Creative Substance of Animated Film, or, What Is the Director Doing to Us?
As opposed to feature and documentary films
where the camera tries to follow the course of real time
by photographing, animated film develops by filming the artistic
objects in real time at one’s wish, and then »reproducing«
them in new time. The act of movement creation is the first-class
art substance of this art form. Therefore, animation is not
the »exhibition« of artistic objects that change at the rate
of 25 pieces per second, but an authentic act of movement
creation, a sort of »revival«. Because of stylization which
stems from the alchemic technological and creative act of
movements’ visual reinterpretation, from the very beginning
the animated film took the position of »metaphoric« spheres’
communication, and the feature film of »real« ones but the
latest technological possibilities brought them close together.
There are about forty different professions participating
in the animated film production, nine of which are considered
»artistic« or »authorial« (by animated serial ten): synopsis
and script author, characters and backgrounds’ visual identity
author, main characters and backgrounds’ sketcher, main animator,
director and composer.
All the production professions are
reduced to three key groups that create new, media substance
and now I came to the sketch — the triangle of the animated
film »creative software«. The story is the only apex of
the triangle which is shared by animated and feature films.
The second apex of the triangle is the films visual identity,
design, that is, the key visual substance of the animated
film. The third apex is distinctive of the animated film
— the animation, a unique creative procedure that »revives«
visual identity in a unique way and gives it the exact
interpretation at the time of reproduction. And the most
dramatic part in this definition of the »creative substance«
is that there is no directing! Namely, in an animated film
it is »understood«; when the opening credits name the »director«,
they are not only thinking about the author who directed
the film, but also about the person responsible for the
film’s general creative scope. But, as opposed to the feature
film, when the shooting script is elaborated, the animated
film’s director brings his creative energy and the whole
concept to the end; he gives the core creative sense to
the film before the production, during the »pencil« phase.
the animated film history there have been many examples
of directors who could not draw (Vatroslav Mimica, Dušan
Vukotić, Walt Disney). The animated film directors have
to be very familiar with production technology, have sense
of visual, music and animation components, but they do
not have to be sketchers, writers, animators or musicians.