A Gesture Here, A Gesture There…

When animating, it is very hard to come up with original gestures. Gestures can be something that describes how a character is feeling, like a rub of the nose or touching of the mouth. They can also be the obvious hand gesture. We quickly fall back on the easiest ones. The neck rub, the W pose, The Point. The ones that dont really require alot of thinking or were original 40 years ago. I am guilty of having characters gesture too much. You could say that Mike Wazowski does alot of gestures. As you can see, I hit the old W gesture on this scene…I blame this on my family origins and the type of character Mike was. Also, I was young and only had two films under my belt.  When I see something nice its usually because I have not seen it before. In some ways, I look for opportunities where I don’t need to gesture with the arms. I also find that once I block out a gesture, it is the polish of those gestures that is important. This is where you break up the timing, change a hand pose or rethink what you are doing. Its important to be open to change right up until the end. I still struggle to find original gestures. I once heard a really cool idea from an acting class. They told the actors to observe 3 gestures and utilize them in their scenes.  I thought that was a really cool thing to do. Uta Hagen teaches some great acting classes, many of which are on You Tube. Its important for us to look at this stuff and relate it back to our work. They are worth watching. I always have to keep my eyes open and just look. Films often have some great “choices” the actors make. Choices…. Its something you hear actors and directors use in live action. That was a great choice you made in that scene. They are referring to the way they did the scene.  We need to make the correct choices for our work as well since we are acting through our characters.

-Andrew