people who say nintendo games suck just because they’re aimed towards children
People say this about entertainment of all kinds. Cosplay? You’re being childish. Cartoons? The only permitted ones are DC-comics and Transformers, and the correct versions only, unless it’s ironic. Archie? Not nearly extreme enough. Why did it become the rule that we can’t escape to harmless, light-hearted fantasy, and instead have to follow serious, dramatic lives that aren’t our own?
dreamworks animation studios are pretty bad amirite
they never make any good movies
mmmhmm all their movies suck
no emotional centerpiece at all nope
or good messages for kids yeah only dumb jokes
and they have no aesthetic appeal at all
yeah they’re all super ugly compared to disney or pixar or whatever right
yeah dreamworks is really lame
My problem with Dreamworks is with individual films. For example, Shrek contains a sweet story buried knee-deep in pop-culture references that were old when it came out; the promotional materials were about a burping and farting ogre and a princess who does bullet time karate. Frankly it reminded me of Family Guy for kids, and the punchline is that Lois turns into Meg at the end.
Personally, I think El Dorado and Prince of Egypt were both beautiful concepts that came out of risks.
Dreamworks is hit and miss when they’re creating original work, and I think it’s because they’re afraid of exploring, be it for financial reasons of otherwise. It’s kinda like watching someone who confuses the audience by playing perfect piano while talking about how lame piano is between songs.
This is a draft I used today in a workshop I assisted with. It’s quite bit rough, but I thought I’d share some of it.
A lot of it is based on observations of other kinds of puppetry, as well as what I’ve found works for me The general concept is heavily inspired by animation principles, as I regard puppetry as a form of animation.
Simply speaking, your arm is now a backbone, and characters need good back health. Avoid slouching and leaning; these will turn your character into a doll. Most of your focus as a puppeteer will be on your own puppet, and it’s your responsibility to ensure that your puppet remains your character. In most of what you’re about to read, I avoid using the word puppet because as long as your puppet is on, they’re your character.
Eye focus helps to define your character’s consciousness and emotion. Having physically consistent eye focus between characters also promotes the idea that they’re attentive and engaged. As a general rule, the only time eye focus should be different is if a character is taller or shorter than other characters (to create a different height), or if the character is performing a motion that requires them to change focus, such as when bending over to look at or pick something up.
Make sure that your character acknowledges the other characters around them. You can do this by maintaining some eye contact with other puppets. As a performer, keep your focus on your character, periodically looking at the other characters around you. It also helps to look at the other performer.
The only time I ever look into the audience is when I need to make sure my character’s focus is on someone from the audience is speaking to the character. I admit, I also look for feedback from the audience in the form of smiles, but that’s not required.
Lip-synch creates the illusion that a character is speaking.
There is no single “proper” way of moving your hand, but your puppet’s mouth should open and close on every syllable, and the upper part of their head should not bob back (or “flap”). If you find that you can’t hit every beat, try speaking slower. Once you’re able to synch up at a slower rate, you can begin experimenting with faster speech.
You need to build stamina, strength, and skill. The only way to do this is with a puppet on and some way to see what you’re doing. Start singing your favourite karaoke hits, and if not that, then simply mouth-synching to your favourite songs. Experiment with arm movements, and try new inflections with your voice. It’s not too hard to create a character with any one of these actions, but pulling them together can be hard work, and it’s up to you to co-ordinate them.
Make your first audience a mirror, and focus on your character. Remember that the audience can be distracting, so avoid looking at yourself and for crying out loud, look at your puppet!
Howdy folks, I thought this would be a good place to promote one of the cooler scenes I recently hooked up with. The Toronto Comic Jam is a group which meets on the last Tuesday of every month - all are welcome - and it’s a really neat concept where artists of all skill levels are invited to pick up incomplete pages and add to them, collaborating on short stories.
