'Tintin': Steven Spielberg animates an Oscar debate

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/awards/2011/05/for-oscar-purposes-is-spielbergs-tintin-animated.html

For those who don’t have time to read the article, it is basically about whether films like Avatar and Tintin should be classified as animated or live action.
Moreover, can acting performances delivered through motion capture be eligible to compete with those shot on camera?

Tintin for example, it seems, will not have any real world shooting, unlike Avatar.

I haven’t been able to make up my mind yet. What are your views on it?

Avatar was for the most part a CG cartoon, it looks like Tintin is even more so. This side of the production of these films is usually done to a very high standard and as such it doesn’t concern me. I’m much more bothered by the abysmal script writing and terrible direction on top of the lazy performances put in by the grossly over paid ‘performers/actors’, I’m thinking mainly of shows like Avatar and Clash of the Titans as I write this.

I think that motion capture still counts as there being an “Actor” involved. Even if that “actor” didn’t talk or actually do anything more than move, they still “acted”. (Although I will add, that even afterwards a lot of the motion capture is edited heavily to conform with the actual scene a bit more, afterall the software nor the original “scene” that the “actor” was place in, so errors must be corrected).

I think that films like Avatar for example should not be classed as either, instead as “Hybrid”. Why not? Why stick to only having 2 different catagories? I think making a third would be excellent (and would allow for a bit more room in the animated catagory for smaller productions and shorter films, because those need appreciation that they don’t yet recieve)

My opinion, not worth mch but it’s not like I was wasting anything special.

the question is why are the oscars so important to them? he will make a TinTin movie and wont get oscar nominations. next year he will make Lincoln and get 3 oscars. for directing ,cinmetography and best actor.

I worked in mocap software development for many years, personally think that a production that use mocap not should be considerate for a animation award, but yes for a CGI award, avatar is one of my favorite movies (here i had should wait 3 weeks for can see in a 3D imax theater)

The actors’ original voices are used too. Its pretty much complete acting other than your face is not shown.

Isn’t that the same as heavy makeup?

A great example would be Heath Ledger in the Dark Knight. It was his acting, but not his face.

Yeah the definition of animation is certainly an interesting one. The film to me has an animated feel to it. I think in the future perhaps the definition of animation may have to change and it is likely to become more subjective than technical. And likely there’d have to be a third category of film, a digital film, which could not be recognized - subjectively - as animation but also would not be technically live action, but if you did not know, you would think it was. We are not there yet. But at some point in the future that may come about. So I see it evolving in that way, where the techniques merge and become less the point and the intent or style - which could be largely subjective and difficult to pin down - would be then the determining factor.

As it is now, animation in the traditional sense, is a guy pulling the strings and making it work. But I see this definition as having to change, and it will over time. After all it was not too long ago that digital 3D animation was not really considered animation in the traditional sense because you were not drawing the tweens, rather letting the computer do so. In time of course it became clear that there was still a great skill, the same as in traditional animation, to bring this off. It is just a symptom of unfamiliarity with the technology. Mocap is of course a stretch from traditional animation and is more like rotoscoping. But I think it is in the intent of the final product. The actor after all would become the animator in this case, acting for an animation rather than for realistic live action. And still even with mocap you have to animate much of various action sequences that are not practical to do in a studio.

So in my opinion it should eventually be the final outcome that determines the category not the technology. Because technology will always be changing.

Avatar used Actors for gross direction, voice and subtle tips for the animators. It was the animators that sculpted the performances from an unwieldy input system, but that may change with technology maturing.

Looking at the TinTin promo reminded me of a tweet “TinTin filmed on location, in Un-canny Valley”.

I haven’t seen a good human substitue yet (though Jeff Bridges in Tron wasn’t bad).

It would be nice if there was a “Best Collaborative performance” category. That could include traditional animated characters, mo-cap performances, puppets, and voice-over characters like Darth Vader. I think it might help folks strive to have their excellence rewarded, and help take creative work a little more seriously.

As for the Best Picture versus Best Animated Picture, that’s doesn’t strike me as being much more than a cheap ploy to try and maximize the film’s chance of winning. The discussion of Oscar Biases is a much deeper topic than Animated Picture versus Best Picture, and potentially more useful.