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» AnimationNation   » General Discussion   » Jerry Sienfeld insults animators. (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Jerry Sienfeld insults animators.
RMills
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I just heard this interview on NPR this morning where Jerry Sienfeld makes it sound like animators can't do comedy or even know how to correctly act their characters. Here is a quote from it:

Though Bee Movie is an animated feature, Seinfeld acted out the entire script to help animators craft the bees' gestures and facial expressions.

"Whether it was my line or somebody else's line," Seinfeld says, "I would get up in front of them and act the whole thing out."

Seinfeld says it was often a tedious, detail-oriented process. He would ask animators "to do it over, and over, and over" until the gestures were just right.

"I don't know exactly what [the animators] do," Seinfeld says, "but I know it takes them forever until they've done it. Instead of having the eyebrows go down, have them go up — you wait like four days for that."

Entire interview is here.
Sienfeld Interview

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Otterslide
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Ahh, don't be so sensitive. My mother doesn't understand what animating is or what it takes either. To the layman, it is a phenomenally long and tedious process just to get results that look short and simple.

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Graphiteman
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I wish the film success. I really do. But I saw that clip on Letterman last night , the one when the bugs are on the windshield...It's radio...they're describing everything the audience sees.
Mr. Seinfeld, besides indeed being very funny, is a wordsmith and hopefully understands that animators understand visual comedy.

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OFFBEAT
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quote:
Ahh, don't be so sensitive. My mother doesn't understand what animating is or what it takes either. To the layman, it is a phenomenally long and tedious process just to get results that look short and simple.
Yeah.. and besides.. they do it all with computers nowadays.

... I love being dismissed like that.

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CavePainter
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Unfortunately I think its just another example that shows where animators are in the pecking order of the Hollywood studio system. If they had asked him what he thought of the other voice talent actors in the film or the director he would have had the typical Hollywood answer: "she was an amazing, talented professional. A true joy to work with such great actor... a great craftsman in the field. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful." blah blah blah.... How many times have we heard this crap? Watch any interview on Jay Leno or Letterman and you'll see it over and over. Seinfeld would have NEVER done that to another actor. Who cares if you piss off one of the laborers? [Gary]
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OFFBEAT
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Of course they treat it like lowly labor. If they treat it as a talented skill.. then they would be giving you reason to pay you more. The more you downplay what it is we do, the less money they have to pay us.
The more you take away the attention from the people who actually make the movie.. the more goes to the voice actors.
Most 'making of' dvd features is mostly voice actors waiving their hands about.. as if to conjure up the animation.
We just read scripts and push the right buttons. You'd think we'd be faster.

It's so easy, a caveman can do it.

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Steve Schnier
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It sounds more like Seinfeld was hyping himself at the expense of the animators. He's a stand up comic and there's a whole psychology to those guys.
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OFFBEAT
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... and I have the satisfaction of knowing it's not going to do the numbers they are expecting.
There's so much expectation for this movie.. and I haven't seen anything funny about it.. The animated trailers look painfully unfunny. Hanging onto a tennis ball?? WTF? Tivo.. we have Hivo. wah wah waaaah.

... Though, ironically, the animation looks above CG par. [Smile]

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CavePainter
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I was just thinking about those DVD making-of featurettes, Offbeat. They are almost always are made from the perspective of the ACTOR. Inevitably they ask the great Thespian how all those images are made and they say "I don't know.. I come back 6 months after my recording session and the character is moving!" Its amazing how little we learn about the process.

Hell, why not just ask the artists how they do their jobs?

....another reason why I love Pixar DVDs BTW.....

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Ganklin
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i didnt hear the interview so it could be taken out of context. however, he's the voice of this movie, and when he goes on to bash the animators, i'm sure there are people out there who will listen and believe him.

he makes us sound like we don't know what we are doing, and thats BS. the eye brows going up or down on a particular line of dialog is an acting choice which may or may not be how seinfeld would've played it. so instead he takes a pop-shot. i call BS.

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SNAKEBITE
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yeah, he's lame. When I use to work on Melrose doing leather clothes him and his girl would always pull up and double park right in the middle of the road to shop. always. Kinda summed it up for me right there. all about you dude.

just imagine if one of these stars, that make themselves look cool and hip by doing animation,
would hype the artists. just imagine.

that was always my beef with the projects I've worked on. always worked on small team productions
where the head dude does an interview and can easily mention us and give us props so to help us to get another gig after that one is over...but never. not once did anyone really, truly give
the team real credit and props. never. they might mention us and say thanks, but they never spent as much time talking about the team as they did talking about their personal trials and tribulations.

Whatever Seinfeld, its all about you dude. [thumbsup]

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katsat
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Bee Movie sounds like one of those ubiquitous celebrity children's book where a famous actor writes a 20-line story, pays a hired-gun illustrator and VOILA --he's a published author.

I have a question for animators here. How different is it working under a director who has a background in art and actual animation as opposed to a director who only has experience in live action?

