Issue 5 – Summer 1983
Since the last issue of Animator’s Newsletter I have had stands at two exhibitions on behalf of Filmcraft and also the Animator’s Association. One was LAFF with SoCo in the New Forest and the other was WIDEX-AV in London. It has been a great pleasure to meet the readers who attended these events and all … Read more
THE AMAZING CINEMAN Dear David, Thanks very much for the copy – my first – of the Animator’s newsletter, which I found very informative and entertaining. It’s good to know there are many more people starting off at my non-existent level of experience. I’ve always drawn pictures, serious drawing and cartoons, but for some reason … Read more
Planning your Film
Ian Whitworth, winner of our animation drawing competition, begins a series on animation.
There are two ways of making a cartoon film. One is to say I am an amateur making an amateur film, so don’t expect too much. The other way is to say I may be an amateur but I will give it every thing I have.
The planning of a film goes through various stages to lets take them one at a time.
The first thing you need is a story, you can write your own, or adapt an existing one. Animation tends to be a solitary thing, don’t lock yourself away and keep everything a secret. Show your story around, discuss it, listen to other peoples ideas, you may be able to use them, or reshape them.
Timing is something which tends to frighten people a bit. There are books you can buy which will explain it in much more detail, but a simple method is to act out the action four or five times, timing each one. Every time will be different, so take the average timing. If a movement takes two and a half seconds, it will require forty five drawings, but if you shoot on two’s, that is two exposures for each drawing, then you can do the same action in twenty three drawings. Not all action can be shot on two’s, some will have to be ones, an example is fast actions, or slow or complex ones. If you are using a sound track, time your music or whatever sound you use and fit your action to the timing. There are two ways to do it. Fit your action to the sound track, or f it a sound track to your action. With experience, your sense of timing will come naturally.
From Animator’s Association secretary Neil Carstairs. I am pleased to say that ANIMA is going from strength to strength and we now number among our members professional animators and animation teachers as well as the amateur and independent animators. The aim of ANIMA, to promote the exchange of ideas and techniques between animators and to … Read more
The Shadows Move
Ken Clark continues the story of British Animation.
When, in 1935, Anson Dyer and Archibald Nettlefold opened Anglia Films Ltd., Dyer filled the art rooms with the best talent he could find, headed by two Danes: Mykleson and Myller. Len Kirley, Laurie Price, Sid Griffiths, Spud Murphy, Lesley Manners, and Charles Stobbart the cameraman were key personnel. Charles was a cousin of the famed screen actor Charles Laughton. It was Jorgan Myller who designed the first in a series of Operatic Burlesques entitled ‘Carmen’. The film had a certain panache, style and pace, and involved full animation much to the dismay of Dyer who was visibly taken aback by the enormous stack of animated drawings.
Alas, although Dyer’s idea had been quite sound, and they believed it to be a ‘sure fire’ hit, they had overlooked one significant point. The characters, the stories and backgrounds were excellent, and even the muted results of the Dunning 2-Colour System were tolerably acceptable, but no one had anticipated the effect that the ponderous beat of the verses would have on the action. Holloway’s lugubrious delivery of the lines of the monologue worked perfectly well on stage and radio; but when the artists came to animate the Sergeant walking ‘on the beat’, they found they needed 48 drawings to complete each steps The pace was pedestrian in both senses of the word, though many cinemagoers preferred it to the frenetic pace of imported productions.