Monday, May 3, 2010

the Chat with Dan Haskett

Thanks to Tiana Scott, my classmate, and through Don Hahn's facebook, i was able to get in touch with Dan Haskett, the designer for Little Mermaid Ariel, and Belle of Beauty and the Beast.

It's been a week or more since the interview/chat because i was busy doing thesis things with other students, but i would like to write down what's some of the most memorable aspects of our chat on the phone that day.

Basically I tried to let Dan talk the whole time. :D I was delighted when he invited me to call his office in Time Warner (I believe he's working there now if I recall it correctly. Don't bet on me.)

Dan is now still doing character designs, working on shows like Scoopy Doo, Tom and Jerry, and Art direction on some children books, and many other projects.

Dan's tone on the phone was really laid back, nice, easy going though he is "always busy."

Interesting fact about Dan:

Dan: "I just can't warm up to graphic novels. No matter what genre they are, it's weird because I'm a cartoonist."

Me: "I wonder why?"

Dan: "Many times when I read it, it feels like the cartoonists aren't as interested in meeting lots of people. It all reads like personal journals where the character is talking to him/her self."

Me: wooooooo, that's.... so true. So many of them are like that! (can't say mine isn't.... but hey i am in the crowd maybe its not going to be as bad????)

I was able to mention 2Masters, the graphic novel that's related to my thesis, he seems fairly interested. I am not sure i can get him to warm up to that. lol


Comment on Today's animation:

Dan: "It feels like there's this sort of fuzziness. People understand the basics, but lack a certain amount of emotion refinement. Sensation is enough, people don't have to think about how the characters are thinking and even how they move."

Me: "Yeah, I agree with you, it seems like every time the media mention something about a good piece of animation, everyone starts copying it. Like how they mentioned the "beast was thinking" clip, then you suddenly see a bunch of animated characters tilting their heads the exact same way as the Beast, pausing for almost the exact same time."

Dan: "People all have their heroes, but if you copy that hero, and that hero has only went so far in their own development."


Comment on the biz:

Dan: "In today's media, you are bombarded by all sorts of imagery, not just the images from the film medium, but also the people.... Value is in feeding the spirit, remembering what makes you the person you are."

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