Sometimes I think live-action film makers might be attempting animation as an alternate and statistically easier route to winning an Oscar - a la George Miller.

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Thunder Man
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It's kinda like my old CMsgt told me once..
"Somebody wants to shoot off their mouth, fine. But when you shoot off your mouth, expect to get hit by the ricochet."

Let's sit Old Jerry boy in front of a Maya set-up, and see if he can rig some keyframes, set lights, camera, and then tweak the footage.
Better yet, give him a pencil, paper and give him the scene to animate, since it TAKES SO LONG..

Getting hit by a ricochet hurts...


Having an informed opinion is usually based on years of experience and skill.

Uninformed opinion is simply gas escaping thru a fleshy body orifice, under low pressure.

Jerry: If all you can do is fart, please shut your mouth. Thank you.

Sheesh. What an idiot...

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Thunder Man
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One more thing.

If you wanna play in the sandbox, Jerry babe,
you can't do it unless you get sand on yer hands.
Takin' time to get it right is part o' that,
since you so en-frickin'-thralled with ani-O-mation takin' sO FRIGGING LONG.

Ahem.

Thank you.


(under his breath, as he walks away from soapbox)
..wotta maroon...!

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SoleilSmile
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quote:
I have a question for animators here. How different is it working under a director who has a background in art and actual animation as opposed to a director who only has experience in live action?

Spam Jam is an example of a film ran by live action directors and producers. They took all the story telling power from the animation directors and recreated the Looney Tunes to fit their own vision.
It was very frustrating for the artists who loved the Looney Tunes and always wanted to draw them. Unfortunately, due creative confines mandated by the live action directors and the pressure WB placed on said directors, the animators and were resigned to make Bugs Bunny a straight man for product placement.

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Ganklin
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the directors i have worked with who have an artistic background were able to listen to us and understood the process. they understood the consequences of making snap decisions. they were also able to speak on a level that made sense and their notes also were respectable.

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SNAKEBITE
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You don't know what animators do Jerry?
They just made you look good, thats one of the things they do...if you don't know what else they do, just know that one thing and everything else is cool.

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ApeLad
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Like Jerry has any acting chops whatsoever. His show was great, but he was carried by his co-stars when it came to acting.
He was on Letterman last night and came off incredibly smug. At first he was doing schtick (oooold schtick btw) until Dave snapped him out of it. Then he goes off on some lady who's suing his wife over a cook book. Calling her psycho and essentially dragging her name through the mud for accusing Mrs Seinfeld of stealing recipes. Class act all the way.
The animation looks pretty sharp though. I doubt Jerry had as much to do with it as he likes to think. Hopefully it was a case of the animators entertaining the whims of the golden boy for a few moments then getting back to work.

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-FP-
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Interesting Seinfeld mention from the Animation Show board:

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Lee Crowe
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Ooh! Let's animated HIM! Imagine a charicature of Jerry on stage, and in your best not-quite-through-puberty voice say:

"What IS it with this animation thing?? What do those animators even DO?? I just don't GET it!! You ask them to raise EYEbrows, it takes them four DAYS...! It's like they have to create every-single-frame-of-film...! Is THAT it? Is THAT what they do? Do they sit around creating every frame of film? Why don't they just...I dunno...ACT IT OUT?? It's CRAYzee...! I dunno..."

(raucous laughter from planted laughers...)

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Sharvonique
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quote:
It's so easy, a caveman can do it.
Hilarious!

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Randy C
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I didn't read any real digs on animators in that statement. I read it more as him just describing how particular he was about the acting. He says the animation takes forever, which it does, but he doesn't say that it was because animators are incompetent. THat movie looks pretty boring though.
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-FP-
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Jerry Seinfeld Defends Wife's Healthy Cookbook, Does McDonald's Ads

Video and more at the link

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Patty B
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What was missing from that quote was a laugh track.
And if you can't get anything done, you got to do it yourself--like he's an incredibly animated guy himself!
[Roll Eyes] <---eyes go up

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Ganklin
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so i actually LISTENED to the interview. he comes off as most live action people do: they like animation and think it can do a lot of cool stuff, but don't understand the process or what it takes.

i don't think he was crapping on the animators, however i think he was almost insulting them without knowing it. he says (in reference to the acting), "the animators can only make it up out of pure imagination"...which is a bit strange because where else does anything come from?

it would've been nice if he paid them a compliment though. a little pat on the back goes a long way.

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toonstruck
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yeah, i heard the NPR thing too. However, I didn't take it the same way. I felt like he was trying to be funny in a dry humor sort of way.

Just my impression.

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SNAKEBITE
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Really, he doesn't understand the process of animation? Really? Even after this film, he learned nothing?

thats the most insulting stance he could have.

If I was the star of an animated movie, I would
understand the process of the media that makes
it possible for me to be the star.

and be humble and grateful.

Im just saying.

