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The journal of an aspiring animation filmmaker. Inspiration, Film Analysis, Animation Art, Student Work, Book Notes, Book Store, Composing Pictures, and much more!

Oct 28, 2008

Richard Williams @ Vancouver International Film Theatre

So I did manage to get out to see Richard Williams last night. It took a lot of work, and looked hopeless until the last minute. I knew I'd have to get there super early, which I did. The main event was at 7:30pm, and I got there at just after 5pm to wait in the "first come first serve" line. After a couple hours of waiting, and about 100 losers cutting in front in line, I was warm and cozy in the second row. The event was held at the Vancouver International Film Theater on Seymour Street.

I won't belabor on, but I wanted to go over a few of the highlights for those that missed this event (shame on you).

Richard was basically here for two hours showing clips from his new Animator's Survival Kit DVD Set. The best part was the Q&A, which he did before and after every clip he showed until his time was up. Had I known there was going to be this much time to just pick his brain, I'd of compiled a big list of questions.

A lot of generic questions were asked, and I really think Vancouver didn't take advantage of this opportunity of a lifetime. Questions like, "What do you recommend we do to get better?" are stupid when the obvious answer is WORK! I wasn't about to waste my question, so I asked him, "As a student of animation, what's the last big thing you learned about animation?" At first I thought I stumped him, but after a bit of thought, and a lot of story, the eventual answer was basically this:

You can always become a stronger animator by going over the basic principles in exercises (like the bouncing ball).

After the main event I managed to squeeze in a hand shake from the old guy. That and listening to him talk about his days of studying Milt Kahl scenes, his improvement under Ken Harris, and his current project were all I could have wanted from the show. But I got more, as there was a screening of Roger Rabbit on the big screen, something I was sure not to miss.



Blogger David Nethery said...

You can always become a stronger animator by going over the basic principles in exercises (like the bouncing ball)."

That's really it .

The students get tired of me repeating myself over and over about these things (bouncing balls, walk cycles, etc.) but all of those basic "simple" exercises are the thing for getting better.

Sometimes I think the Intro to Animation class could be 4 weeks of Bouncing Ball variations, and then another 10 weeks of walk cycle variations. That's all. But there's so much that can be done with a walk. It's not just the straight on profile "marching" along arm-swinging Preston Blair walk (although that's a fine place to start , God bless Preston Blair .)

November 18, 2008 5:40 PM


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