Monday, February 23, 2009

the Take. A cautionary tale

I was looking at a lot of student work recently, esp with the directed study projects I'm assisting with this term and thought I'd muse on them for a moment.

Takes are tricky things. In doing pantomime, they are a really clear way of showing a quick emotional shift in a character, or add a bit of a scene beat, but when used improperly, they can make your performance cliched.

Head on over to John K's blog, for a great post on takes, as well as this great clip

Takes as extreme as these are challenging to do in 3d, and not always appropriate, but scroll through the images John's a great primer on the largeness of a move...nothing timid about any of them.

his opening quote is pretty apt.

"Everyone knows what a "take" is, right? It's a startled or surprised reaction.
All animators use them. Most use them as simple punctuation, an accent that draws your attention to the a character's surprise or change of emotion.

You're not supposed to really notice them.

It's just another punctuation tool, to help the audience follow what is happening in the story."
So be mindful of using takes in a cliched way. If a character notices something, show an inventive way to communicate it. If a character notices a bus pulling away, you don't need them reeling back with a lightbulb over their head - maybe they start scrambling towards it in a panic, their surprise showing through the delay of either the reaction or the body catching up to what it should be doing.

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