Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Acting and Animation

So last month, Disney had classes with Michelle C. Bonilla, an actoress who has been on many TV series.

First of all, I had never really believed in acting. I know some animators are crazy about acting, but I also felt like some of the acting is too forced, becomes too much of a performance, and the animation becomes very forced looking, not sincere and organic or natural. I think it's because I had never taken a real acting class before, and there are several methods of acting, and this time, I've learned Meisner-based acting.

In Meisner-based acting, they use our true feeling inside to act, therefore, I didn't act to be someone, I was still me, and I was trying to figure out what I am feeling in each moment. She tried to help us to say our true feeling in the moment.

There were six series, and at first, we learned that our feeling is always black and white, no gray. (Gray will be the feeling of nothing, like when we try to clear our thoughts such as when people meditate) We always have some kind of feeling (it might be more than one) and then our feeling changes depending on our connection, the "relationship" with the other person. Our feeling comes from a very organic place, and the feeling changes depending on the other person, the situation, and many other things.

In the second series, she talked about setting, and point of view. She said to ask ourself, "What do I want from the other person?" She also said, "Don't think with your head, just search your heart, what's going on in the moment?"

About a character, she describes it's like painting a house. You ask questions like "Why is she doing this? What does the character want emotionally? What is the motivation? What is the point of view of the other character?"

Every lesson I felt so fresh and relaxed. I am not the type of person who can just be in front of everyone and act, but this class was more relaxing and fun and I learned a lot about feel the feeling, do not forc it. In the same way, I remembered what Mike taught me before. "Don't force your character, let them do what they do." I didn't really understand what it meant, I didn't have the eye to see the difference at the time. With this class, it became more clear. I was over thinking things, "OK, the character should feel this way, so he should do this and this" and the animation became too forced and not natural, became a fake performance that didn't have any heart. So now, I understand a little bit of how I can bring life to a character, but I am still having difficulty doing it on paper.

Anyway, I don't know if this made any sense to anybody, but I surely learned something from this experience. Work has been very busy at Disney and my allergies are causing me cold-like symptoms so I'm going to go to bed now. Have a good weekend everyone!


Justin Jenkins said...

That is very interesting, thanks for sharing!

Chris Palmer said...

Thanks for sharing that with us. Nice points in there.

Miyuki Kanno said...

Hi Justin, how are you? I hope this made any sense....I think I was also trying to put these down, so I can look back someday, and I will see what I learned that time. Thank you for visint me, and I hope everything is going well with you:)

Hi Chris, thank you for visiting my blog and linking me :) I saw your some sketches and life drawings. They are really nice and inspiring! I wonder if we ever met on ACME...maybe? I also see some poeple from your school at Disney. Thank you for you comment again!