Work process through Splines for Actor Emulation assignment - Anim Collaborative Fall 2018 - Advanced Acting

Whose Fault Is that?! - Splined, sans lip-sync v01

This is the splined version of my last assignment for Advanced Acting for Animation, Animation Collaborative Fall 2018 term. The goal of the assignment was to take an actor and character and emulate them in a scenario of our choosing. I settled on actress Frances Conroy, playing Ruth Fisher, from HBO’s Six Feet Under. What I loved about that actor’s performance is how restrained and tight she was, usually bottling up tense emotions, but every now and then those emotions just burst out uncontrollably, and it rattled her body, hands shaking, mouth working….yet, even in those moments, she would hide her eyes, shutting them at powerful moments. So I took that reference and made up a story of my own involving a fledgling romance between a hard working nurse and a doctor that happened to go abruptly south for some unknown reason (at least to her). He doesn’t know if she might still accept him if she only knew… When I started this shot I had a terrible camera - the characters were placed at awkward positions to camera and it felt just weird. Plus, even though I had a fair idea of what the nurse was feeling, I had yet to really get into the Doctor’s head and I needed to get really specific and simpler with both characters and their motivations and wants. As the blocking and revisions went on, I simplified their story, from a pretty detailed story of their relationship and the activities that had happened to get them to this scene, to whittling this down to just their raw emotions and simpler internal monologues. When I did that, I felt I knew my character and was able to give them choices that made sense and were specific. I was able to feel the tingling rigid anger flow through the nurse, and how it would flow and get contained…I could feel the doctor’s timidness and uncertainty. The nurse wanted to strike out at him for hurting her, for his crazy disapearance when things were going so well. She also wants to not have this conversation now bc this is her first time as a nurse and she can’t screw this up. The doctor wants to be accepted for who he is, flaws and all, however serious. I learned a ton working on this assignment, having a lot of fun dissecting an actor and applying what worked from the acts and also creating my own nuances and beats. I have yet to lip sync the characters, and the background hospital is rudimentary at the moment, but will fix all this soon!