Sunday, December 05, 2010

Story Telling... something I sincerely want to get better at. A handful of friends and family tell me that they already like my storytelling, but I tend to be long-winded, full of details that may or may not be necessary or critical to my audience -- the kinds of stuff people might skim over in a book that they're cramming in a hurry to get to the end. Being concise is not a strong suit of mine.

One thing you learn in animation is to tell stories -- not just through the animated expression of the character, but also through composition, lighting, texturing, aspects of your set and props, etc.

If someone were to animate me, in my life right now, they may put together a jovial essence with a lot of hinted backstory of struggle and hard work in my facial expressions and how I hold myself when I'm sitting at my computer desk, playing Angry Birds on my Droid, reading books on Autism and stars and religion and fuzzy Muppets. Gradually, they could tell a bigger story by modeling a fantastic array of clutter on my desk, consisting of power cords, pencils I used in the fourth grade, handmade felt flowers from Nepal, several external hard drives, travel receipts, honeymoon vacation brochures, Tylenol Cold medicine, coupons, bank statements, demo reels, pads of paper with scribbled dates, recipes, and wannabe-Matt-Groening-slash-Jhonen-Vasquez-style sketches of myself and my husband.

Then you add more story-telling layers. Many items are covered in a thin layer of dust and/or cat hair. Papers are generally a bit crinkled throughout with worn looking edges from getting thrown in and out of travel bags or my ever-stuffed purse. The honeymoon brochures have those transparent circle seals, which are yet unbroken. In the looming shadow behind my flatscreen monitors are my demo reels from this past year as well as blank dvds for new reels. Also back there is my webcam, which I used to use daily when my husband and I had to live 800 miles apart (but now he's at the desk beside me, tinkering away at his work as well).

All those details add so much to that crazy ol' Laura character with the goofy-serious face, hunched camel neck, and famed librarian hairstyle... typing away thoughtfully at her machine.

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