Monday, December 10, 2007

The Nanny Diaries

I remember working on a couple of scenes introducing the Nanny to the film early on, one of my first assignments. After inbetweening a short while for Neil Boyle, who managed to train us very quickly in developing a sharp eye for a good in-between and keeping volumes consistent, I was assigned to assist Alyson Hamilton, who was charged with animating the Nanny dragging a bunch of bananas, then, in real Warner Bros style beating up the Thief before returning to her task humming a merry little melody-
a tune that kept being hummed constantly in our house in Kentish Town.
While Alyson tried out a multitude of ways to give the Nanny her shaky walk , I was charged with inbetweening the bunch of bananas. Having learned all about inbetweening ( I thought ) ,I was quite convinced that the keys weren’t properly charted and totally inbeweened the stagger out of the animation. And I am not kidding when I say that it took ages to finish one single in-between of that multitude of bananas. And this being a Dick Williams film, of course they were charted on ones. Well, it taught me an important lesson never to change an animator’s keys or to at least inquire what his or her intention might be. I humbly re-inbetweened the lot…many times..many,many times.
Dick wasn’t quite happy with the stagger for a while and so for several weeks I seem to have only drawn bananas. I vaguely recall also inbetweening the Nanny, but the banana incident certainly overshadows all that. I think I can speak for all of us Germans in stating that we got a thorough training and understanding of inbetweening and volume control in our first assignments on the movie. As far as I can recall, the long shots were Ken Harris’ original animation and were not altered.


Anonymous said...

Wow. Great Bananas. I've got a bunch of cells and drawings from the original film.

UM said...

Hi Guys,
Great blog, can't wait to read more. Could you please identify yourself when you post a story. The banana one, is that by Andreas?
Hope you guys are okay! From a German that didn't work on it but also suffered under Dick's tutelage.

UM said...

Silly me!
It says posted by Andreas at the bottom. Ts, ts.

Matt J said...

Excellent blog fellas-I'ma big fan of THIEF-it's always good to see more artwork & read 'behind the scenes' stories.

Holger said...

Thanks for the comments guys!
There are a few parts in the film where we see the Thief in an older model incarnation, these scenes are an example.
The latest model would have had rounder shapes in the head.
The new animation of the Nanny and the bananas where probably on a separate level.

Holger said...

By the way, I've seen scenes in other more recent films that felt as if they were paying homage to this scene, Madagascar and Shark Tale.