Movies

I have just spent a very pleasant hour or two viewing the bonus material that came with the DVD of Pixar’s wonderful tale  Finding Nemo.

The studio tour on the bonus DVD took in animators, sculptors, colour and lighting experts and heaps more. Here is what I learned:

Working as a group is not easy, but necessary.  There was no room for prima donnas. Everyone had to be willing to let go of their pet projects, personal views and definitely their egos, so that TOGETHER the job could be accomplished.

Preparation is vital. They spent years in research,  storyboarding and colour scripting, developing characters and trialing their ideas. And all this before going into full scale production animation.

Commitment is essential if the job is to get done. Finding Nemo took three years to make. The guys said that many times they felt they could not go on – but they did!

Truth and sincerity are essential components of communication. One animator spoke of how he had to open the lid on some very painful memories of loss, in order to animate a sad part in the movie, when Dory speaks of feeling lonely. He used his computer camera to act the dialogue and used hos own facial expressions to help animate the fish. He said that he knew it had to come sincerely from his heart if the audience were to believe it.

Personal experience is the key to effective communication. The whole team were taught scuba diving, so that they could experience what the underwater world was like; seeing it and feeling  added to the reality they would bring to the screen.

Encouragement was high on the agenda. There were times when the product  days of work had to be readjusted, because it wasn’t quite what the director was looking for. But this “nuancing” was accompanied by encouragement and positive comments.

Oh yes, one other massive thing that I saw…despite the hard work, they all had fun!!! They had time to goof off, enjoy each other’s company and relish the completion of the task.

I can’t be effective in communicating what I believe, unless I take on board these lessons. Are there any in my list that have caught your eye?

Photo credit: Ryan Guill via photopin cc

The excellent Christian organization, Damaris.org, has produced a breat bundle of free resources to enable Christians to use the award-winning movie as a bridge to communicating Christian themes. I can do no better than quote the Damaris newsletter on the nbreadth and importance of these resources.

Hotly tipped as one of the films of the year, The King’s Speech (Momentum, certificate 12A, in UK cinemas now) follows King George VI (Colin Firth) as he reluctantly grows into his role as war-time monarch and finds the voice he needs to lead his people.

To help you make the most of this inspiring film, Damaris has produced free resources addressing some of the film’s moral, spiritual and philosophical themes. Please tell others about these resources!

  • Downloadable clips from the film on www.toolsfortalks.com
  • A Culturewatch discussion guide, ideal for individual or group use
  • A downloadable video episode of Movie Moments looking at the growth of character
  • A Culturewatch article
  • A downloadable video episode of Pollard on Film, addressing the importance of relationships
  • Do examine these free resources and have a look round the Damaris site while you are there. there is a mass of great stuff. If you want to be kept up to date with other items which enable Christians to address the themes in modern movies, etc. it is worth signing up for the Culture Watch newsletter. This is the Culture Watch Home Page, where you can sign up for the email

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    SLICES OF MY LIFE are little slivers of my experiences. I have many interests and this blog is my way of keeping track of what I see and learn. Some of it brings a smile to my face, uplifts and encourages me, or makes me think deeply. I hope you enjoy what you read here as much as I enjoy writing it!