These days with everything that is going on in the market, all I see in the news are pictures of stock brokers stressed out. People holding their head in their hands. Brokers with scared eyes looking up at a sinking ticker. Yes, the economy is melting down a bit and people are fearful. The media wants to show clear images of people freaking out which only adds fuel to the fire. As an animator, how do we show fear or that our character is stressed out? Mostly it is by using gestures that reflect this. Self Touching is something that we humans do a lot when we are listening, under stress, or fearful to name a few things. In the book “Man Watching” Desmond Morris explains why this is and what it means. If you don’t have this book, find it. When we make our characters look fearful, we have to explore different ways of doing this. A good thing to do is to act out 10 different ways of doing the same thing. Another thing to do is to look at what other people do when they are scared or stressed. They may have a different way of expressing this emotion. What is an interesting choice? In animation or acting, it’s all about the choices that are made for the performance. Obviously, we want to avoid the cliche’ or transparent choices. We need our characters to have depth and to look interesting. The other day I was able to watch the new film “Ponyo” Some of the choices the character Ponyo makes when she finds the person she has been looking for were so sincere. I love that about Miyazaki’s films. There are moments that always seem so true. In essence we should all be searching for the truths in our characters and how they act. Whether its fear, longing, love, hate etc, etc.. we need to make it sincere. Hopefully, all these images in the news of fear will be of celebration…. In the mean time, we Animate!