Reading Yasamin’s blog the other day, she posted an animated cartoon, ‘Rejected’. It was very amusing and it got me thinking about animation and animators in general. Basically they are weird people. I’m talking old school frame by frame animation here not the computer generated stuff we see today. The nature of the process is tedious requiring patience and not really needing anyone but you, a couple of lights, an animation stand and a Bolex camera. Hour after countless hour of this day after day only to produce a few minutes of material will start to affect your world view and basic sanity. Live actors and people make for a more social event.
An animation stand is basically a stand where you can mount the camera over a glass top table that you are shooting and allows you to place lights underneath and around it.
My one foray into animation was with Karl Krogstad back in 1983. Karl was know for animating GI Joe and Barbie dolls into very peculiar shows as mentioned in a previous post. He had moved on but wanted to make a Logo for Krogstad Studios. It was Karl, Pat, and I (I was there to watch and learn). Karl had gotten some transparencies of the logo and we wanted to have searchlight beams rise in the back ground fade and finally have a sort of star burst. We placed this all on an animation stand and pressed down the transparencies and some blue gel to create a gradient of color and began the task. We had used a 200 watt Photo flood to light from the bottom of the stand and clicked off two frames. Moved the light up a touch and turn a star filter a ¼ turn and clicked off two more frames. This went on for an hour or so until we managed to move the light up and back again into its original position. WE then went on to create the starburst effect which was to simply poke holes in the gel click-click, and poke even more holes click-click, until the desired effect was achieved. We left the garage at about 4 AM and the whole thing was only 30 seconds if that. I never did animation again. But it was cool to watch.