Monday, June 2, 2008
What Do We Want?
It’s taken me a while, but I’ve finally figured out what everybody in animation wants. Consider this our ultimate wish list! Forgive me if this seems extreme, but it is based on years of reading comments posted at several popular animation web sites. The following represents the thinking of too many of us in the animation community. Who am I to stand in the way?
1- We wish the right to impose our taste in animation upon others, holding it up as the one true type of animation worthy of praise, study, and continuation, while scorning all else.
2- We wish the right to perpetuate inaccurate history and keep the petty grudges and arguments of yesterday, alive today (such as between Jones vs. Clampett or UPA vs. the traditionalists.)
3- We wish the right to be forever disappointed in anything being done in modern day animation today while indiscriminately praising all that was done in the past.
4- We wish the right to only recognize good work only once it becomes old and never to recognize it in its time.
5- We wish to be entitled to high pay on satisfying and creative work all year round– despite the limitations of our own energy, enthusiasm, ambition, or talent.
6- We wish the right to share our irrational, misguided, and fear-based opinions anonymously as fact, posting them as comments on various blogs.
7- We wish the right to blame the “industry” for our lack of ambition or success.
8- We wish that animation was still the exclusive domain of trained professionals, and that we could close the door on the unwashed masses entering our field through programs such as Flash.
9- We wish the right to believe our industry is so fragile that we are all doomed if the latest animated feature should fail to break 200 million at the box office.
10- We wish the right to believe that ALL animation artists are infallible heroes and all producers, movie moguls; network presidents and executives are idiots or worse.
These Ten Commandments are each fun in their own way, allowing their beholders to vent their frustrations. Believe me, I fall prey to some shades of these myself. The problem is, this doesn’t get us anywhere. To hold these beliefs or dwell on them is to give all your power away to mystical forces. It takes a lot more courage to turn the mirror on ourselves and figure out how we might make the best possible contribution to this industry, however flawed it might be. There are a lot of good excuses out there, each one offering us an easy way out. Hopefully the ten above might snap some people into action to better tap into their own potential.