Speaking of the FMX conference, it was interesting, as always, to see the interaction between two communities of artists — animators and live-action filmmakers. Because the FMX conference has a dual focus on animation and special-effects, these two groups end up coming together. Which is interesting because they tend to be rather different.
In many ways animation is a solitary art. An animator spends much of the day in a zone of individual concentration and focus, engaged in the time-consuming process of breathing life into a character that exists only on paper or inside a computer. Live-action filmmaking, on the other hand, is about as collaborative a process as you can find. The movie set is a place where many minds and bodies are required to work together, in a synchronous act of cooperation, to achieve an effective result on screen.
Which means that a conference such as FMX represents artists with very different ways of working. I was told when I was there that there had been attempts to collaboratively fuse the two communities via the creation of workshops that ask artists and live-action filmmakers to produce films together. But I was also told that these attempts tend not to work out. The two ways of bringing an artistic vision to the screen are simply too different.
And that got me thinking — are we drawn to creating a particular genre of art because of our personality, or is it the other way around? Are animators essentially people who enjoy spending large numbers of hours in a state of individual concentration? Or do they come to this way of being only because of their art? Is there a particular set of personality traits that tend to define the painter, the classical musician, the composer or playwright? Can we tell when a child is young that he or she is more likely to become a novelist or a jazz dancer?
Most of us have dreams in our youth of creating some sort of art that will help define our place in the world. And in some cases we grow up to realize those dreams. But is the dream defined by our personality, or does our personality gradually mold itself to the dream?