Saturday, October 21, 2006


Mentioning the animation studio a couple of posts back brought memories. Some good, some bad. Rooted in traditional animation techniques, the introduction of the computers was seen as an anathema to many of the staff.

Some of them got it. The Head FX Animator understood that if we got the character levels first, we’d drop everything, scan them in and then they were his to do with as he pleased. The Head of Clean Up on the last large project grasped that we’d prefer part of a scene, get that in the system and then have the rest when it was done, rather than be kept waiting or have to send back levels that were rushed to be fixed.

But trying to get through to the dyed-in-the-wool Animation Directors that it would make their lives easier was a Sisyphian task that would test the mettle of even the most determined. From the start I tried to make them understand that the new Animo software would make everyone’s life easier. But for us to help them, they had to help us.

It didn’t demand radical changes to their working process. All we needed was the pencil line to be dark and consistent. Nothing too difficult. But there were times it became obviously apparent that help us, help you became help us, fuck you.

I tried to get one of the more stubborn Animation Directors to produce work the way we needed it, and, for one brief shining moment, he did exactly what was needed. On the next job he quickly reverted to his old ways. When I flagged this up, his excuse was “Oh, I thought that it was just for that job.”

It was trench warfare with our own side shelling us! I always made sure my department did its best, no matter how much the budget and schedule (and staff) worked against us.

I haven’t talked much of late about the projects Work Buddy and I are developing. The writing is still ongoing even though more immediate work has elbowed its way in.

Weaving together the plots and realising the characters for each one, every idea is still being wrestled to the ground and only allowed to stand back up when it makes perfect sense. It would be much easier to slap any old thing that was close enough to what we wanted down, but plausibility, authenticity and credibility are key. If you haven’t got that, what’s the point?

Which brings me to Robin Hood. Three weeks into its run, I finally managed to watch an episode. And... what the fuck? Although labelled ‘family entertainment’, within a couple of minutes it was obvious the series was for young children and people who had suffered severe head injuries, and not survived.

Actually, I should say a full episode, because I caught about five minutes last week, which was more than enough. The producers may have set out to make a Robin Hood for our times but then realised it’s “you know, for kids,” and thought fuck it!

Aiming to reach the dizzy heights of simple, the scripts have settled for predictable stupidity. While the Sheriff of Overacting samples his speeches from BBC News 24, the motley band of good outlaws (not bad outlaws, mind) posture and prance about in the greenwood like a bunch of twats. Steals from the rich, gives to the poor? What a bore.

The most ridiculous thing was that the chav Robin of Locksley, who looked like he would be more at home swaggering around housing estates doling out tabs, and the slack-jawed village idiot that trails behind him like a simpering puppy, were supposed to have been at the Crusades. What were they, Knights Caterers?


At 10:58 am, Blogger Terpsichore said...

Hmm, reading a bit too quickly towards the end there, I thought you'd written "Knights' Catheters" - which strikes me as strangely apposite...

At 11:35 pm, Blogger Riddley Walker said...

TV by mongs, for mongs.

I diskard them...

At 12:05 am, Blogger Sal said...

Can't explain the Virgin/Indian ad, and have no idea how you stumbled upon my blog, but thanks for the comment and why not buy me a pint instead?

At 3:46 pm, Blogger Riddley Walker said...

The Knights Wanker?

Knights Tosser?

Knights Vacant?

Knights in White Satin?

Knights Plebeian?


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