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Monday, March 12, 2012

Book "Animated Realism" by Judith Kriger

About the Book: With the development and accessibility of animation tools and techniques, filmmakers are blurring the boundaries between documentary filmmaking and animation. The intimacy, imperfection and charm of the animated form is providing live-action and animation directors with unique ways to tell stories, humanize events and convey information not easily adapted for live-action media. Animated Realism presents animation techniques as they apply to the documentary genre with an inspirational behind-the-scenes look at award-winning animated documentaries. Animators and documentary filmmakers alike will learn how to develop a visual style with animation, translate a graphic novel into a documentary and use 3D animation as a storytelling tool, all in the context of creating animated documentaries.
With insight and inspiration, Animated Realism includes interviews from industry luminaries like John Canemaker, Oscar Winning Director of The Moon and the Son, Yoni Goodman, Animation Director of Oscar Nominated Waltz with Bashir and Chris Landreth, Oscan Winning creator of Ryan. Packed with beautiful, instructive illustrations and previously unpublished material (including storyboards, photos and hand-drawn sketches) and interspersed with interviews - this is an exceptional source of inspiration and knowledge for animators, students and fans alike. With a companion website featuring animated shorts from leading animated documentaries, animators, students and documentary filmmakers will be able to analyze and apply Oscar-winning animation techniques to their own films.

About the Author: Judith Kriger is a Los Angeles, CA-based independent filmmaker and animator. She has worked professionally in the entertainment industry for over twenty years on various projects for film, broadcast, video games and the web. Ms. Kriger's credits include: Cats and Dogs, Antz, A Simple Wish, Bebe's Kids, South Park, Ren and Stimpy, The Family Dog and various Doughboy commercials. Ms. Kriger produces, directs and animates her own independent films and is currently working on an animated project about the Hebrew alphabet. She is an Assistant Professor of Film and Television at the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University. Ms. Kriger teaches introductory and advanced courses in 3D animation and visual effects production.

My Review: If you are expecting to learn how to do animation, this is not the book for you. This is a superb book on why we should use animation on documentary film-making. The author brings to the book all her experience and through interviews with some masters on the subject, she was able to compose a very easy reading and enjoyable learning tool. It gives you so many ideas and sparkles the desire of starting a new project right after finishing reading the book.
She interviews Yoni Goodman and talks about "Finding Pleasure in the Imperfection. Then comes Bob Sabiston, on "The Halfway Point to Reality". Next we have John Canemaker, talking about "Personal Documentaries". Fourth is Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre, a French-Canada's Rising Star, followed by Dennis Tupicoff, that talks about "Documentary Filmmaking with an Animator's Sensibility". Chris Landreth is the next one and his theme is "Making Ordinary Human Experience Extraordinary". And the last interview is with Paul Fierlinger, "The Iconoclastic Animator".

I recommend this book to all those who have a passion for film-making and would enjoy playing with animation but are afraid to try. You might get a lot of incentive and ideas from reading this book.
This book was written by Judith Kriger and was published by Focal Press in December 2011. Amazon.com was kind enough to provide this book for me through their Vine Program for reviewing and I was not request to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.

If you read this review, fell free to leave a comment!

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