For years, I've been struggling to do something cool. And by cool, I mean a short. Just something nice and simple, possibly in pantomime, but in keeping my idea in one environment.
PIXAR Animation's shorts are notorious for this, and it's that simplicity that has inspired me over the years. Besides, do we need more than one environment to see Geri play chess with himself? Or see that little Snowman try to escape from his snowglobe 'prison' in 'Knick-Knack?'
A week ago, I was hit by an idea. Way back in my early college days, my sister got me an Artist's mannequin. He's been with me ever since, but one day I began to ponder the workings of him. What if he could walk? What if he could think? but more importantly, what if he wanted to dance?
Artist's mannequins can't really move. They're almost all exclusively made with a metal rod jammed up their midsection, and that rod is attached to a wood base. Needless to say, the wooden mannequin can't dance like that. and when he tries to stand on his own two feet, the base puts him in a very embarassing pose (it's not good when your angled at 55 degrees).
Frank Thomas and the 'Illusion of Life' talked about a key element of a character, which is to find out your character's emotions, and why do they feel like that? Well, with my artist's mannequin, I think I've got a simple character that I can explore that feeling with. and so, I've been working and coming up with ideas and going over the basics of the story, the pathos, the problems, and whatnot.
His environment will be a small little animation room (seen in that high-angled shot in the image above). Plastered around that room will be images of dancers like Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, and all sorts of things that an aniamtor would use for reference. DVD's, CD's, dance books. All the things that could inspire a wooden mannequin when he's alone, the