Jun 28, 2006

Pickford was a great actress...and director, and producer, and studio head...



I'm waiting for a friend to go to Hollywood and see a rare 1914 Mary Pickford film, "Behind the Scenes"...doodling on the cintiq as I wait. Pickford, as most of you know, was a huge film star back when the concept of being internationally famous was still a new idea. There's actually a great deal to learn from watching her onscreen that's helpful to animators and story people. When I get back, I'll write a little bit more about it. But in the meantime--Pickford's great, she's subtle--not what you'd think(if you're thinking "Baby Jane" that is).

7 comments:

David Germain said...

She's also Canadian. WOOT!

Mike Milo said...

Hi Jenny,
You prolly don't remember me but I worked on Animaniacs with you... I believe you were doing boards and I was in the Character Layout pool. Anyway, I've been reading your blog for a while now and love the drawings you put up. Especially the digital Cintiq ones. I just recently got a tablet PC and I was wondering what programs or brushes you use to draw your works of art? How did you get that nice 'amrker' look on the mary Pickford drawing?

Jenny said...

Hi Mike Milo! Of course I remember you! : )
How's it going? Thanks for coming by the blog and the nice words!

Re: the Cintiq: it's all Photoshop, all the time(PS CS2)...the brush that I used for that Pickord drawing is one my friend invented from the standard Photoshop preset brushes, just altered--I have several, a couple I've made and my favorites that are from my co-story friends--who are experts at PS. This one is mainly a result of taking a regular, medium-line pen, and altering the brush details in the brush window. If you have access to PS, play with the "shape dynamics" and "other dynamics" and you'll get all kinds of cool variations in pressure-results, the texture--and the point of this one was made into an almost calligraphic shape, too(another thing you can tweak). I don't know if this helps...it's mostly a matter of fooling around until you get a result that looks good to you. : )

Jim Korkis said...

Still loving and recommending this blog. In fact just wrote an article where I refer folks to this site.

Mary Pickford was a huge Mickey Mouse fan. There are test photos of her as a live action Alice in Wonderland to be in a feature film from the Disney Studios with everything else animated. Walt quickly found that sweet Mary was actually a hard-headed business woman and didn't pursue the project (planned before "Snow White" by the way). He was afraid she would just take the project over completely. It was also Mary who championed Walt's animated shorts being distributed by United Artists.

Rod Bennett said...

Great post, Jenny. I've been saying for years that animators ought to spend MUCH more time watching silent movie acting. A good animated character is a caricature; the performance such a character gives ought likewise to be a caricature. Naturalism is not what animation is all about -- so trying to get a naturalistic performance out of a talking fox is (pardon the pun) barking up the wrong tree. Seems to me that time spent with John Barrymore, Lon Chaney, Mabel Normand, Charles Chaplin, Doug Fairbanks, Lillian Gish, and the rest would pay any animator back in spades. This stuff, after all, is what the actual INVENTORS of animated acting (the nine old men, etc) grew up watching!

Mike Milo said...

Thanks Jenny!
I guess I will play around with the brushes a bit more in Photoshop. I also found Alias Sketchbook Pro to work well too! Sorry to post something of irrelavent nature here. I love Mary too! =D

Alina Chau said...

beautiful elegant drawing! :)