Ever since I started doing a film studies course, I’ve developed a number of bad habits. I can’t watch a scene without picking apart the composite parts, I criticise every tiny little thing and I cannot stand wasted screen-time. Seriously, you start seeing padding like you’ve never seen it before, and it drives you mad.
On the flip side, I’ve been looking back at a lot of movies I loved when I was younger, and I now realise why I loved them, even if it flew over my head. Just take the Slumber-Works classic, Prunes of Egypt. It’s the underappreciated classic about a man who learns to talk to trees and goes on a divine-appointed mission to prune every tree in his native land. I hear they got genuine Melbourne arborists to not only advise on the correct methods of tree removal, but also to perform some of the motion capture. Didn’t know that was a method for 2-D animation, but hey, there you go. I’m learning a lot from the experience.
I’m actually noticing a lot of 3D work mixed in with traditional animation, even in movies way back in the 80s. They had to keep it subtle back then, but it’s there. Like in Prunes of Egypt, in the big dramatic tree pruning montage they have these wide, sweeping shots of the scenery. You wouldn’t notice unless you freeze-frame, but it’s all CG. Just…really 2D-looking 3D. That’s a real thing, I guess.
I think the key to good animation is realistic movement, which you can usually only do with a bigger budget than your average cartoon. You know, nailing all those tiny human movements that we wouldn’t think add in, but make everything more natural. And I’ve SEEN tree trimming here in Armadale. I can tell they nailed it.
Don’t you just hate it when a really good song is ruined by nasty language? Or when a pizza is ruined by that ONE terrible topping? Funny, how easy it is for a little thing to ruin a big thing.
I should make that a children’s book. But in the meantime, I need to find a fix for this sticky situation of having the whole family under one roof and Aunt Mabel gumming up the works. She HATES Christmas, so whatever has changed in the meantime, I simply don’t know. She spent the entirety of her last Christmas visit sitting by the window, saying that our geraniums needed pruning and that really needed to call the tree removal people on the weeping birch because it was ‘tilting’. After two hours of this, I think I was the one who was tilting…
And who shows up on boxing day? The Ashwood tree removal people, of course. Mabel must’ve snuck up to her room and called, telling them it was a ‘dire case’. There was nothing wrong with that birch tree. It was tilting because it’s a weeping birch and that’s what it does!
Oh, and then there was a few years before, when Mabel hadn’t quite decided whether she just hated Christmas or whether it was just a phase. I wasn’t even a teenager at the time, but brought her own gardening tools and spent the whole day outside, grumbling at how Mum had let the place turn into a tip and how ashamed she should be having the entire family here at Christmas, looking at this terrible garden.
Apparently she didn’t have her lightning-fast Melbourne tree trimming people on call that year, otherwise I feel like they would’ve been at the door. And now I’m paranoid about how our garden looks for when Mabel comes along and starts judging every aspect. I should just…close the curtains for the entirety of Christmas.