Thursday, 29 October 2009


I don't know whether or not it's a good or bad thing but I saw far too much of myself in Charlie. My hatred of sterile, banal, unoriginal Hollywood. Anxiety's and insecurities over my work, trouble with women, trouble with with other people. TOO MUCH but hey he wrote a great film and I think I'm on my way to making a great character design project (oh fuck). As for the postmodernism aspect. It's nice to see films in a new light. Trying to decipher it logically makes my head feel like a washing machine however mostly because it continually changes focus throughout, becoming a film that's about something different at every turn, for example I loved the change in pace three quarters of the way through when it starts to become pastiche of Rear Window and other psychological thrillers.

I would add this and Being John Malkovich to the potential list of subjects for the essay.


tutorphil said...

I'm not sure everyone shared your enthusiasm for the film yesterday, but I just love it because it's true about so many things. I too recognise Charlie's behaviour! Also, I think Meryl Streep is just luminous - all that yeaning and understatement. I know - when the film suddenly tips over into its own 'mission statement against Hollywood' - and the whole thing being a film about nothing and the audacity of killing of his own brother; the Ouroboros indeed! A delight: I haven't seen it yet myself, but I suggest you also check out Synedoche - same territories. I also think you're on the cusp of a memorable character design project, but there is something you must engage with quickly - and that is the hard graft of ensuring your characters work in terms of 'character design', so, if you haven't done so already, invest in some human anatomy books, some 'How-to-draw characters' books (there's a bunch in the library) and make sure that your concepts are served well by their eventual execution - don't be too proud - or Charlie like - to ask for that kind of 'conventional' help!

Tom Beg said...

Do you mean how they're presented in order for someone other than me to be able to reproduce them? Expression sheets, turnarounds etc or is there something else that you think I'm not doing now in terms of being a 'character designer'?

tutorphil said...

Yep - that's what I mean - dynamic poses etc. - getting your characters to 'act' on paper and convey themselves in that instinctive 'non-verbal' way; like with Gabriele's bunny, which is funny 'on the page' and his villain, who is villainous/comedic by dint of his proportions and the 'zing!' of his moustache! I'd suggest character design is a kind of short-hand, wherein psychologies and traits are somehow boiled down into the simplest of proportions so that they speak without being asked - I'm not suggesting for one minute that you're not doing this, but I think there are lots of conventional principles (Donald Kaufman here!) that 'work' - it's the distilling process that ensures that the disparate world of Gerald Scarfe can sit with Disney, without the wrong kind of dilution or degradation.