Some more of the great artwork included on the new version of "The Jungle Book", this time from the Visual Development category.
I meant to add to my last post about editing in animated film a bit about texture as it relates to editing. As we all know, contrast is at the heart of any artistic discipline: if you want to make a color look really bright, you place it against dull colors; if you want a passage of music to feel really fast, you put it after a passage of music that is very slow, and if you want to animate a really strong "stretch" you put it after a very strong "squash".
So obviously the same thing applies to editing film: to make a section of a film feel frenetic, exciting and fast-paced you need to also have areas of your film that move slower and more restfully. A film that is all fast paced rapidly cut action will dull the senses of the audience until nothing has any meaning.
Anyone that has seen a movie can tell you that the emotion of a film is what you remember about a film and what moves you to fall in love with a film. And everybody also knows that the emotion of a film only comes across in the quiet moments between characters where everything else falls away into the background. Rarely do Michael Bay movies have quiet moments and rarely do those movies have any emotional connection with the audience (nor are they meant to).
As a funny side note, it's interesting that trailers for mainstream movies don't really sell themselves by showing the quiet emotional moments. They show all the fun stuff in the trailers because that's what we all go to see. If they showed the heavy emotional moments we would think "Ugh, that movie is going to be a big downer. My life is depressing enough, no thanks, I'll pass".
So they show the fun stuff to trick us into going to see the thing. When "Toy Story 2" came out all the ads showed all the fun stuff: Woody finds some new pals! A crazy fun cowgirl sidekick! A goofy horse that loves to run around and play! A kindly old prospector toy who's never been out of his box! And another deluded Buzz Lightyear! All of your pals back for more fun!!!! Sign me up!
And then you get to the theater and, yes, TS2 delivered all that fun stuff and more. But what parts of the film do you really remember? What parts of the film really left an impression on you? Jesse's song where she explained how she had been left behind by the girl she loved. Woody's struggle between a future left behind by the boy he loves and a bid for loveless immortality behind glass.
Anyway, that's just a side note, as I said...my real point is that editing is as much about contrast as any other art. Any good film uses contrast to create rhythm and texture as well as to create a meaning to the audience. A film that is all slow going tries the patience of the viewer until it lulls them into a dreary hypnosis. A film that is all fast action feels relentless and wears out the audience until they feel nothing. Just as any painting needs empty, blank areas for the eye to rest so does the "canvas" of a film.
Fear is as much a part of filmaking as any other art, although there is so much money on the line in the movie business that maybe the fear is amplified even more. Fear can make people do things that seem inexplicable. I've seen many, many people who have a huge fear of boring the audience (to be honest I've mostly seen it in executives, the people who are most aware of how much money is being spent along the way). This is, actually, a healthy fear to have but it leads people into thinking that the film has to keep moving at a fast clip lest anyone get the slightest bit disinterested. People seem to forget that a slow, emotional scene can be just as compelling as a fast one (and usually they are much more compelling). So this is another reason that sometimes at the eleventh hour of production on a film people will sit down with the editor and trim wherever there seems to be a little "fat". Out of a fear of boring the audience (I've never ever seen someone with a fear of moving too quickly and leaving the audience confused or unsatisfied, but that would make for a good balance).