Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Pixar, I Want Your Babies

(This has to do with writing at some point, I promise, and not just my ridiculous fangirl crush on Pixar.)

So I'm almost positive I have mentioned before that even though I'm planning on a career in law, I have several alternate futures where I pursue other careers that I would never realistically be able to do. One, Food Network chef. Two, ballerina. Three, journalist. I have a lot of interests. I appreciate that about myself, because I'm usually not bored with anything I do.

Number four is animator. Yes, I have always thought it would be really cool to be an animator. Most people probably would find this a baffling thing to find interesting. I mean, I'm sure the childhood dream of normal people is to be an actor/actress. Something glamorous. Being an animator is the opposite of glamorous. You work long hours, you don't get to spend a whole lot of time with your family, you stare at a computer screen for hours, you probably routinely cry into coffee-stained napkins at 3 in the morning. Caffeine pills are no doubt a sizable part of your food pyramid. Worst of all, you don't go to red carpet events and nobody will ever know your name.

I can probably count on one hand how many live-action films I've watched and felt a sense of real artistic wonder from. On the other hand, I walk out of most animated films wondering what the hell I'm doing with my life. I love watching the way the light is animated to fall in skin, the textures from hard plastic to soft fur looking as real as anything, and the way an animated character's face can express the range of feeling as well as - sometimes even better than - a real person. The people at animation studios are creating these stunning works of raw, emotional art, and what am I doing to make life a more beautiful thing?

I've always found animation to be the most similar thing I can think of to writing. At some level, you're creating a story and watching it unfold before your eyes. And no, live-action films don't come close, in my opinion. Actors help make live-action films. Animated films spring onto the screen from brains and hands, pretty much out of nothing. And people work on them for years! They probably fantasize about seeing it on screen for the first time the same way writers fantasize about seeing their freshly bound new books for the first time with the shiny covers.
There are a variety of reasons why I haven't seriously pursued the idea of being an animator, the greatest being that the amount of artistic talent I have fits comfortably into a shot glass, but that doesn't mean I can't call it my dream job. If I did have talent and drive, I would totally give my right arm (well, maybe not, that might be useful in animating, so a few toes might be better) to attend Cal Arts and work at Pixar. Also, this article about John Lasseter, which is long, but seriously worth the read because it tells a great lesson about perserverence. He went from getting fired at Disney to creating Pixar to being appointed the head of Disney's animation department. You go, John Lasseter! I will live my animation dreams vicariously through you.

Or maybe I can be your lawyer one day, whatever can get me creepily closer to you.

Any other careers you think are similar to being an author?

1 comment:

  1. Maybe you'll take some animation classes on the side when you're out of school? I love dance, but I will never have a career in it, so I took adult lessons for a few years. Fabulous!