Stephen and I finally connected today. As you know, part of the reason I want to do the "script that classic" contest is to find that middle ground - prove that words can paint pictures, show that there's a place in animation for scripts.
We talked for about a half an hour - I know this because my Iphone counts upwards - and it was a good chat about animation, cartoons, process, what works and what doesn't.
And while we CLEARLY have different viewpoints, I think that Stephen's world and mine are not as far apart as the internet might make it seem. So... here's where we're at with this.
Stephen's the judge on this. That's always been the goal: Get the guy who is the historian at the ASIFA archive to judge a contest based on words.
I'm the filter - you send the script to me, I "anonymize it" and send it to him. But I am the moat between submission and judgment. Which is, as I've said, seasoned to taste.
I know what I'm looking for, so does he. And you guys know the process. As of right now, the number of scripts received is... well... LOW. There are still 12 days left to get me the script so they can be judged.
We now interrupt the update with a side note.
Interesting point of conversation:
While I believe history is important, I also understand that people are inspired by what they know. Ren and Stimpy inspired people. So, quite frankly, did Fairly Oddparents. Different people from different sides of the isle, to get involved with different sides of the same industry. Everybody's going to have an opinion as to what's better.
Lets use John K as an example: I think there are a couple of Ren and Stimpy's that are classics - that work, that are funny. And then, there was the new Ren and Stimpy, which I could not watch. There's the ranger smith cartoon which left me feeling icky (sorry, but if we're being honest, that's where I am.) Then there's spongebob, or Power Puff girls, or more recently, El Tigre (picking stuff we talked about) that most of the time, I leave laughing. And impressed. And maybe even jealous that I could not have done that.
I think most of the time, writers who post are more interested in "There's two ways to do it, and they're both right" more than the artists who post are. But script writers aren't trying to cut artists out of the picture - their opinion is that the words drive the art. Which relegates the board and art to a place where it serves the word and script.
Artists that believe scripts have no place in animation want to relegate writers to serving cofee, or at the very least, punch up.
I defend the Family Guy and South Park's of the world as "pop" - they are cartoons of the moment. And they are as strong if not stronger, to me, than some of the classic sitcoms I enjoyed growing up and SOME of the board shows I see now.
They are - on an entertainment level - STRONGER to me than some of the stuff that he holds up as classics.
I will let him discuss this.
His point is interesting and intellectually valid: The sitcoms I like have actors interpreting the words. And then, there was a moment where I realized - a good board artist / story person is the person who takes the words in a script and turns that cartoon character into an actor, the same way Woody Harrelson did on Cheers, or Kramer on Seinfeld.
I hadn't really thought of it that way, honestly. And, to be fair, I don't know that I care too much about that while I'm laughing my ass off at the cartoons I like. Moreso, I don't know how you make an adult, prime-time, sitcom style cartoon with those goals, or if that even matters.
There are scripted shows I don't like, and board-driven shows I do. And vice versa. It's all about personal taste. What I don't like is anyone telling writers their contributions are invalid, or unimportant.
So now, we're having dialogue. Which I think is important.
So, the contest continues. The criteria is admittedly arbitrary. But the goals are concrete.
Me? I'm looking for a script that best shows "Falling Hare" in script form. So is he. And as long as words are used to do that, we're all on the same page.
Tomorrow: I'm going to talk about my view point about the difference between "Animation" and "A cartoon." They can be, in my mind, two different things. They have different criteria. And neither are wrong.
Glad to be back.
P.S. Taking down the moderation now.