Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Animation Unleashed

100 Principles Every Animator, Comic Book Writer, Filmmaker, Video Artist, and Game Developer Should Know
By Ellen Besen

Book Review
By Ann Baldwin

Ellen Besen has been working in the field of animation for over 35 years and is a former (15 year) faculty member of Sheridan College’s School of Animation. Highlights of her career include directing award-winning films for the National Film Board of Canada. Her films have been shown in multiple international festivals and at such institutions as MOMA, and her film analysis workshops are featured regularly at the Ottawa International Animation Festival. In her book, Animation Unleashed: 100 Principles Every Animator, Comic Book Writer, Filmmaker, Video Artist, and Game Developer Should Know ~ Illustrated by Bryce Hallet (Micheal Wiese Productions 2008), she takes you on a fun adventure into the wild land of animation, where you’ll expand your vision on and skills in the craft of storytelling and filmmaking.

She will show you some of the hidden worlds, where you can uncover ideas for your scripts. You’ll learn one of the simplest methods for writing a great animated script, which also applies to writing live-action feature films. She shares many techniques for creating suspense, mystery, tension, and emotions in your audience.

You’ll explore every nook and cranny on your journey with Ellen as she covers such topics as caricature, movement, fantasy, reality, props, sound, backgrounds, special effects, and more. She uses hundreds of wonderful illustrations and films such as Toy Story, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, Monsters Inc, Fantasia, Bug’s Life, Lady and The Tramp, and Finding Nemo as examples.

Ellen states that “Action doesn’t communicate unless it can be seen.” She reveals a quick test-method to ensure that your character’s actions will been seen clearly by your audience. You’ll also discover one of the most powerful tools and key elements for communication that will give more meaning to your character’s actions.

Just like children, animated characters are great at not only expressing emotions on their face, but showing you how they feel as well; so much can be learned about creating memorable characters and stories through the art of animation. I highly recommend Animation Unleashed for all animators, filmmakers, and screenwriters, who want to gain the use of valuable techniques and learn a simple language for communicating to their audience with ease.

You can connect with Ellen Besen on Facebook at and purchase a copy of Animation Unleashed at Micheal Wiese Productions, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble.

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