Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sumo Lake - The "Lost" Scene

Mistakes and oversights can happen in the best managed and resourced productions, so when the means of making a film consists of one guy in a messy shed, it would seem inevitable that things go awry.

I always say that part of an animator's brain needs to be an accountant. There's the flow and verve of creative engagement, but that can never get out of sight of the bean-counter in your head that numbers the images, does the math on the charts and timings, and keeps an eye on production output. One of my favourite quotes is from an interview with Tim Burton:

"The unholy alliance of animation is that on one hand you are called upon to be a creative artist, and on the other hand you are called upon to be a zombie factory worker." 

Had that hanging above my desk for years to remind myself to hear both callings - in that order. Can't handle zombie factory work? Then don't be an animator. (Try directing instead. It seems to have worked for Tim.)

In the course of the furious few weeks of scribbling Sumo Lake, the Panic Productions line producer must have nodded off, because it wasn't until I had done the shoot and the first edit that I found a small folder of drawings at the back of the shelf for a shot that was intended for the end sequence.

I scanned them and threw them into a movie file and showed them to editor Victoria Cocks when we were doing the final edit a couple days later. We both concluded we didn't need it. We would have missed it if we did. Maybe my Line Producer brain knew something my Director brain didn't.

Here for your viewing pleasure is a clip of the missing 16 frames  - a mere 2/3 of a second - that constitutes the lost footage of Sumo Lake. It was to be inserted after the Von Rothcart lizard sends Prince Siegfried Sumo flying of screen at the start of their final encounter. A cut-away just slowed it down.


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