some glamorous shots of the work I put up:
This week in my 'Animation and the Body' class (wonderful course with Maija Burnett), we had a guest lecture on...well, everything wonderful about animation, by visiting artist Shane Prigmore. He discussed the human body, and motion and emotion, and how shapes affect how we interpret what we see and why. Basically how it is that animation can be tailored to make humans respond, and recognize, and understand the characters and animation they are watching. Ted Ty gave a curiously similar talk last semester when he visited (even using some of the same visual examples) and both have made me feel equally warm-n-fuzzy inside.
It's everything I love about animation, getting to the nitty-gritty details of why it is that animation is magical. Of getting to understand the philosophies and physics and logical concepts that can be combined and weaved into art and animation in order to communicate abstract concepts to other human beings.
It's my nerd-perspective of animation.
So in honor of that, and because I'm still kind of proud of these two pieces, I'd like to link to two writings I did over the last year about animation and art and magic and life.
It's a film-making time of year 'round these parts. For this semester I'm tackling a dance and animation piece about...well, an identity crisis. That's the simplest way to explain it. Last weekend was the live action shoot, and it has made me only a little bit less uncomfortable about using big-people lights and spaces. But! I am happy with the results and am eternally grateful to my dancer, Yanina, and to my fellow classmates who helped out.
Here's a still from the animation-less live action dance footage:
Such dramatic lighting! I am currently destroying packets of computer paper for the animation portion.
And for my YoungArts Infatuation Moment of the Day (YAIMD), here is a YoungArts/Simon&Goodman-created HBO Masterclass episode for your brain and heart:
People have begun to ask about my blog...so I figured it was time to create one.
Feel free to look around at the few pages I have up so far! For now this blog is still under construction and will be doubling as a site for my art, so things will be changing and expanding. And soon enough I'll be moving to a real website, when I have the time to do so...
I'll try to get to posting soon about what's a-happening! Thanks for checking out this corner of the interwebz. I hope you enjoy getting a peek at my art and my world.
Here's a tiny flower pot to make this place more homey: