Monday, 14 January 2019

Animating Dialogue: Avoid Famous Lines

Animators: avoid lines like "go ahead punk..."
One of the most common mistakes junior animators often make when selecting their first line of dialogue to animate is to pick one of their favourite lines from a movie, usually spoken by a famous actor.

The reason that this is a bad idea is that famous lines spoken by famous actors tend to come with too much baggage.

We all have a picture in our heads of the actor speaking the line, and inevitably our animation won't live up to that ideal, and will tend to look pale by comparison.

11 Second Club
Famous lines of dialogue can become memes in themselves, and even enter the language.  Lines like "hasta la vista, baby" or "go ahead punk, make my day" are just too famous to animate. Your audience knows the line, admires the actor, and the chances are that your interpretation will never be as good as that of Clint Eastwood or Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The solution is to pick lines of dialogue that are good, and intriguing, but spoken by less famous characters. The 11 Second Club monthly competition is very good at doing this. So if you're stuck for a line of dialogue to animate, why not dig through the 11 Second Club archive. The club has been running for many years now, since 2007, and their archive is huge - you'll be spoiled for choice.

Below is a very strong piece of animation done by Animation Apprentice Student Henry Fenwick.

Partly on the strength of this shot, Henry is now working for Jellyfish Pictures, a major animation studio in London.

To find out more about Animation Apprentice, click here for a link to Frequently Asked Questions. To sign up for our next classroom at Animation Apprentice, follow this link.

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