adventure and absurdity in making an animated short

Sunday, February 26, 2006

The carpenter and the architect

This is related to the previous post about why do it. A question I've been asked is, "If you work at such a great place like Pixar, why would you want to make a short on your own. Aren't you creative there?" The best answer to this question I found long after I was asked the question. I found it in a book of interviews with the director John Sayles. Sayles writes and directs very independent films as well as script docs for Hollywood movies, the money from which helps fund his films. John Sayles says in a few interviews that when he works for other people fixing their screenplays or as a gun for hire, it's like working as a carpenter. But when he is writing and directing his own stuff he's the architect. He likes doing both. I like that. Sometimes you build the house, don't have to worry about anything but doing a good job putting it together and then leave at the end of the day. Other times you want to design that house, try new things, carry all the responsibility and see your dream become a reality.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Making a short after hours - part 1 - The Why?

I will endeavor to pass on some knowledge I have acquired in making a short after work.

Before we get to how let's first start with The Why?

You have to ask yourself, at this time in your life "WHY, do you want to make a film?" Especially since you are going to spend many a leisure hour working on this thing. I know this more now then when I started but you really have to love the process of doing it. You have to concentrate on the smaller goals not the end result, especially something external such as awards, money, a job, fame, that stuff doesn't matter. There are too many a long lonely frustrating hour ahead of you and if you don't enjoy them you will stop. Your big goal should be personal. For me the why with "Leonardo" is that I wanted to find out if I could actually do it. I wanted to find out, could I make a film in my own voice, could I finish it. The jury still isn't in yet on that. I knew Pixar wouldn't just hand me a film to make so I thought why don't I just make one. Other reasons ( you can have more then one, probably better that you do) I frankly missed hand drawn animation and wanted to tell a story in that medium and I wanted to put my creativity where my mouth is. You see, I would complain about other peoples' films. How they screwed them up and how I would make them better. Without having made my own it really is just a lot of hot air. It's really something different when you have to put yourself out there. To say to the world these are my ideas, my way of communicating them, my filmmaking and open yourself up to that criticism that it is so easy to dish out. That for me has been - The Why?

43 feet and counting

on track for April 15th.

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