Thursday, February 26, 2009

Animated timing debt to Silent Film

Mark Mayerson has a great post reviewing Charlie Chaplin's work, talking about how the camera technology at the time led the filming to be at a different fps then the playback, and how that affects our perception of it, that at regular speed falls seem painful, but sped up they become funny because they don't seem real. And how the actors focused on clarity knowing their movements would be sped up. Based off of Ben Model's youtube reviews of the film at different speeds/fps.

"The animators and directors of the 1930s and '40s grew up watching silent comedies and absorbed the feeling for fast action... Rod Scribner's animation has the broad energy of silent comedy. The furious anticipations that animated characters go through before zipping off screen owe a debt to the sense of speed that silent comedy introduced. Animation caricatured it, pushing it even further. Fast is funny, especially when it's been combined with movements that read clearly."

And then Keith Lango has an interesting point in the comments:
"A lot of modern animation (especially in films) comes off as 'leaden' and ponderous compared to the more energetic efforts from the past. To make up for that modern animation uses the cut more intensely to bring pace and energy to the film (no doubt an influence from the MTV generation). Modern animation motion is slower, but conversely the editing is frenetic "

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