Even though I had to miss the first part of Harvie Krumpet, and was in the dark in regards to a lot of strange happenings, I found it quite enjoyable. It was a film that would have been depressing, if the main character wasn’t always somehow finding a way to be positive about it. It’s a testament to the power of looking at the bright side, and I found it pretty refreshing.
I do wish I could have seen the beginning, to know why his head is magnetic. But I think I might actually go out and rent the film and see it myself at some point, just to support the animator behind it. Its pretty hard to make a movie where the primary character has Alzheimers into a happy ending.
It was nice to see representation of all types across all industries. Of course I’m very deeply interested in how we can get more women into traditionally boys club roles. Which is always refreshing to see, that women are putting themselves more out there, and bringing light to such ordeals outside of the workplace. Of course, I was moved when she mentioned her outside projects, which are things that I also have, that I think help keep me balanced. It was good to hear that these things will carry on, hopefully, and maybe even help to bring awareness to all kinds of problems and situations. It was also comforting to hear that taking time for these personal projects isn’t just common but maybe necessary for happiness, this will encourage me to keep going with those.
I was very grateful for this insight in particular, and will keep it in mind when working on my projects.
It was very interesting hearing very experienced and established people in the animation industry come speak to us in class and tell us about their experiences in the animation industry. Hearing them tell us about how they started and how they’ve moved up in an industry that is expanding rapidly today is very eye opening and informative.
Of the speakers that I heard my favorite was probably James Parris. He was very fun to listen to and interact with by being funny and really relating to the class and understanding its purpose. I particularly enjoyed his short film about gender roles among children with regards to toys and which ones they are and aren’t allowed”allowed” to use. His film tackled the hot issue that lots of parents or kids are always talking about and laid it out in a very fun way. It looks at the issue through the scope of animation and shows that pre-established gender roles don’t mean anything, they are something that is taught through a lifetime of conditioning unconscious learning.
I love the fact that James was able to work with great celebrities and actors to contribute to his short film and how it shows that so many other people care about the topic as well. The animation mixed with the live action in his film are nothing short of remarkable and very detailed, the young actors were able to work very well with the animation and fit seamlessly. It is a very educational and film can be very informative for kids who may be confused or actually like toys that are “meant to be” for other genders.
On March 18th, 2017, LMU’s Animation Club hosted their Showrunner Panel, which turned out to be a great success! Our Animated Perspectives Professor, Sapphire Sandalo, moderated the discussion between Brandon Vietti (showrunner from Young Justice), Chris Savino (showrunner from The Loud House), and Mike Mayfield (animation director and executive producer from Mr. Pickles).
The panelists were asked a variety of questions, ranging from their how they became animation showrunners (or executive producers), how they balance the different aspects of their work, and advice for students aspiring to be showrunners. Here are some of the answers we recieved from our panelists.
- Becoming a showrunner is more than just creating a show. As a matter of fact, Animation showrunners tend to have “many different hats,” or in other words, they manage multiple departments of production all at once. In one meeting, they may be talking with storyboard artists about various panels drawn; in the next meeting, they maybe talking to the post production team about an episode soon to air. Showrunners tend to have their days packed with different meetings with the various departments regarding their show. Sometimes, they do get to work on some animation for the episodes, but most times they are too busy with the other meetings. Executive producers have a very similar day.
- Collaboration between showrunners, producers, directors and writers is key! Everyone wants to tell the story, and working together is the best way to get it done. Sometimes, however, when an issue with story comes up, someone will have to have the final say on what content goes in the episode and what doesn’t. Whether it is the showrunner, writer, producer, or director, it all depends on the show. Different shows will have a different way of managing content and leadership style.
- What do showrunners and executive producers miss the most? Animating and Storyboarding. As showrunners and executive producers, a lot of their time is taken up by meetings and resolving issues in the production. This sometimes keeps them away from doing the things that brought them into the Animation Industry in the first place. That is why it is important to have your own passion projects, so you can continue doing what you want to do while still loving your career.
- Advice for aspiring showrunners: Pitch your story to others, make sure you have strong characters and a good storyline. Stay true to yourself and your story. And finally, don’t be desperate. Talk with confidence, and make sure you give off the impression that your story will get made no matter what happens during the pitch.
These were just some of the points made during the Showrunner Panel. All the panelists gave precious advice and knowledge to all who attended, and we had plenty of fun! As part of the Animation Eboard, I hope everyone comes to our upcoming panels in 2017 and 2018, as we will have more awesome panelists and more fun!
Moana: An ‘Average’ Body
Disney’s new animated film, Moana, will be forever known as the studio’s first movie with a Polynesian princess. And also the first princess with an average body. If we look back at a nearly all of Disney’s princesses, we see all of these skinny bodies with tight wastes and long limbs. Whether it is Elsa, Snow White, Cinderella, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas, or Rapunzel, they all seem to have at least one thing in common; skinny body types. However, when we look at Moana, we see an average body.
