Over Acting

How can we tell if a scene we are animated is overdone? Are the gestures to big? Is the scene upstaging another character? Is that character to broad or not giving enough? This topic came up at a talk I was at. Its fascinating how closely animators and actors think about the same problems. When I asked the actor what over acting was, she commented that its when the character does too much or does not know there place is within the scene. It can be many things such as pulling attention away from the other characters. It can be as simple as a character over doing something as simple as picking up a glass. When we animate, we are usually going bigger and making things read more. That doesn’t mean we don’t have to watch out if the character is doing too much. We always need to look at the character throughout a sequence. Steven Spielberg once said to George Clooney ” You could be a star if you stop moving your head.” Or it was something close to that I believe.

So how do you know if a scene is over acted? Ask yourself some questions: How would it look if you acted the same way as your character? Is your character taking away from the general idea of the scene? Did you bring in an extra set of eyes to look at it? What is the emotional center of the character and scene? What really drives that character and would your character do that?  Is the style of acting you are doing fit the project you are working on? Think about a film like Amadeus or Pirates of the Carribean. These are roles that require a bit of an exaggerated character. It fits the style of the film. I’d love to hear what you think and for others to pass along any tips or comments.