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Oscar night ART quotes March 6, 2006

Posted by whatacharacter in Art, humor, useful.

Character development #3

Oscar night was another stellar display of academy award-winning quotations. Along with the superb performance of MC Jon Stewart, came quite a few quippy ART quotes from both the Oscar winners and their presenters. Quotes ranged from a basic Art 101 rendition of “Art is light, shining into a dark something-something,” to Dustin Hoffman’s long something about “if something ain’t broke, don’t fix it …,” but a great story needs to be broken and put back together … with great people working hard … better world … all that. Sorry but I don’t have TiVO or perfect memory. The deconstruction and reexamination of the story line being the important idea here.

There were at least 2 other good ART quips I recall, which were in fact the speaker quoting another. The first one, butchered horribly, probably due to nerves and the time clock, went something like “Art is not a mirror held up to society, but a hammer …” and I think the speaker meant, as she flubbed it a bit, the hammer (ART) was not held up to society (which might be a good thing), but the hammer (ART) smashes the mirror (that some might call ART, but not in this alteration) that society holds up to itself (in this case the mirror is not ART but a cosmetic vanity appliance). Get it? I think I do.

The best quote stuck in my mind, as someone getting into 3D character animation. Spoken by the famous director Robert Altman quoting the Great Gregory Peck speaking of actors: “We are the salespeople, of the story.” What struck me about this line, was realizing how the artist effectively becomes the actor with regards to animation. The characters created in animation must embody all the traits and skills of the ART of performance, and the artist must sell this point. This was stressed at a recent class when we had an actual actor come in to speak to this, and demonstrate as well as engage us in the physical requirements of animated communication – which is what acting is all about (as well as the fine on-set catered meals!). The character must sell the story, and the audience must buy it having found it believable.

To illustrate this I offer the fine work that Philip Seymour Hoffman (I think I will remember his name now) must have done in ‘Capote’ to snag his statue. I read a liguistic coach’s recount who said Capote’s accent was so unique, but that Hoffman nailed it. However NEVER EVER give Kevin Costner an accent to deal with. I instantly recalled his Robin Hood – Prince of Thieves. Ugh, such glaring distrations never sell!

I am fortunate to have a bit of foundation in this from my days hanging around actors and being an extra myself in some very well written and directed video productions. That background I hope helps in my new craft, and I think I probably need to stress it more in my resume!

Other Oscar bits:
– Having only seen sub-category winners “Wallace & Grommit,” “King Kong,” and “Narnia” perhaps I need to balance spectacle-factor with some substance. 🙂
– I can’t believe such a nice sweet girl like Reese Witherspoon has made it to the top of the heap in Hollywood.
– I can’t believe Stewart made no “quit you” cracks.
– Incredible restraint from the camera director for not showing the over 50 crowd cringing during the 3-6 Mafia’s ‘Pimp’ performance!
– as always: Salma Hayek!

Note: all quotes in quotation marks are actually paraphrases, but I can’t find the paraphrase marks on my qwerty.



1. Jackie - March 6, 2006

LOL Greg – guess it just goes to show you that if actors haven’t memorized whatever they’re going to say, they aren’t very good speakers! I’m glad I missed the Oscars, as if I had remembered they were on last night, I would have felt compelled to endure the pain of watching them. And wasted my evening doing so!

2. ballsy - March 6, 2006

hahahahha u are quite funny too yourself!

do not quite get the mirror/hammer thing. have a feeling its nothing too deep, just some actress trying to come off as witty.

3. whatacharacter - March 7, 2006

Jackie – actually it wasn’t at all bad. It sure beat this years Grammys! My favorite awards tho’ are the R ‘n R Hall of Fame inductions, which happen THIS MONTH!!!

hey ballsy, recognizing that you have learned something from it is the important thing. To whit: I am quite funny (not extremely, just quite)! 😉

4. Jackie - March 8, 2006

Greg: yeah – the Grammys was horrible! I totally didn’t like the marching-band outfits the rap/hip-hop group wore. And what was with all the collaborations? Why couldn’t they just choose some of those fantastic artists to sing their own numbers with their own bands? Yeesh. I thought I was watching Ed Sullivan in the 21st Century! Wait – Ed Sullivan was actually more entertaining, and he had the Beatles, the Doors, Elvis, and the Rolling Stones, to name a few. Oh – and Poppageegeeo (or however that little mouse puppet’s name is spelled). Well – I”m giving away far too much about my age.

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