Animate bad, Animate good, Just Animate!
Recently I got an email from animator Terrence Walker from http://www.studioartfx.com/index.html talking about how “the rules” were holding us back from producing something. And he is right!
Several years ago I had the pleasure of seeing Ralph Bakshi, the famous animator that created WIZARDS in 1977 as well as a ton of other independent animated movies, at the San Diego Comic Con and he said something that I will never forget. He said “draw badly, draw good, just do it!”
This came to mind when I read Terrence’s email. If you have an idea, just do it! You don’t have to follow the “rules” that have been put down by teachers and animation studios! If you have gone through the classes you know the rules! You know the 12 principles of animation! Now let’s take them and bend and break them any way you want to get your idea out there! Look at Jason Steele and his http://www.filmcow.com shorts. Some of those are absolutely hilarious! And the animation is very very limited! But he got his ideas out there! Frank Sudol is another animator that has made several feature films by himself. I’m not personally fond of his choice of style, but I have to respect the guy for doing what he did and getting his stuff out there. you can check his stuff out at http://www.blackarro.com
Now back to Terrence Walker, Again here is an animator I have a lot of respect for because he got his stuff out there, and when I say that I’m talking about seeing his DVD’s at Best Buy! If you haven’t been to his site you need to go there NOW! While there, get his ebook “Animation on a shoestring” it is a very good read about producing independent animation.
Take a look at his blog, video blogs, anigen and indiegen they are full of information and tips on animating a project. Buy a tutorial, sign up for his newsletters, and get the inspiration you need to start your project and get it done and out there!
With Mr. Walker’s permission, here is the email discussing “the rules”
IT’S TIME TO FORGET THE RULES!
Earlier today I had a long video chat, via Skype, on my Samsung tablet computer, with a long time friend and colleague by the name of Kevin “Q” Quattro, who made a name for himself as the VFX supervisor on popular TV shows like CSI and groundbreaking films like Serenity, among others. When he is not working on major television shows and movies, though, he is doing some amazing little independent projects, which you can see on his Youtube channel. I honestly wish I could provide a direct link to his channel, but that site is unavailable where I live. Hopefully you can search and find it.
Luckily for me, he sent me some of these little projects via file sharing on Skype and I was amazed at what I saw. In one very short film, he showed me a new way of viewing the internet as a means of communicating art and ideas. The film is probably less than 30 seconds, but it is quite well done, beautifully rendered in Lightwave 3D and it tells a story! When I asked him about it, he said, “I had an hour, lunch, and I had this idea, and I knew I had to get it done because I also knew that I wouldn’t come back to it.” In that hour, he put this little film together, rendered it, completed it with music and sound and got it up on his channel. Apparently he also got a good number of views and comments in the short month it has been up there. Even more importantly, the comments reflect that the little film made people feel something.
Other projects he showed me were completely disconnected from that. One project used one of those realtime 3D, machinima type engines with cute little characters talking about leaving Facebook, and it was very funny. Other projects were just plain text, prose. The point is he has an idea and he just does it. He isn’t concerned about the rules of writing a novel, creating a TV episode or making a movie, and how long or what format these things should be. He has an idea and he just does it.
This made me realize that sticking to the rules has really been holding me back. I have been, still, thinking too much about anime, or animated TV series, and movies for the cinema and never really focused on where I am, which is on the internet at the moment. Content can be anything! That is what I took away from that discussion. Not long ago, I did an animated piece about this guy talking into a video screen and, in effect, conveying that he was losing his mind. The whole piece was about 54 seconds. I did it in one sitting, and even completed it with voiceover and sound. I was, however, always thinking of it as an intro to something bigger. Now, it is an intro to something that never got finished. After this discussion, I realized that I should have just released it on my website media page!
In considering creating content for my own site, and building out my media page, I realize that thinking about TV shows and movies has led to my creating nothing. Now I see that if I even had an idea for a single page comic, I should do it and post it. This is why “Q” is getting stuff done and enjoying his artistic life. Now I realize that this idea is what I have been looking for. This idea fits the way I think and desire to create.
What might you be creating that you are currently stalled on because of the rules of TV, published comics, or cinema? Have you considered another path, a path to getting your ideas out now? It doesn’t have to be a series. It doesn’t have to be a movie. It only needs to be true to you as an artist and creator! If you have an idea for one cool scene, even though you don’t know what comes before or after, do that scene! Let the world see it. The rest will come to you as you continue to create, but if you get an idea for something else, even something not at all connected, do that too! The internet is the one place where this can actually work and you can still build an audience! If you are looking to learn how start creating your dream projects right now, don’t forget that everything is at a huge discount on the Studio ArtFX website as part of my Super Autumn Blowout!
Thank you Terrence for the years of inspiration! Keep doing what you do.
Now people it is your turn. Tell me your stories of how “the rules” have held you back. Leave comments. If you don’t agree please tell me why.
Now here is Ralph Bakshi telling you to just do it!