Sunday, September 21, 2008

Tomas Jech on "original" characters

Couple great posts over at Tomas Jech's blog basically on the same thing. Bringing out a unique authentic performance. My thoughts in italics

Being Original
1. what's the character's personality? How would you describe them to your friend? "Oh anne, she's kind of mousy and shy, really smart though, how'd she wind up with Larry the big dumb oaf" right there you get a hint at how the character's going to move and use their body.
2. What are they feeling, specifically? Super pissed off at the unfairness of the world, with a sense of helplessness welling up quickly.
What context are they in? Are they confessing their emotions to their lover, or are they trying to maintain a professional demeanor in front of the board.
What just happened?
3. What are they thinking? I've always tried to do this, write their thoughts down for each line of dialogue, and then try and act the thoughts and not the words
4. What are they doing? Washing windows, digging a ditch, watching tv? How is their action affected by the other three questions? here my idea of psychic atmosphere comes back in, what if a person's emotions manifested in the world around them? If they were happy and energetic gravity would have less pull, if they were depressed even the air would be heavy

Personality: what is your character generally like? how does she hold herself? is she an introvert or extrovert? Personality will dictate your initial posing of the character, and how the feelings and thoughts are framed.
Feeling: what is your character like right now? what is the context of the scene? Feeling is layered onto the personality, an introvert who currently feels outgoing will look very different then someone outgoing who is feeling outgoing.
Thoughts: What is your character thinking? Thoughts are shaped by the personality, feeling and context. Thoughts are the last internal process. For instance, when you touch something hot, your body reacts first, then you think “SHIT, THAT IS HOT!” and it isn’t until after you think that you speak...if you use the body to say different things than the words, you really start to hit empathy and entertainment with your animation.

1 comment:

Ratul Sarna said...

Hi Alonso!
Great posts by Tom,,I read them through sometime back and wanted to ask him a question but my hesitancy stopped me. I think it would be great if you could shed some light on it.
Tom writes, " Thoughts are shaped by the personality, feeling and context. Thoughts are the last internal process."
But, if you read "Acting for Animators" by Ed Hooks, in the first chapter itself he points out that "Thinking leads to emotions and emotions lead to action." And here Tom is saying the exact opposite. Who is right? and How should we think about it while handling a shot with a character? Should emotions be dictated by the thoughts or vice versa.
I hope I'm not bugging you :D