Tuesday, January 8, 2008

What's the argument?

I've been sort of flaky recently in regards to the current Writers Guild Strike. It's one of those things that has details I can't seem to follow. However, in the last couple months, it seems to have influenced discussions on some animation blogs.

There seems to be a debate about the role of writers in animation. From what I know, the general consensus is that not all screenwriters can think in terms of an animated format. Many animation directors (as far as I know) still favor the process of relying upon storyboarding. It seems that up until some point in the 1980's, the industry standard was to start off with storyboards and illustrations, and then improvise and pitch ideas into the story. Of course, that's not to say that scriptwriting is unnecessary. But the general idea is that writing for animation requires a vast level of visualization. After all, animation is a visual medium.

Now I read about the defense and the insults of animation writers. Personally, I find it a little overblown. There shouldn't be (and doesn't seem to be) a one standard procedure for putting together an animated piece. It should depend on what the filmmakers want to accomplish, and estimate what's best for that particular piece.

John Kricfalusi makes cartoons. He believe that only cartoonists should write cartoons. As far as I can tell, everything John K. has done has has visual aid all the way.

Brad Bird, in a recent interview, talks about writing scripts long before the storyboard process. Yet he states that he writes with the knowledge of what animation is capable of.

Samurai Jack (one of the best animated shows of the last ten years) reportedly never had any scripts, and the artists improvised upon storyboards.

I find these arguments to be pointless. I like filmmakers who can try different things. If there's a process that works best for the individual, then good for them. Otherwise, a personal preference should not become an industry debate.

I feel like I should be putting more of my own drawings up here. I am not as excessive as most illustrators I know. However, if anybody wants to make a suggestion for something to draw, I'm open (I try to do this as much as possible).


Josh said...

Great post.

Emmett said...

Thank you, Josh.