Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Michael Dudok de Wit
Ottawa Highlights Part One:
Michael Dudok de Wit is an amazing animator with great attention to light and shadow, space and atmosphere. I was fortunate to make it to the masterclass he gave sponsored by the NFB (your tax dollars in use, not just for 'experimental wank crap' that I heard during the festival but I'll get to that later). Michael started off by showing alot of his commercial work and talked about the industry and some technical pointers. Clarity of story or purpose was one of the things he talked about and the importance of having the viewer enter the world that you create, i.e. not just having drawings that talk. Another point he made was to get feedback from friends and colleagues to make sure that what you put down actually shows what you intended. These are simple things but I think they are easily forgotten. The best part of the talk was when he talked about the 'C' word...no, that would be if JJ Villard was doing a talk...Creativity is the ellusive subject that Michael talked about. This was a humbling topic as he talked about how everyone of us gets in a rut or falls into the self-effacing mode of questioning ourselves. Working through it by taking time to be outdoors or going to a gallery or even listening to some music helps. He didn't say whether porn and cheetos was one of those pick me ups but whatever gets you going. Also, one is surprised what one can draw under pressure or just focussing on it. Unfortunately, the talk went over the time allotment but Maral was nice enough to let us see Michael's beautiful film, Father and Daughter, but the talk quickly ended. It would be nice to know how the classes in Montreal and Toronto went as there was probably more time. Anyway, I apologize to Michael for butchering his words and I thank him for letting me watch him lecture on the twitching cadavre of visual expression.
(Tip-if you buy Animation Unlimited, Father and Daughter is on the dvd that is included with the book.)