Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Bigger Picture

I was lucky enough to find myself here in Dallas when Glen Keane rolled in to receive the Tex Avery Award.  He spent a night at the studio to give a very inspirational talk about his life's work thus far.  He ate lunch with us the next day and offered more words of wisdom.

What it boiled down to for me was this:

Creating moments on that screen that connects with an audience tends to come from a real place inside of you. The challenge is to allow yourself to be vulnerable enough to reveal the truth about you through the characters.

If you're going to do this, do it with all of your heart.  Something half-assed will never fulfill.

Live the life of an artist, without walls.  Explore it all, absorb it all, recreate it all.  Stand on the shoulders of your predecessors and reach beyond.

This last tidbit had me thinking a lot about myself and made me take a step back to try and view animation as a whole.  The grand message I got from these few nights was that the field of animation feels like it's being confined within corporate walls.  Andreas Deja spoke of it much better than I can:

There are glimpses of hope in things like Spanish Buzz, Nigel from Finding Nemo, and Tangled.  Overall though I find the smell of money (it is a business after all) veers the field off-track.  Given my no-experience, I'm not really in a position to define the state of the industry, but never-the-less I was inspired to start exploring and absorbing so that one day I can recreate.

Finished Reading:
Save The Cat! Strikes Back by Blake Snyder
This book rocks.  So much insight into story, definitely recommend to anyone related to the film / story process.

Cinematic Storytelling by Jennifer Van Sijll
A nice encyclopedia of film techniques.  Nothing new but a good book for those trying to understand film language / need a reference for film techniques.

Steal Like an Artist  by Austin Kleon
What started out as a cool posting turned into a book.  I really love this book, very small - huge on advice.  Puts things into perspective and is a fun, quick read.  I like having this one around.

The Flinch by Julien Smith (Free)
This book summed up my life up to this point and has changed it forever.  With many things now I'm learning not to flinch anymore.

Currently Reading:
Force:  Dynamic Life Drawing for Animators by Mike Mattesi
Two Guys Named Joe by John Canemaker
In the Blink of an Eye by Walter Murch


  1. Hey Tony,
    That was a great post! I've added those books to my ever growing book list if you'd be interested Thanks!

  2. Really great compilation of resources ya got going Jon, appreciate the link :)

  3. I just found your blog and want to say thank you ! What an enjoyable time looking through so many sites. It is really nice post thanks for sharing and just keep up the good work !

    Data Entry Jobs | Data Entry Training | Flash Photo Gallery | Medprax™ | Bangladeshi Exporters | Cars for Travelers | Search Engine Marketing