|Stan Green placeholder image. Anyone got a photo of him?|
There were the drawings to go by, of course. They were delicate and bold at the same time, but very sure in there execution. I seem to remember blue pencil under the graphite, very loose compared to the precise black lines that had been laid down over them. There was just one character, a man who talks expansively about something (the product or service being advertised, I have no idea what.)
And it was full animation--oh, yes!--straight from a Disney veteran.
As I have said in other posts, I was self-taught, having learned everything I knew about animation either from books or from experience. I had never even worked with another animator who knew more about it than I did. What did I know at that time? It might be easier to tell you what I didn't know.
I knew the 12 Principals, but there were some I did not fully understand. I didn't know much about timing. I didn't know you should not try to show more than one thing at a time. I didn't know how to think deeply enough about a scene before starting to animate it; thus, I often did things over, or things came out flat, and I didn't know why.
But as an inbetweener? Oh yeah. I could do literal inbetweens in my sleep, following arcs of movement and keeping the mass the same, and I understood the spacing charts. yet there were things there I had never seen before--little marginal thumbnails of an eye closing and opening for drawings 21, 23, 25 and 27, for example. Or a notation sketch about how an arm should look as it was being raised.
I believe that working on this sequence raised my aesthetic standards, too, as I tried to get my own drawings to the same level as those of Stan Green. I worked through the assignment with confidence, and when I turned it in, he flipped through it and said, "Yeah. I can work with this."
Of course I don't know what he really might have thought, but just to know it was acceptable seemed like high praise.
Stan had plans to teach a course in animation film making, which I believe never got off the ground. My further hope of getting more animation lore out of him directly was not realized either. Like a lot of experts, he was not a natural teacher and we ended up only hearing some amusing anecdotes about his experiences with Milt Kahl. A year or two later, I learned that he had died.
Still, I value the experience of being his inbetweener for that one brief moment in time.