Tuesday, June 16, 2009

TV Ghouls

Can't remember where I scooped this from, maybe metafilter?

It's a British comedy piece, but it's true for Canadian TV, and TV anywhere. And it's touches on a number of reasons why, about 8 years ago, I started to move away from live-action and towards animation. I looked at where I could head in live-action, where I'd be in 10 years, and it made my soul weep.

It also touches on why I'm so keen on this David Lynch "Interview Project," that uses media to actually show the connections humans have in an honest fashion, as opposed to using media to exploit others with a painful intent.

Am I some kind of fuzzy-wuzzy teddy bear, who only likes cuddly and sweet things done with media? No.

Is Bambi my one and only favourite movie? No. (Although I do love Bambi).

Considering my most recent purchase on DVD was Romero's Dawn of The Dead, I think it's pretty safe to say that I go in for all kinds of content.

I have just grown to truly loath much of what one has to do to get ahead in media production, usually for the purpose (in the grand scheme of things) of creating utter crap, that is truly destructive to humanity. What a waste of one's (relatively very short) life.

This clip is wickedly honest, and should be shown to all Film Students, repeatedly.

Click away:


jriggity said...


and dammm....


Carla Veldman said...

Art and income/business tend to have a tedious relationship, and too often I think the former is exploited by the latter.

I'm wondering though in which ways the animation industry differs from that of live-action (beyond the obvious example of reality tv)?

ChrisW said...

Maybe one can look at an animation student's dreams compared to a film student's dreams. As a broad generalization, the animation student dreams of being the best artist she or he can be- as a designer, an animator, a layout artist, a storyboard artist, and so on. In short, she or he strives to be a better artist, based on the basic skills and passions that she or he possesses. It's what she can produce, almost with her bare hands. And so we see (in animation) an individual artist striving to become a better artist.Even in a group work environment (which most productions are), this is possible.

The film student dreams of lights, cameras, and action. This dream, however, is one that is very much a dream of something that he or she cannot personally yet achieve. It's a dream that, to be realized, requires (at the very least) significant amounts of capital, technical equipment, and crew members.

But these facts are not a part of the original dream. The original dream is based on what is on the "big screen".And what is on the big screen is a million miles away from what the student can achieve (in terms of production value, and story complexity).

A film student also must (to a large extent) play but one role in a production, amongst many, many, many other humans. And these roles are often extremely removed from the "Hollywood glamour". Lugging sand bags around inside a cube truck in 30 degree weather is the reality for someone starting out. Look out, Oscars!

For the animation student, now graduated and working in the industry for 5 years, there is cynicism, tarnished dreams, but also (and this is vital)- there is STILL a connection to that original dream- the dream to become a better artist. The animation grad can look at his or her work, and still see a direction connection between that original "buzz" of picking up a pencil and drawing and what he or she is doing professionally.

The film grad, having worked 5 years now, is quite possibly still as far away from that original "big screen" dream as she was when a student. With so many tricky, difficult ducks to line up in order to get a chance to make something, she keeps getting coffee or throwing sandbags around, as the dream gets further away.

Animation students can make art (and find happiness through that act) very simply. It can happen.

A film student also can, but he or she is in a medium that has much more baggage that must be dealt with before getting that happiness from creating art.

I think this video helps point out this giant gap for film students between reality and their goal. A film student's life after graduation doesn't HAVE to play out like this, but it certainly CAN. For a film student to watch this as he or she finds a path through the industry is simply like showing someone who is going to walk through the Amazon some pictures of jaguars, snakes, and fire ants.

Have a nice trip, but watch out for dangers!

Of course, the video also has lots of merit for ANYONE working in the real world, regardless of industries. But that's for my other blog: "www.grumpymanwhohateseverything.com"

ChrisW said...

Another thought. A film student certainly can get immediate gratification from making her art. A film can be completely created by one person, with very little equipment, for almost no money. Do a search for "cinecycle" and "Toronto" and you'll find a whole community that largely functions this way.

But- the average film student not only doesn't know about this way of working, but is discouraged from thinking in this way, since the industry needs workers, not individuals that want to toil away on their own, making little films they show to small audiences.

Film and video can be a remarkable way to develop an individual, artistic voice. But through being trained to function in this medium, that fact is often lost amongst big equipment, huge budgets, pushes to get distribution, screenings, more funding, bigger stars, better equipment, nice locations, better marketing, bigger budgets... sigh.