Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Backstage at an Animated Series

Review

This is a young childrens' book, one of a series. Others are Backstage at a Movie Set, at a Music Video, at a Newscast, and At A Play.

This one is written by Danny Fingeroth. Copyright 2003.

I like reading children's books. On one level, it's interesting to see what the kids are being taught, and on another level...I learn things.

This is a book for 10- 12 year olds - I'm bad at judging what age level books are written for, but it's got 48 pages and an index...

Because the Powerpuff Girls were on the cover, I expected it to be a behind the scenes look at that particular series, but not so, it was a general book...mentioning everything from the making of animated movies to shows like The Simpsons.

Kids will probably find it interesting, although the author didn't really explain how animation works, the idea of "persistence of vision."

I did learn something, or had something brought home to me that I should have known. Actors don't record their lines after the movie is animated - they record it at the beginning. That way, the animators can match mouth movements to how the actors say a particular word - quickly, slowly, angrily, etc. I always thought the actor would need to see the action on screen and mouth to that - but that's only when they're dubbing a foreign language movie/tv show.

Another thing this book didn't mention, but which I knew, is that actors in a movie don't act with each other when they record their lines - more often than not each actor is alone in the studio with a director...so no one to feed off of when they're acting.

Anyway, whenever I read a book I take notes for possible articles - not enough here to use as the basis for an article on animation...though I really should research the Powerpuff Girls... I've only seen a couple of episodes many years ago and I think they were pretty cliched...interested only in "girly" things until they had to go out and save the world...crying at broken fingernails, etc...

The author also provided two webpages chock full of info for kids of all ages - highly recommended:

Jerry Beck's Cartoon Research
Animation World Network

1 comment:

Bob Andelman said...

You might enjoy this interview with former Spider-Man comics group editor Danny Fingeroth. Fingeroth is also the editor of "Disguised as Clark Kent" and "Superman on the Couch," and is editor of "Write Now! magazine.