Monday, March 18, 2013

Project the first: Golden Books gig

Now imagine this: you are a working guy at Hanna Barbera back in the '60s.  The rep from West Publishing is in the office with Joe and Bill... or as you address them, Mr. Barbera and Mr. Hanna... and they come out talking and laughing.  Joe happens to see you working assiduously at your drawing table and says, "Hey, c'mere a minute.  We've got a proposition for you."

It turns out the usual cast of characters... Hawley Pratt, Mel Crawford, Al White... you know, the guys... are all busy.  The idea is to put out a Golden Book based on Wally Gator.  He's a minor character and as the pros are busy, Joe figures a second tier in-betweener can handle the gig.

Overworked though you may feel, this is your big moment... your opportunity to show how you can shine... don't blow it, my friend.  The West Publishing rep, a little uncomfortable at working with an unknown (awww, don't be sensitive; let's face it, we're the unknowns) asks for an example of how you'd illustrate the little book.  So you dig in the back room and come up with a few scene captures.  Such as this one:

[Note: this is a perfectly awful video capture I got off YouTube... still, it conveys the basic information.]

I happen to like this scene because of the way Wally is slouching and has his arms crossed... unlike the more typical HB pose where the arms hang at the sides.  This particular capture shows a little-known side to Wally's character: he gets bored, he gets frustrated, he looks for a little stimulation in life.

So, anyway, here is the shot you're going to doll up and make into a picture that'll impress the rep from West Pub.  Now remember, Golden Books likes some depth of field.  That means - unlike your typical animation cell - shading, variation of colors, shadows.  And some highlights; maybe bright little flowers in the grass of Wally's little island; maybe the leaves are turning fall colors.  These are the sort of touches that tend to pull the character out of the page and into a little bit of reality.  I know whereof I speak: I used to stare at those Golden Book characters for hours when I was a kid.

We've got a pretty good starting point with our video capture.  Now to build on it.

-To be con't -

No comments:

Post a Comment