Ideas for the Animated Short: Finding and Building Stories / Edition 1

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Editor's note: there has been an issue with the book's companion site. Focal Press is fixing the issue. In the meanwhile, please visit for all the material promised in the book.

From demo reel creation to festival shorts, students and professionals alike are creating animated shorts that are dynamic and eye catching but the time constraints of these shorts are challenging in their own right. The unique format of the animated short of two to five minutes in length presents a practical and aesthetic challenge that is rarely addressed in the classroom. Ideas for the Animated Short is a comprehensive and practical blueprint for creative and unique animated short creation with a focus on the strength of a compelling story. A comprehensive guide to the animated short, this title is an invaluable asset for aspiring animation professionals, students and independent filmmakers. Explore the process of developing a short from conception to final delivery and adapt the industry's best practices in your own workflow. Written by four leading animators, artists and professors, Ideas for the Animated Short is written from the unique perspective of a professional animator adapting creative stories into incredible animated shorts.

Follow from start to finish the creation of an animated short from the pre-production thought process to story development and character design. Explore the best practices and avoid the common pitfalls of creating two to five minute shorts. Watch a specially created animated short, demonstrating the core techniques and principles at the companion website! Packed with illustrated examples of idea generation, character and story development, acting, dialogue and storyboarding practice this is your conceptual toolkit proven to meet the challenges of this unique art form. The companion website includes in-depth interviews with industry insiders, short animations (many with accompanying animatics, character designs and environment designs) and an acting workshop to get your animated short off to a flying start! With all NEW content on script writing, acting, sound design and visual storytelling that further enhance your animated shorts and apply the industry best practices to your own projects.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780240808604
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 3/4/2008
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 280
  • Sales rank: 1,039,820
  • Product dimensions: 7.55 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Karen Sullivan, Faculty/Media Arts Coordinator, Department of Computer Animation, Ringling College of Art and Design

Kate Alexander, Associate Director Education and Touring, Florida Studio Theatre

Aubry Mintz, Professor of Art, Illustration/Animation, California State University Long Beach

Ellen Besen, Animation filmmaker/mentor; author of Animation Unleashed published by MWP

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Table of Contents

Foreword   John Tarnoff     vii
Preface   Karen Sullivan     xi
Acknowledgments     xiii
The Purpose of Storytelling: Analyzing Dag and the Dinosaur     1
Story Background and Theory     8
The Ideas behind Gopher Broke: An Interview with Jeff Fowler, Blur Studios     27
Building Better Content     30
Making the Animated Short: An Interview with Andrew Jimenez, Pixar Animation Studios     64
Acting: Exploring the Human Condition Kate Alexander     68
Visual Design: Interviews with Kendal Cronkhite and Kathy Altieri, Dream Works Feature Animation     92
Building Character and Location     98
Personality, Goals, Shapes, and Variance in Character Design: Tom Bancroft, Funnypages Productions, LLC     125
Building Story     129
Story and Humor: An Interview with Chris Renaud and Mike Thurmeier, Blue Sky Animation Studios     156
The Purpose of Dialogue     160
Pitching Stories: Sande Scoredos, Sony Pictures Imageworks     172
Storyboarding Gary Schumer     176
Storyboarding: An Interview with Nathan Greno, Walt Disney Feature Animation     229
Staging Gary Schumer     233
What's on the DVD     250
Glossary     252
Index     259
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 24, 2009

    A very bad book if you want to get into the business.

    I've been in the animation business for a long time and have to state that this book is really bad. One of the authors, Gary Schumer was an ex-Disney effects animator shoe-in. And when he was other studio would take him in because he's useless to the industry. As an effects artist...he was only okay. And mind you, the effects department is where the company would put the less talented artist. With that said, he has no back ground in story boarding, story development, staging and character development. So why was he chosen to write on these subjects. Gary now works as a teacher in Florida, not in the industry.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted December 29, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted March 25, 2012

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