It kinda reminds me of Improv in comic form, and it’s not just about the jam. I’ve seen artists working on their own projects, making sketches come to life through inks, as well as meeting published professionals and checking out their portfolios. It’s a little intimidating for me - I’m not much of an artist - but there’s no pretense nor expectation beyond bringing your own pencils and inks.
Check it out @ The Cameron House at 408 Queen St. W., just west of Spadina, and learn more about it here and here.
I’m just going to preemptively say that freedom of speech is one thing. A sense of tact, decency and self-awareness is another. If you want to say or do stupid things, please say it in a context that won’t make a community look bad. Do it in a parking lot or a locker room or some other place where you’re far and away from other people.
So I’m no artist or anything, but after many moons of studying over the last seven months, the way shapes fit together just sorta clicked for me. I’ve been working on rough storyboard ideas and scene layouts and even before my pencil hits the paper, I’m getting a good sense of what would work vs. what wouldn’t work. My characters are beginning to take shape more quickly, and they’re beginning to look more consistent (which is also partially due to studies).
I also feel like I’m beginning to trace my brain. One of my biggest struggles has been to take an image in my head and have it travel down my arm, into my hand, and out of my pencil. I’ve always seen my mistakes, but I’ve never known how to correct them. These days, I’ve been seeing the results of practice, and lately I’m feeling the results, too.
Last week, as I was doodling on a white board, and a couple of people asked me how I learned to draw. It was a question I never would have imagined people asking me.
I’m going to continue learning, but I think I’m now understanding the problem of composition a little more, and why so many people who draw struggle to create things like comics. Merely knowing about arcs and action doesn’t help; you need to do all of that stuff well. And your staging needs to be clear. And before you have perfect panels, you need to have a compelling, logical story, or the entire page might as well be tossed.
To those you struggle: Keep working on it. If my stiff, underworked, untrained hands can manage that in seven months, you’ll probably do better. As my improv instructor says: delight in screwing up and know that you’ll get better, but you need to let yourself experience those moments.
Mad respect to people who can do all of that. I love you all!
Today in Useful Fucking Things That No One Tells You About: the Prescription Assistance Program (PAP) offers a discount drug card to uninsured Americans. The card is accepted at over 56,000 pharmacies nationwide, including CVS, RiteAid, Walgreens, and Safeway, and offers a discount of up to 75%.
I was fired a few years ago and was afraid I would have to give up my antidepressants, but my dad told me about the drug card. With it, I paid $30 instead of $60. Still kinda pricey, but I was able to afford them until I found a new job (and since they were for my social anxiety, I have no doubt they helped during interviews).
Share this. I’m sure there are a ton of unemployed and uninsured people who don’t know about this.
So important, definitely spread this.
That one time I wasn’t on psych meds because I couldn’t afford them.
LIFE SAVING INFORMATION, PEOPLE
Do that thing with this…what’s it called again?
Signal boost, right?
The more you know….
Hey everyone check this out, share it with others!
… $30 a month for pills is considered pricey? .____. I need this card…
It’s pricey when you have no regular source of income.
Building up positive vibes for the team: *ambushed at door* - “The audience here likes us! I think I know how the beatles felt!” Snappy, crushing retort: “You’re building yourself up a bit much, don’t you think?”
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with trying to share a sense of self-confidence and pride with the team - we need to look good together, and that means helping everyone feel good. But it’s plain rude and tactless to cut back.
If you don’t care about my input, don’t ask. If you don’t like working with me, then let me know so I can take the initiative on your behalf to find another team.
I still love the work I do and the people I do it for.
This is a flash lip-synch tutorial created by Shmorky, who creates the Flash Tub content on Somethingawful.com. It demonstrates three approaches, from time efficient & cheap to detailed and painstaking work.
I am not literally in tears from the Mother song in the Chipmunks Adventure. For you see, I am a tough guy who has sudden, acute allergies to everything in my vicinity whenever I think of those lyrics…
Wish I could slow down The hands of time keep things the way they are If she said so I would give her the world If I could… I would
This part especially does not cause me to melt into a puddle of sentiment.