Mind Your Business: Inspiring the Next Generation of Animators
When we entered the theater we noticed a display of the puppets and the rigs from ParaNorman. That got our attention.
Brian and Georgina spoke about the process before animation, the process of designing and creating the stop-motion characters.
Laika is now using 3D printers to create extraordinary face replacements for their characters. But seeing the engineering behind the heads was amazing. Norman’s head alone has more than 70 parts.
During their presentation I looked over at my boys and they were both leaning forward in their seats with interest. Not exactly what I expected. I thought they’d be playing games on their iPhones while I sat there in rapt interest. But no, they were totally into it.
When the presentation was over, my boys looked at me and said, “Wow, we had no idea so much went into making animation.” I sat there with my mouth hanging open as if I hadn’t spent their entire lives talking about every aspect of animation. Oh well. At least they get it now.
Then we walked up to Brian and Luke and Reece asked him questions about the puppets. They had a chance to actually touch the printed faces, silicon skin and the tongue of one dead character.
“It was gross but cool,” exclaimed Luke. “It feels like a real dead tongue.” As if he knows what a dead tongue feels like, but now at least he thinks he knows what a real dead tongue feels like.
After the festival was over we were talking about what the boys liked most from the weekend. I entertained them because I jump around a lot when I speak and they think Storyboard Pro is really cool.
But what hit them the most was Laika.
“I loved the Laika presentation,” said Reece. “I had no idea that stop motion was so complex. The way they created the faces and even the skin tone was amazing.”
Luke was quoting all the facts and figures from Laika. It really struck him that it takes 50 hours to animate just 4 seconds of stop motion-animation and that doesn’t include any of the prep time. “I always thought of animation as just hard work, but the Laika people showed me that you can have lots of fun and that it all pays off in the end,” said Luke. ”You could tell that the people from Laika love their jobs. It shows on their faces.”
Reece agreed, “Animation interests me because it has art, engineering and fun. It’s a career I’m now considering.”
Oh be still my beating heart!
We’ll see what happens in the future, but this one event may have helped shape their future and inspire a new crop of animators. So bring your kids to your geeky events. It can rub off, especially when the info comes from someone other than just mom or dad.
Who or what inspired you?
Mark Simon is a story artist and director who has worked on over 3,000 productions. He lectures around the world and is author of the best-selling storyboard text, Storyboards: Motion In Art. His webinars on the industry may be found at www.HitMakerWebinar.com.