“And certainly some of the women involved in the film, our producer and some [others], were very supportive and more involved in that as well — pushing, ‘Let’s not have her be a wasp-thin woman. Let’s have her be a more realistic body shape and feel like she’s not going to be blown over by a strong wind.’” -director John Musker
It is most certainly more believable that someone who goes through as many physical obstacles as Moana will have a less skinny body. But that is not what I am trying to get at here.
A couple months ago, our class was discussing physical attraction as it pertains to women, and how many women go out of their way to make themselves look prettier, more like those girls they see in magazines because they feel that is what they are being compared to. They want to look super skinny and “sexy” like those super models they see on TV or magazines or advertisements. Many males consider those women on TV to be extremely attractive, and other females feel the need to be just like those women on TV in order to be attractive as well. Moana, with her completely normal, non-skinny body, proves that girls can be attractive with regular bodies. There is no need to try to be super skinny and cover yourself with makeup. Everyone, with their own unique personality and body, like Moana, is already beautiful.
That is one of the greatest indirect messages I got from this film. Go Moana!
Your Name is a Japanese anime movie that premiered last year, but its impact on audiences is still being felt today. The movie follows Mitsuha, a girl from the country who wishes to live in Tokyo. One day she gets her wish when she switches bodies with a boy from Tokyo named Taki. This switch was not a one time occurrence however, and Taki and Mitsuha keep trading places, waking up in each others bodies at random. To make sure they don’t ruin the other person’s life they leave notes to each other. Through these notes and changing places Mitsuha and Taki start to develop feelings for each other.
Although the plot seems corny there is something I’m omitting because I don’t want to spoil too much of the story. However the point is that Your Name has an exceptionally emotional story. Something I’ve noticed about anime movies and shows in general is that they are very good at expressing strong emotion in a way that Hollywood just can’t. Though this movie is magical in nature it is grounded in real relationships and problems. In addition to Mitsuha wanting something more than her small town she also has family problems with her father who stopped living with her and her sister after their mother died. Also, one of the main themes of the movie is seeing the world through another person’s eyes and that is shown through Taki’s time in Mitsuha’s body. Seeing the countryside and the culture is very inspiring for Taki and it helps create feelings of love for Mitsuha. It is nice to go to a theater and see a movie that is different from a typical Hollywood blockbuster.
In addition to having a great story Your Name has spectacular visuals. I don’t know anything about drawing or animation, but I still thought the movie was stunning. The animation really connected the grounded relationships to the magical premise of the movie. It made me feel immersed in the world of the movie and that is a something I haven’t felt for awhile.
Your Name has gained major success since it’s premiere becoming the highest grossing anime movie ever, surpassing Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away. I hope that Hollywood will take note of the film’s success and see that an animated movie can be more than just something for children. Animated films are treated as the bottom of the totem pole in America where in other countries they are taken more seriously. I think the international phenomenon that is Your Name should send a message that animated movies for a more mature audience are profitable.
Rick and Morty is a T.V. show created by Dan Harmon (creator/co-writer of the show Community) and voice actor Justin Roiland (Fish Hooks, Adventure Time). It’s a bit of a Parody to the 1985 film Back to the Future, with Rick being like the character Doc Brown, a mad scientist character always sporting a lab coat and gray hair shooting out of his scalp. And Morty being like Marty McFly the kid of the story. But the show differs from the movie, for example, Rick is a massive alcoholic and a selfish jerk (unlike Doc Brown) and Morty is the exact opposite of a cool teenager (unlike Marty McFly). Also, there is a lot more to the show than just being slightly based off of Back to the Future. The show has a lot of social and racial commentary mixed into the plot and themes of each episode. Spoiler Warning for the Show! The plot can be as simple as Morty’s Dad, Jerry attempting to get everyone to stop using their phones during conversations at the dinner table, but when the family stops using their phones they have nothing to talk about anyway. To something as complicated as existential dread seen in the episode “Rick Potion #9” which ends with Rick and Morty burying their own dead bodies from another timeline. In this episode, Morty learns that because there are many alternate universes (the idea of alternate universes is a reoccurring theme in the show) that your life and the choices you make are less meaningful.
This show also covers big subjects like gender equality and race relations. In the episode “Raising Gazorpazorp” Rick and Morty’s sister, Summer, visit a universe where women are vastly more intelligent and evolved than men. The women have advanced technology and have a clear social hierarchy with humorous politeness customs and rules. While the men have a caveman level of intelligence. This episode clearly represents the idea of the opposition to gender equality having gone wrong. The views of the show creators are clearly stated in this one line by Summer “Let’s go back to our world which thinks it has gender equality but not really”.
The Rick and Morty episode “Auto Erotic Assimilation” covers the topic of race relations and human nature in general. In this episode, Rick, Morty, and Summer run into Rick’s ex-girlfriend, Unity, which is a hive-mind that takes over an entire civilization of humanoid aliens. Summer has an issue with the situation and attempts to free the people from the control of Unity. When the people regain their freedom they start forming groups over similar nipple shapes and start killing those who have different nipple shapes. This episode comments on how as long humans have an individual freedom they will always choose to have issues with each other due to how they differ from one another. Overall, Rick and Morty is a great show that comments on a wide range of social issues in a unique way.