Animex is a week-long festival where professionals from many different backgrounds, countries and companies in the films and games sector come to Teesside University to meet and talk to aspiring students and hobbyists.
On Tuesday morning, Ed Hooks came in to see character animation undergraduates and masters students. This man transformed the way character animation was learned; he taught animators how to convey emotion and believability in their work. So as well as being a screen writer and actor himself, he also teaches acting to animators and published the renowned book “Acting for Animators”.
Our respect for this man is so great, that we applauded as he entered the room. He turned out to be a great guy and humble as well, and although he’s almost deaf in one ear, he still speaks clearly in a nice tone.
One by one, about 20 of us showed Ed our work, ranging from blocked animation to finished pieces. He gave brilliant, expansive feedback and made use of analogies when needed. Especially for mine.
I showed him my 6 Word Story. I asked him to ignore the horrendous animation, and just focus on the story telling. Being the last piece to be shown, it did quite shock the audience as it was the only “dark” animation. Ed sure had a lot to say about it though. He began with a little of admiration for me doing something so unusual and emotional. He then opened my eyes to what he called
That is, art that you make for yourself for your own pleasure. He compared it to tribal meetings; when in old times, people would gather together and share stories. Some stories have purpose and are useful for the tribe. Then there are others, like mine, which is a story that wants to be told, but doesn’t quite have an audience for it. The lesson learnt is that although its good to create masturbatory art, you still need to shape it so that it’s relatable by the audience.
He also went over some of the hithces in the story telling, such as the purpose of the smoking man and where the baby came from.
At some point in the future, I would like to remake this short. At some point.