Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Psychological Gestures: The Presentation

Did the presentation today, it seemed to go well. I only hope that what I said made sense to the class and that the presentation was ok.

I noticed that the other presentations had a lot of images and while I normally would put much more in mine, I intentionally left them out. My original idea was to pose Malcolm in various gestures for the back drop, however I realised that they were not specifically psychological gestures, just body language. And while psychological gestures are a part of body language, it's rather specific so I left it out in fear of confusing the subject.

Anyway, my presentation:
I copied my notes under each slide to give a rough idea of what I was saying. Also, for some reason, the video clips I inserted into the presentation refused to stay put so those slides are blank. I'll put the video clips under those slides.

#First person to coin the term and teach psychological gestures.
#Developed from Stanislavski's lessons on Method Acting.
#Defined character psychology as thoughts, feelings and the will (objectives and motivation).

#Method of preparation. 'Heart is broken' exercise by Ed Hooks.

#Tend to over-gesture (guilty!) By using the same exercises, we can get into the character and tone down the gestures.

#Affects gestures a character makes. Different places = different atmospheres. Car crash scene vs. your best friend's kitchen.
#People have different atmospheres. Happy vs. Angry.

#Jack Napier - Carl Grissom's (crime boss) second in command. Jack having affair with Carl's mistress.

#Jack was sent to raid chemical factory by Carl. Carl set him up to be arrested by tipping off police. Deflected bullet from Batman caused Jack to fall into chemical vat.

#Large, threatening, confident. Hand behind back - power position - opens airway = more energy.

Flick of arm. Like crack of whip, wants it to sting like it stung Jack to be put beneath a woman. Allows himself to indulge in his rage. Intentional?

#Bo-Peep is Woody's love interest. Feelings are mutual. Woody and Buzz are rivals for Andy's affection.

#Andy has started playing more with Buzz and Woody is starting to feel replaced. He has just spent the night in the toy box instead of on the bed, where the favourite toy usually sleeps with Andy, as he had done until now.

#Small. Woody is a Sheriff and lives up to that. Looks after the other toys and makes sure things run smoothly. Out of date compared to Space Ranger. Loss of influence and significance.

#Fluster of hands. Looks for place to put hands, cannot complete a gesture = cannot complete a thought process. Reveals fluster of mind. Caught off guard, does not want Bo-Peep to see him weak. No control over situation reflected by no control of himself. Cannot control Andy's love.

Not very similar other than:
#Watch two different characters deal with a rival. Woody does not deal very well, cannot cope with replacement. Fails to deal with Buzz successfully until he accepts him. Joker deals with what used to be a rival very well. Probably can consider them not even rivals anymore, as Joker is not competing because he's winning. Outright kills rival, because he can (part of his character).

#Woody has no control. Cannot control Andy's affections and unable to stop other toys being impressed. Has tried to downplay Buzz' coolness but fails. The more Andy plays with Buzz, the less influence Woody has, the more frustrated Woody becomes and the less control he has (over situation and himself).
#Joker has all the control. He walks into the room as he pleases and let's Carl talk as he please. Finishes sentences for him. Even when he allows himself an outburst, it seems control. He has not lost control of himself or the situation. Outburst may have even be deliberate because he wants Carl to know he's pissed off.

#Actors = get into character. Take character psychology into themselves.
Animators = learn the same way but implement different. Put character into a rig, do not take it so much into themselves.
Both understand the same way and use it the same way. Just put in different places.

#Understanding character's psychology = create more natural and powerful performances. psychological gestures shows audience more than they can be told.

#Psychological gestures are small gestures that reveal what the character is really thinking/feeling or what their objectives really are. 
Big gestures can hide the little but very important things that make the character who they are.

Thanks for listening. I hope that was clear!

Acting for Animators ~ Ed Hooks
Michael Chekhov ~ Frank Chamberlain


Movies (Clips):
Batman (1989) ~ Warner Bros. / DC Comics.
Toy Story (1995) ~ Walt Disney Pictures / Pixar

Jack Nicholson as the Joker and Woody from Google Images.

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