leonardo

adventure and absurdity in making an animated short

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

10 things I've learned in making a short film: # 10

close to finish frame from "Leonardo" color isn't correct yet blah blah blah

10) Perfection doesn't exist
Get it out of your head that your film has to be perfect. No matter what you do it won't be. So stop stopping yourself from continuing because it isn't perfect or that you don't have the perfect idea. There is no such thing. When you really look at great animated stuff most of it is very crude and flawed in some way. Charlie Brown's Christmas, the Looney Tunes shorts, the Grinch, the great Rankin and Bass stuff, (can you tell Christmas just passed) all have imperfections and they all stay the test of time. The thing that they have is that they are authentic. The good stuff comes from the right place and people took a chance. Film is a communal art, a dialogue, and it needs an audience to be completed. People often hide behind the perfection excuse because they are afraid of what others are going to think. Who cares. Look if you are making a short and actually finishing it, you are doing something not many people do. So you can think to yourself (or say to them) "Well what the hell have you've done. " It is a scary thing to be creative, to put your thoughts out there, your talent judged. But to be honest it isn't your problem what people think, it's theirs. Of course you want people to like your stuff and if no one likes it then you might want to investigate why. But do it in another film. This is the beauty of thinking long term, many films. Play. Make mistakes. Learn.

Well good luck, have fun!

I leave you with this quote I got while writing these posts. It is from another Jim: ( I didn't get it from this Jim but someone forwarded to me )

Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery - celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from - it’s where you take them to.

—Jim Jarmusch

13 Comments:

Anonymous Gus said...

Jim,

Thank you for taking the time to share the information.

Out of curiosity (dimension wise -inches) how large were the sheets of paper, and how large (dimension wise- pixels) were the digital images after the originals were scanned?

Thanks again

2:18 AM  
Blogger Ben K said...

Thanks Agian

Im currently in the middle of producing my first short. im doing about 14 hours a day at the moment so a little inspiration goes along way. weither its reiterating something i beleive already or reassurance that everyone goes through the same experiences, has the same ups and downs.Thank You

Ben

6:40 AM  
Blogger Sandeepan Chanda said...

Thanks a lot Jim!!! You've inspired me to start developing my short subject which I was quite skeptical to start because of its non-originality. Thanks again!!

7:10 AM  
Blogger Dshum said...

Heya!
Thanks for the insight and tips from your wealth of experience in making a short film.
I'm so pumped to getting a project rolling after reading your posts!
As Nike says, Just Do It!

Thanks again,
and congratulations on completing your film :D

9:50 AM  
Blogger Tony DiStefano said...

Another great looking drawing.What type of paper did you use?It has a nice look.

7:09 PM  
Blogger JmC said...

Gus - thanks for checking in. i scanned in the paper (12 field animation paper ingram bond #22 10 1/2 X 12 1/2 inches) at 200dpi the pixel dimensions changed depending on the shot but it was based on a 4/3 ratio.

ben k - 14 hours a day! that's full time. I wish I had that you'll get it done in no time. good luck.

sandeepan - yeah to many people don't move forward because they don't think their idea is original enough. but you know what there is only one sandeepan chanda so you'll make it unique no matter what you do. as long as you out your soul into it, your honest with it. it will be unique.

dshum - just do it! that's it. nothing get's done unless someone somewhere does it. you might as well do it. go man!

Tony - as always thanks for checking in on these doings. the paper is 12 field animation paper ingram bond #22 10 1/2 X 12 1/2 inches bought from cartoon colour

3:11 PM  
Blogger JmC said...

Gus - thanks for checking in. i scanned in the paper (12 field animation paper ingram bond #22 10 1/2 X 12 1/2 inches) at 200dpi the pixel dimensions changed depending on the shot but it was based on a 4/3 ratio.

ben k - 14 hours a day! that's full time. I wish I had that you'll get it done in no time. good luck.

sandeepan - yeah to many people don't move forward because they don't think their idea is original enough. but you know what there is only one sandeepan chanda so you'll make it unique no matter what you do. as long as you out your soul into it, your honest with it. it will be unique.

dshum - just do it! that's it. nothing get's done unless someone somewhere does it. you might as well do it. go man!

Tony - as always thanks for checking in on these doings. the paper is 12 field animation paper ingram bond #22 10 1/2 X 12 1/2 inches bought from cartoon colour

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Doug said...

Jim,
So inspiring that you're doing this, after all this time. Thanks to a CartoonBrew link, I began checking your site again - and to hear that you're nearing completion?! Fantastic. I'm a recording musician who does his stuff at night, after the day-job, after the kids are in bed - and your journey is parallel to mine in some ways. Keep on brother!
-Doug

9:27 AM  
Blogger Mitch said...

Thank you very much for sharing this information with us, Sir. I often put down my work, both animated and non, for fear that it's not perfect, when, in reality, it's important to realize that perfection, in itself, is nonexistent.

Thanks again, and congratulations on completing your project!

2:13 PM  
Anonymous Simon said...

Hi there, how is it being a story artist? Is it hard? I hope to be one, one day at Pixar. But don't know if I ever will get there, but hey it doesn't hurt to dream right? :P

Well thank you so much for these 10 things! I'm doing a short film as my project in my school and I'm going to draw the whole thing. Would love to hear som tips and thoughts.

Love your work. Take care!

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Simon said...

All of these 10 things have been so helpful for my project and I will think of each point when I begin my journey! Thank you again!!

11:34 AM  
Blogger Simon said...

Hey Jim, Fantastic work and great blog!

That quote about originality just made my day, what a wonderful way of expressing a concept that I have felt for a long time but could never describe or put into words.

Thanks for the inspiration, and for sharing all this work from your film. It's looking great, I can't wait to see it!

out of curiosity, where you planning on submitting it to the Ottawa International Animation festival? (I live in Ottawa, hehe)

http://animationfestival.ca/index.php

All the best,
-Simon

7:25 AM  
Blogger Virgil said...

Thank you for writing this!! I couldn't agree more with you, I hope a lot people read this stuff and learn from it. People are afraid of learning from one another and keep being obsessed with some generic misunderstood "originality".

11:40 AM  

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