Monday, February 27, 2017

What's a Montage?

One of the most famous examples of what a montage can be, is the Breakfast Table sequence from "Citizen Kane". This montage shows the passage of time beginning as newlyweds and shows how the married couple grows apart over the years in only a few minutes. Notice how close they are in the beginning and the changes in clothing, age and attitudes. The sequence ends with the silent couple sitting far away from each other showing how distant they have become.

By contrast, here's the montage of drug addiction from "Requiem for a Dream", all done in Close Ups.

Moving to montages in Animation, here's one from Mulan showing her training, like the other real men in her company.

And one of the most touching montages is from Pixar's UP showing a whole life between two people without any dialogue. Only acting and reacting to what's going on in each scene. The music also helps set up the situations and gives the audience the emotion cues as well.

Animators need to see a lot of live action films, not just youtube videos. You need to invest in your movie education by seeing some of the classic films from the past. These films will help you in your animation future to reference a character, a famous scene or an acting performance.

Here is a great documentary about editing. This is more about live action filmmaking, but animators can learn a few things from it as well.

Do you have a favorite montage sequence? Please let me know...


Thursday, February 2, 2017

Cartoonist, Charles Addams

Not only the creator of the Addams Family, but Charles Addams, was a cartoonist of over 5,000 macabre and wickedly funny 1 panel cartoons

He had a passion for unique classic cars and quite the ladies man back in his day. He even had a series of affairs with Joan Fontaine, Jackie Onassis and even Greta Garbo!

Notice how the background use gray tones and perspective accurately in his drawings.


His first wife, Barbara Day resembled the character who became known as Morticia in 1933, many years before he married Barbara or either of his two other wives, all of whom had that similar look.

This photograph of Addams drawing Morticia as Barbara “poses” was nothing more than a set-up publicity shot. She hated all that referencing of her and Morticia and, after her divorce, she cut her hair into a page-boy style and wore it that way the rest of her life.

1st Wife: Barbara Jean Day           2nd Wife: Barbara Barb      3rd Wife: Marilyn Matthews Miller

Of the three wives, 2nd wife Barbara Barb looked even more like Morticia than Barbara Day. (She even got a nose job to match the character.) But she was an abusive woman who once attacked her husband with an African spear. She was also a lawyer, and she used her legal skills to force Addams to sign over the rights to many of his cartoons. By the time the couple divorced just two years into their marriage, Barb had complete control of The Addams Family rights, and she stalled production on the television show until the producers agreed to give her more money.


There were also 3 actresses who played Morticia; first played by Carolyn Jones in the Addams Family TV series and later by Angelica Huston in the feature film version and Daryl Hannah in the direct to video version.

From People Magazine: 10/17/1988 At first glance, his drawings seem crude, but art critic John Russell has noted “the rock-solid composition, the eye for scale and placement, the calculated ordinariness that lures us into the trap.” 

Cartoonists admire Addams’ sense of architecture. “You could build the rooms he draws,” says his friend Frank Modell, “and his figures are constructed like Romanesque temples.” James Stevenson, another friend, finds his buildings “weirdly animated. You’re not sure what’s alive in his drawings and what isn’t.” And all these effects, Modell says, were achieved with technical mastery. “When Chas painted a cartoon, he began at the top and worked straight down to the bottom—like a rug weaver.” 
Charles Addams wanted to be remembered as a "Good Cartoonist," but he became a great American Cartoonist and died on the morning of September 29, 1988, in his car in front of his apartment at West 54th Street in New York City. Tee Addams (Marilyn Matthews) his wife made a remark that could have been a caption for one of his cartoons: "He's always been a car buff, so it was a nice way to go," she told The New York Times.

Image result for charles addams car cartoons
Who was your favorite Morticia? Did you learn something new? Let us know in the comments section below or click on an ads, its works like a digital tip jar...

Learn more about Charles Addams

Chas Addams: A Cartoonist' Life

The World of Charles Addams