Saturday, December 10, 2011

Brad Bird and Ignorance

No, I'm not implying that Bird is ignorant. But a great many of the reporters who interview him about Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, which Bird directed, definitely are. Here's an article in the N.Y. Times about Bird and it contains this paragraph:
"Plenty of live-action directors have successfully taken on animated movies, including Gore Verbinski (“Rango”) and Tim Burton (“Corpse Bride”). But the flow almost never goes in reverse — if you can name a successful example you have movie historians beat — making Mr. Bird’s chance at bat a fascinating one for Hollywood to watch. A similar attempt will come in March, when Andrew Stanton, the director of Pixar’s “Finding Nemo” and “Wall-E,” unveils his live-action space saga, “John Carter.”"
So the writer has no knowledge of film or animation history. He doesn't know that Tim Burton's first job was as a Disney artist. He has no knowledge of Walt Disney(!), let alone Frank Tashlin, Gregory La Cava or George Pal. And he's unaware of Rob Minkoff or Frederick Du Chau.

I don't have exact numbers, but I think that more animation film makers have moved to live action than the reverse.

It's going to be painful reading this swill in the coming weeks.

UPDATE: A writer in the Philippines knows more about animation directors crossing over into live action than the N.Y. Times.

17 comments:

JPilot said...

Oh Mark, If you expect newspaper articles to be accurate, well researched and truthful, they would all go out of business. They're in the business of selling ink for a profit. They just went with a story that would keep people reading the paragraph further along without switching over to the comics page.
I am sure most of these newspaper guys had their start in tabloid trash papers writing about "Two headed alien sasquatch family living in the Pine Barrens".
It ould have been worse:

" Brad Bird is the first Transylvanian vampire teenager turned motion-capture cartoonist to make it to Hollywood after stepping out of the bus from his home town of Omaha, Nebraska to become THE first live action director and transgender to film Tom Cruise on the CN Tower in Durban using only an iPhone."

Rubbish, but it kept you reading.

David Nethery said...

The lack of research by the author of the N.Y. Times piece is appalling. This is not hidden, difficult to find information.

And add to your list of former animators who became live-action directors: David Swift .

David Nethery said...

And another example from the modern era:

Kevin Lima.

Anonymous said...

not to mention jean pierre jeunet...

Daniel [oeconomist.com] said...

Basic Point: Almost every time that one reads an article or watches a presentation by a “journalist” on an area in which one has some real expertise, one is going to see that the coverage is filled with some combination of misinformation and of dysinformation. The thing to take away from this experience is that when one is reading articles or watching presentations by journalists on areas where one lacks expertise, these are almost certainly going to be filled with some combination of misinformation and of dysinformation.

Do not accept what you are told.

Josue said...

Disgusting also how the author of the article want to affirm indirectly that animation is a medium for kids, and an easy one. ("Even though Bird denies it he is moving to live action to prove he is a good director. Animation is done under a cozy roof and sometimes alone while live action under harsh enviroments)x__x

Anonymous said...

everyone is unaware of fred dachau. It's best that way.

Anonymous said...

Terry Gilliam.

Tom Sanders said...

Hi my name is Tom Sanders and I am a freelance animator in London, England. I graduated in 2009 and did the whole travelling thing the year after and for the last 7 months I have been starting out as a 2D animation freelancer. I have had a few bits of work here and there working for big companies such as IKEA and Nokia, doing mainly internet commercials and corporates. My main aim is to work within the childrens industry, creating and producing cartoons for television and film. Obviously this is hard what with the current lack of tax breaks for the animation industry. However I am very positive that I will succeed and am always trying my hardest to improve my animation and build up both my contacts and skill base.


This year I decided to make a Christmas film that showcases my skills as an animator. It is a 2D hand-drawn film that was produced solely by myself and took me approx. 2 months to complete. I am a big fan of your blog and understand the high upstanding it has within the animation community. I wondered if you would be so kind as to put my film on your blog and help me reach a wider audience and hopefully help me grow as a freelancer. I would really appreciate it if you could do this or if you have any criticism of my film then that would greatly received as well. Here is the link to it on my Vimeo account: http://vimeo.com/33457170 and my blog is http://tcs16.blogspot.com/


Thanks for your time and I look forward to all your posts in the New Year

Merry Christmas

Tom Sanders

http://tcs16.blogspot.com/
tcs16@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

I guess you have movie historians beat, Mark. Haha

Brubaker said...

To add to the list of animation guys who did live-action, couple of failed examples:

Gabor Csupo (of Klasky-Csupo), who did two

Bill Plympton directed three or so LA films as well. Bill cites that they were not as successful as his animated shorts and was too expensive, so he decided to give up on that.

JPilot said...

I guess there is no love here for Mike Judge (Beavis and Butthead, King of the hill) and his 3 live action films, 2 of them became cult classics: Office Space and Idiocracy.

David Nethery said...

The NY Times posted a follow-up:


http://carpetbagger.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/13/readers-take-on-an-animation-question-that-stumped-historians/


Interestingly, among the people commenting in the comments section is Rob Minkoff.

Mark Mayerson said...

I'm glad that the author is being schooled by people like David Nethery and Rob Minkoff. The article is just plain wrong and the author is trying to weasel his way out of sloppy work by redefining his standard after the fact.

Brubaker said...

Can we count live-action people who switched to animation? That's what happened with Trey Parker and Matt Stone. They originally aspired to be live-action directors and got couple of films distributed before they gained success with "South Park"

Blammo said...

Vicky Jensen,Andrew Adamson,Jimmy Hayward.

Anonymous said...

Burton and Disney don't count. Do you know why?