Dean Wellins came to IMD to talk to the animators about story. He was co-directing Rapunzel recently and now is working on a short at Disney in Burbank. There were a few technical difficulties, but he winged it until we got the visuals working. He had some great lines about story like “Its about strong personalities and their traits or idiosyncrasies causing conflict”, “very few, if any, movies exist where the main character didn’t have a strong personality.” I can think of a Cohen brother’s film starring Billy Bob Thornton that comes very close, but I think he’s right.
He showed some clips from Road to Perdition and Amadeus that he thought were brilliant ways to introduce a character or show a character discovering something. From Amadeus he showed the scene where Salieri first meets Mozart as a womanizing lowlife that can speak backwards and how the truck into Salieri’s facial expression when he realizes ‘this is Mozart!?!’ was the perfect cap to the scene.
The Road to Perdition scenes were about the little boy discovering his dad is a killer for the mob by 1. seeing a gun and 2.witnessing a murder. He also showed the editing in the warehouse murder scene…how the pacing increases as if the heartbeat of the boy is accelerating. then during the first murder of some gangster it’s in slow motion and then we hear him take in a breath.
In all I wish we could have had him for about 3-4 hours. I think it’s very important for animators and filmmakers to think ’story’ all the time. I never received any good lectures at San Francisco State about story. wished I did….
December 4th, 2009