(Banner image/graphic created by Ryan Campbell)
Judging by the opinion article I recently wrote on the subject, everyone has a different take on what the relationship between animation and cinematography is or what it should be.
Regardless of what stance you take, the fact of the matter is that animated films take many different approaches to how the ‘camera’ is utilized and how each shot is designed, framed, and set up in order to get the desired result. As Pixar President Jim Morris noted, CG is really just another set of tools to create imagery. And, whether or not an animated film has a DP (Director of Cinematography) credit or not, each and every animated film ultimately has its own style of cinematography. So, let’s explore cinematography in animated films, shall we?
Welcome to our introductory installment of a brand new open-ended Rotoscopers series entitled Ani-Matography!
What is Ani-Matography? It is a series of articles where I will explore a vast number of camera techniques, styles, and tricks used in various animated features.
But, there is an element to this series that makes it unique. Something that has never really been done before on this website:
That’s right. For the first time ever on Rotoscopers, I will look to you (the readers) to decide which films I cover during the course of this series. I already have the first two articles mapped out (How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Surf’s Up), but whichever film gets the spotlight next depends entirely on YOU!
Let’s begin with the comment section, where you will be sending me your suggestions. There is a certain way to do this and it’s quite simple:
1. Write the title of the film (or films) that you want me to cover.
2. Write a good explanation that points out a style of cinematography or any camera tricks used to achieve a certain effect in the respective film (or films). (Examples include Panning Shots, Tracking Shots, Shaky Cam, Wide-Angle Lens, Dutch Shots, etc.)
With each article in the series, I will be looking through the comments to see which suggestions stand out to me the most. If your suggestion gets picked for a future article, you will be credited accordingly. (If you want to be credited anonymously, don’t hesitate to say so.)
What to Send Me
I will accept CG-animated features and shorts from any and all animation companies. I will also accept stop-motion features and shorts from any and all companies that produce them. Keep in mind that, for purposes relating to the topic of cinematography, I will stay within this range of animated features (at least for now).
Due to the massive the differences are between both mediums, don’t expect me to cover any 2D-animated productions anytime soon. That being said, I will consider covering a 2D-animated feature or short down the road if anyone is able to make a good case for one in relation to its cinematography. I also won’t do any CG/live-action hybrid films, direct-to-DVD productions, or TV shows.
Again, if I hear a convincing argument, I might consider doing an Anime film or short sooner rather than later.
Lastly, while I don’t want to be too restrictive in regards to subject-matter, I would like it if your suggestions are kept squarely within the PG/PG-13 range. I absolutely won’t do anything R-rated.
Let’s Begin, Shall We?
All in all, I absolutely can’t wait to begin this new series. This project is designed to be open-ended. So, as long as the suggestions keep flowing in, I can continue for a pretty long while. There will be times when I will put this series on a temporary hiatus in order to focus on other projects. However, my hope is that your suggestions make this a project I will always come back to.
If you have any questions relating to the rules above, feel free to ask them in the comments section below. Also, feel free to start writing your suggestions right now!
(See this website for terms and definitions.)
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes