Sunday, 21 March 2010


  1. Online Interim Review 23/03/10

    Hi Ben,

    Good to see you getting stuck in - but some constructive criticism to follow. I think it significant that Jackie struggled to understand the 'conceited' aspect of your character; in terms of staging, you need to further refine act 1 - so that the audience absolutely understands that the cuckoo clock likes the limelight; this is about performance and 'acting' - but also about character design, so I also encourage you to revisit your design; I think you need to simplify its shape further and employ the silhouette method to ensure that it communicates; see this post from a current third year project for a great example of character being successfully conveyed through the simplest, most readable means...

    You'll see how the first silhouettes (on the left) communicate very little, but the silhouette on the right is much more successful.

    Also - in terms of staging and your audience 'getting it', your cuckoo clock needs to be of the traditional kind - as you posted previously - the clock you've created is much too generic; your audience needs to understand your premise in about 2 seconds, so make it easy for them.

    In terms of your essay choice - be very careful - Walt Disney is a GREAT BIG TOPIC; loads has been written about him and it can be difficult to find something specific to say - be sure to identify what you want to investigate in relation to Disney; please reading the following post carefully for guidance.

  2. Use your introduction* to state clearly the investigative intention of your written assignment and the means by which you are going to support your discussion; for instance:

    ‘This essay will investigate the animated films of The Brothers Quay in relation to Freud’s theory of the Uncanny - with particular focus on Street of Crocodiles (1986) and The Comb (1990)…


    ‘The stop-motion animator, Ray Harryhausen is arguably the father of modern day cinematic fantasy. What follows is an investigation of his life and work in relation to the development of special effects…’

    Stylistically, it is often clarifying to begin with a key-note quote or bench mark statement that sets the scene for the discussion… for instance:

    ‘… the Brothers Quay's works are independent of any definable genre; indeed, the imitation of their unique style which can be observed in films of other animators are a complimentary gesture to the auteur style they have developed. Throughout their opus, a continuity can be observed - Quays' devotion to the marginal, the nobody and the unnoticed, elevated into the sublime…’ (Buchan: 1996)

    In her essay, Shifting Realities – The Brothers Quay – Between Live Action and Animation, Suzanne Buchan observes that other animators have imitated the unique style of the Brothers Quay. This investigation seeks to trace that influence by comparing their short 1986 film, Street of Crocodiles with Henry Selick’s Coraline (2009)…

    * If you can’t provide a succinct introduction for your discussion, chances are you’re not quite ready to write the essay. You need to make your argument clear – without one, you are submitting a ‘blancmange’.

    When referring to a film for the first time, always give proper title (with capital letters!), release date and director; after that, you can use title only. Please check spelling of film title – if it’s a made-up word, the spell check won’t know the difference!

    When referring to a person for the first time, use full name – after that, use surname only.

    You must use Harvard Method for quotations!

    Use footnotes for ‘additional’ information that is important or contextualizing but ‘outside’ of the main body of the essay.

    Please double-space your written assignments!

    You must provide a paper-copy at time of crit!