Sunday 17 March 2013

Outrospective empathic animation anyone?

Just got in from a shift in my part time job and i've been thinking about this all day. So i watch this video before i went to work, and it hasn't been out of mind since:

So for all its own purpose, its a progressive challenge and offers an indication of the direction of the 21st century. I want to re-apply the context to animation. As you well know i am script writing currently, and the focus of that is learning to write empathy for narratives. Empathy for the writer can be seen as introspection, because the writer has to be the character and understand how they would react to a situation, thus looking inside themselves. The audience can be seen as outrospective because they are understanding, feeling the character and emoting to them. This point is based purely on the Pixar/Disney/Dreamworks storytelling context, where both elements reflect purpose: 

Intro - I have a story i want to tell. (Producer/Director/Writer)
Outro - I want to hear the story you have to tell. (Audience)

But this got me thinking about the Post-Graduate Research day i attended in october/november. The end discussion was centered on the question: Applied Animation: How animation is moving out of its cartoon ghetto and across disciplines. The discussion could be seen (as described by Andy Love) very 'British'. I felt slightly concerned that they felt cartoons (introspection) were in someway beneath the direction animation is moving towards. Are cartoons really that bad? I suspect not. That is why i am now making this statement. Because it's important for British animation to project its purpose with a clearer definition for evolving away from traditional narrative output. 

Now let me make this clear. The writers/producers/directors will always have an introspective drive. An  audience will always have outrospective experience. I can not see this being any other way between teller and listener.

I feel what they mean by moving out of the cartoon ghetto is the purpose of the animation is becoming outrospective. I feel a typical Pixar film is introspective - it's purpose is fundamentally profit with a hearty message. I feel a film such as Waltz with Bashir is outrospective - it is driven to inform about an actual experience that has or could affect us directly. I feel it is this distinction that the talk was aiming at. Remember - Waltz with Bashir still has:

Intro - I have a story i want to tell. (Producer/Director/Writer)
Outro - I want to hear the story you have to tell. (Audience)
and conveys Empathy!

But what Pixar doesn't have that Waltz with Bashir does is an underlying socio-documentative purpose.

I may be wrong. These are just the thoughts i've had today. I will enjoy putting these ideas across tomorrow. I will update with the responses i get.

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