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Animation writers are a problem...

Share your views on the state of the Animation Industry.

Animation writers are a problem...

Postby Charles » Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:08 am

... when they don't know animation.

If you've ever worked from a script written for an animated production, especially in television, you're likely aware of what I'm talking about.

Many of the problems that arise in production can be directly attributed to the script.

When the writer isn't aware of what's involved in the animation process, when they write whatever they want without any regard as to how it will be implemented in the final product, it not only creates a difficult production scenario, it can directly affect the lives of the artists and other personnel involved in the production.

Case in point, the writer calls for the villain to be trapped with a fishing net. Have you ever tried animating a fishing net?

Or someone is tripped up by hundreds of marbles that are tossed out onto the floor. Or there's a cheering crowd scene at a sporting event and everyone's waiving pennants and banners, or the hero of the story is saved by a flock of sparrows that sweep in and fly him away to safety. Then to make matters worse, the scene is done and the producer decides that instead of sparrows, it should be a swarm of bees, and everyone is forced to work over the weekend for free to make the change. Then the producer changes their mind and wants to go back to sparrows cuz bees don't lay eggs and it would be funny if an egg or some bird poop hit the villain in the face as they're flying away.

This isn't as far fetched as you may think, and it happens to this day at studios and on productions that are managed by people who don't fully comprehend what's involved in animation.

The best way for artists to address the problem is to first of all, confront it when it's encountered. In a professional manner, educate a producer or whoever happens to be in charge, that this is counter productive and will cause many difficulties that can easily be avoided by thinking things through at the beginning, when the script is being written.

Another way of avoiding these kinds of situations is to get artists involved in the development process while the story is being written. They can tell you what will and won't work, and I'm willing to bet that more often then not, they'll have a better solution and a more creative scenario as a result.

Also, train a writer new to animation as to how writing for animation works. Have them develop an awareness of and a respect for the medium. Think things through and be conscious of what's involved in the production process, and how the scenes they're writing will play out once it does go into production.

Educating writers in the craft of writing for animation is not half the battle, it is the battle, and it will make a huge difference in the quality of the production and in the lives of the production team when a script is developed that is sensitive to the medium and keeps the animation process in mind.
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