Expert Speaks: Lets jump to Acting Shot!!
Shooting was going on at full swing in a small village near Pune for a small budget movie. One supporting actor needed for the forth coming scene to be shot at this location could not be cast till now. Director could be seen bouncing on phone, may be calling his casting director.
Near evening, jeep of the casting director flooded into the sets. He comes out and announces “Found the actor!!”. All eyes on the Jeep. He opens his rear door and guides out a skinny guy. Director wore a smile of relief. The guy tries to come towards the Director, but stumbles, staggers, limps badly, falls down two three times, his hands moved totally uncoordinated. Director and whole of the team zero in at the casting director. Casting director answers,”No worries. He is just learning to walk, move, understand gravity, his weight, coordination of his arms when walking etc etc. I will train him in the night and he will be ready for acting out the shot in the morning.”
Amm..I’m sorry the above story was not true, but I think I got the idea right. Animator cannot put his character to the acting shot, unless his character learns all body mechanics, weight, play of forces in the body, gravity, walking, moving. Unless moving the body believably becomes his(animators and his character’s) second nature.
Although very tempting, animation student should never try jumping to acting shots, unless he is able to get his body mechanics accurate. Any good character animation training program will have loads of exercises teaching body mechanics before starting acting shots.
Many studios while hiring freshers are more interested in checking if the applicant can get body mechanics right instead of giving them any acting shot during recruitment. Because it is possible for the Director to teach acting to an actor, but it seems bit difficult for the Director to teach the actor body mechanics, especially in one night 😉
Bye for now!! Keep Animating!!!