[-empyre-] Christopher Sullivan thoughts

christopher sullivan csulli at saic.edu
Mon Feb 22 04:41:14 EST 2010

having students work fast is always great, I do this court room reporting
assignment, that always gives birth to great things, I play a radio play, or
read something out loud, and the students have to keep up by drawing the
animation frames that come to mind. after we look at all of the results with a
lot a variation, but as interestingly a lot of similarities(this is an argument
that some creative decisions are more objective than subjective, most students
will draw several images that are very similar, that jump out of the story.
I have a lot of students who do destructive Kentridge like animation, or as I
like to say Caroline Leaf, Joan Krantze, Piotr Dumala, like. 
   But I do fear students creating "making of" kinds of work, so that is the
only danger area, re showing pencil tests, showing themselves creating the
I like to do this think in which students who want a drawn on film look just
eyeball a one inch by 2 inch frame and animate like that no light table. 
   Group animation projects work like this too. 15 students each responsible for
10 seconds on a theme, with some other agreements on visuals for continuity. 

Quoting Christina Spiesel <christina.spiesel at yale.edu>:

> I have been lurking (and very behind) in this wonderful conversation 
> about animation. This has been due to the midterm teaching demands and I 
> am still in them. Nevertheless I am moved to respond to Sullivan's 
> pedagogical question. My pedagogical practice involves getting a group 
> of law students from ground zero to making a 5 minute video (that may 
> contain all kinds of information, photographic, graphic, etc.) for 
> argument in a hypothetical case. I believe that to do this they need not 
> only instruction in production and editing, but in playing with how 
> words and pictures condition each other, how visual narrative might be 
> constructed, what a time-based experience (rather than single frame) is. 
> These elements underly animation as well and they are fundamental to 
> making the thing, whether analog or digital. Why not have students make 
> Kentridge like animations of their own work process however they want to 
> conceive of it, bringing together two streams of production as a bridge 
> to jumping into animation as a medium?
> Christina
> christopher sullivan wrote:
> > Hi everyone, as the week draws to the end, It has been an interesting mix
> of
> > thoughts and ideas. One thing that I wanted to talk about before things
> draw to
> > a close is my hopes for animation, and my thoughts on a pedagogical side. 
> >              I feel that the independent animated feature is going to
> increase
> > exponentially in years to come (just hope I get my film to screen before it
> is
> > a infinite pool) I do hope that these new films will not be plagued with
> the
> > remakes and adaptations that are now overtaking Hollywood. Besides Charley
> > Kaufman, who is getting original scripts produced?  Even Wes Anderson’s 
> > (another script writer) Incredible Mr. Fox, is an adaptation, again
> Charley
> > Kaufman prophetic, in the writing of Adaptation. 
> >              So the thing that we independent animators have to do is
> create
> > works that really take advantage of the qualities of animation that set it
> > apart from live action film, and particular for the west to catch up with
> some
> > of the cinematic chances taken in the east “for instance, Paprika” or the
> > highly disturbing Mindgame. Fringe feature anime is politically very
> > conservative in particular with gender politics, and I am not even talking
> > about being queer enough, I am referring to the heterosexually
> conservative,
> > and completely fraternal in the sense of the internal mind; men imagining
> > fantasies of women.   But these films are very sophisticated in regards to
> > filmmaking. How they play with time, how they create and destroy
> characters, in
> > constant sates of death and resurrection. So I hope that We as filmmakers
> can
> > get the backing to create innovative films that challenge audiences not as
> > people going to see animation, but going to see demanding cinema. See you
> in
> > the trenches.
> >  
> >          One other thought I wanted to bring up is whether you think that
> > animation is really a good tool to teach artists how to think. I have
> debated
> > this for years because of its very slow turn around, and the literal amount
> of
> > idea stuff that a student can handle during their studies. Every
> successful
> > student I have had, has had other outlets to plow through and discard
> ideas, be
> > it photography, comics, performance, live action films, writing. I have
> never
> > had an exclusive animator that I feel really used their time in school
> fully. 
> > I learned more about making art in my early twenties in school doing
> > performance than doing animation, though my artistic identity as an
> animation
> > artist via grants awards, employment, solidified at this time as well.  I
> am
> > pondering these questions; Is animation a medium that condenses other
> artistic
> > experiences into a less temporal vision, but not the best generative
> medium? Is
> > it a good intellectual teaching medium? Of course this is about matters of
> > degrees, as I do believe my students grow in my classes, but they do grow
> > slowly. 
> > What are people’s thoughts? 
> >
> >
> >
> > Christopher Sullivan
> > Dept. of Film/Video/New Media
> > School of the Art Institute of Chicago
> > 112 so michigan
> > Chicago Ill 60603
> > csulli at saic.edu
> > 312-345-3802
> > _______________________________________________
> > empyre forum
> > empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> > http://www.subtle.net/empyre
> >
> >   
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Christopher Sullivan
Dept. of Film/Video/New Media
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
112 so michigan
Chicago Ill 60603
csulli at saic.edu

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