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SNAKEBITE
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Hopefully it was dry humor.

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eboles
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So what if he makes fun of animators. Animators can't take it?
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SNAKEBITE
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Yeah, you guys! can't you take a joke? I mean, you've been so respected thus far, you should just take a joke for once. Geez, its like you guys
don't ever get respect on a professional level or something.

You got paid for the work, isn't that enough?

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VAN_Paulus
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Does it really matter if Seinfeld understands the minutia of the process ?
What I am really curious about is
Can he tell a compelling story and hold our attention for 90 mins ?

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SNAKEBITE
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Why can't he know both?
he's a professional who makes
lots and lots of cash.

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Charles
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I don't think it was intended as a slight against animators. Maybe he was having a hard time adapting to the medium. Sounds to me he was pretty much micro-managing the animation process as any micro-managing executive with no experience in the medium would do, not trusting the animators to do what they do best.

Something I learned from times when I've been interviewed for print is you can talk for 20 minutes with the writer of the article and maybe 20 seconds of what you said is condensed to a couple of sound bites and used.

For the sake of some balance, here's a quote of Seinfeld's from the article which is worth mentioning...

"That's another great thing about animation," he says, "is you can do the scene innumerable times, whereas in film, you're lucky to get two or three takes."

Although from what I saw from his appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show a few days ago, no mention or credit was given to the animators or any of the creative people involved in the production other than the voice talent. That was very obvious, yet not unexpected. Since she's a voice in the movie as well, it seemed to me they were celebrating the good time they had making the movie, like friends would do after having fun at an amusement park. I thought not mentioning the artistic talents behind the film was pretty insensitive, but animators are tough and they can take it. Except on an industry discussion forum.

Something else that struck me was the oh no not again factor when they mentioned Chris Rock as a voice. Osmosis Jones, Madagascar, Bee Movie, am I missing one?

One last impression, the subject of the film. Bees sue the human race for stealing their honey. Okay. There's wit to it I admit, but what are the chances this movie would have been produced as high profile feature film if the idea came from anyone else. Jerry Seinfeld can do whatever he wants in showbiz, that's how the film went forward from there.

I wish the film success of course, but not giving due kudos to the animation talent is not very sporting and spoils the celebration of its opening from within the community.

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Steve Schnier
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quote:
Although from what I saw from his appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show a few days ago, no mention or credit was given to the animators or any of the creative people involved in the production other than the voice talent.
True enough. But in live action, do they ever mention the wardrobe department? Or how often does the cinematographer get mentioned? Or the writer who came up with the story in the first place?

Did you hear the one about the Polish actress?
She slept with the writer. (It's a "writer" joke.)

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Mr. Fun
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I love what Snakebite said about double parking. I'm from Santa Barbara, and the town is full of rich jerks. One guy would stop his Rolls where ever he wanted, and go into a store to shop. He was so rich, he never even cared about getting a ticket.

Don't be too hard on Jerry, however. This is simply the usual PR bullcrap. Most people outside of the business haven't a clue what we do as animators. We're often considered the equivalent of "trained monkeys."

I still wish Seinfeld all the best with his new movie.

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RMills
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quote:
"That's another great thing about animation," he says, "is you can do the scene innumerable times, whereas in film, you're lucky to get two or three takes."
Just an FYI Charles, that quote was in reference to voice actors being able to do it over and over. Although he mentions making the animators do scenes over and over.

I do hope the film does well for the sake of our community (though I have my doubts). I just find it interesting how whenever Dreamworks does an animated film it's all about the celebs involved rather than about the actual film. It's kind of like promoting a book entirely based on the publishing company rather than the content of the book.
Plus, imagine if the tables were turned and anyone from animation did a public interview and said something about having to adjust what Sienfeld did over and over until it was right. Or that it took forever for him to do a line. Sienfeld (or his lawyers) might have something to say about it.

Just my observations. [Big Grin]

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eboles
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Seinfeld makes fun of another profession.
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Karen K
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You know, Sienfeld never struck me as funny. Ever. I never got why he was so popular. He just doesn't strike me as intelligent.

So my dislike for Jerry and Rene will keep me away from this film.

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Eric Hedman
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Someday, I wanna be a Senator form Krypton. [Smile]

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Charles
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Seinfeld is among if not my all time favorite sitcom. The show was hilarious and still is hilarious. What made it so good was the writing and of course the acting.

Also, I do beelieve that he was talking about animating eyebrows over and over to get them right, although the same thing could be said about dialogue.

I think there's too much being made of this. If animators want to be recognized then why not get a good press agent that can represent the community. The Guild is best set up for this. Or how about animators who're leaders at their studios taking some initiative to get the buzz out about what a honey of a job the crew does.

We can't expect celebrities to beehive the way we'd want them to. We should act as one. Like a swarm of determined artists ready to sting it to the public with the knowledge of who does what and what does who.

Let's not bumble, let's get beezy!

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