Acting Reference

#100

Finally made it, #100!
I call this one Joaquin walking. How your character walks should inform the audience about who he or she is. No one does this better than Joaquin Phoenix. I've captured clips from various movies to showcase how he walks differently in every one. It's amazing how he crafts his performances all the way down to how the character actually walks. Keep this in mind when animating. Don't just do a vanilla walk, think about how you can push it further. It's a performance, not just a walk.
It's taken longer than I wanted to get to 100, but I've had a blast uploading these.
Next stop 200!

#99

Daniel Day-Lewis is probably my favorite working actor, I absolutely love everything he's in. Instead of posting one of his more recent films I wanted to show a clip from his earlier career. This is a scene from In The Name of The Father - if you haven't seen it, check it out! I love the contrast between the characters with Daniel being more over the top & animated while Pete Postlethwaite (another one of my favorite actors) being more subtle & subdued. Daniel uses the space extremely well - not locking his feet into one place/allowing himself to move around. Often, in animation tests, people don't let their characters move freely. Don't be afraid to move them around! There's also tons of great facial expressions and little head movements.

#98

Great reaction shot of Sam Neill in Hunt For The Wilderpeople. Lots of nice eye darts & expression changes. This was one of my favorite movies of the year, definitely recommend checking it out.

#97

Jake Gyllenhaal gave an outstanding performance in Nightcrawler, if you haven't seen it check it out! I love how in this particular scene he is constantly moving closer & closer to camera. This creates a great sense of unease and tension. Think about where your characters are when you animate and how you can use their position to further to further tell the story.

#96

If you haven't done it already, check out Stranger Things on Netflix. It has some of the best kid performances I've seen in years. I especially love the work of Millie Bobby Brown who plays Eleven. She does such an amazing job of emoting so much in a very subtle believable way. The moment she opens the music box is a perfect example of this. The shoulder movement, breathing in, her brow expressions. It's all so expressive and readable, yet subtle and not over the top.

#95

Great performance and emotion from Ruby Dee in American Gangster. I especially love the intensity in her last line of dialogue "I will leave you". Take note of the finger point she uses during this line - instead of it being in sync/in line with the dialogue, it comes at the end of her delivery, almost as if its an exclamation point....great stuff.

#94

Some great exaggerated facial expressions from Marisa Tomei in My Cousin Vinny.

#93

Here's a great example of using composition and character positioning to further tell a story. From Back To the Future.

#92

Another great example of working within a pose from Fargo. When the guy talking mentions "Mrs Mora" he gestures behind him with his thumb out. Watch how long he stays within this pose. If one was animating this line, it would have been very tempting to have him make more gestures after this. When creating your keys, try a pass with as few as possible and see if you can make it work.

#91

I'm posting this clip from The Piano because it shows off some really nice body mechanics. Most my clips involve acting, but I want to get into posting some more involving mechanics as well. The shot of the girl dancing is just gorgeous. It has a great carefree and childlike quality to it. Definitely check out this movie as it has some great performances in it as well, especially from Anna Paquin & Holly Hunter.

#90

Short little clip from Ex Machina (great acting in this, check it out!)
I really like the small facial expression Oscar Isaac makes when he exhales. And the hand gesture he makes towards Domhnall Gleeson is very nice. Often when we think of gesturing towards a second character, the finger point is the first thing that comes to mind, but there are many different ways to gesture towards someone.

#89

Time to start getting excited for Star Wars! Love the hesitation Alec Guinness has before answering Luke. This is a very tough question to answer and that definitely shows before his line delivery. When animating, make sure your characters are thinking...even when they are not speaking

#88

Classic shot of Robert De Niro in Goodfellas. In this shot - SPOILERS - De Niro is coming to the conclusion that he's going to have to kill a member of his crew.

I want to talk about his eye focus/direction. Often when we look at things, and especially people, we're not able to look directly at them for long periods of time. When animating, we often make our characters dart their eyes around, not focusing on things for too long to make it feel more real. But look at this example. Though his eyes are looking around, once they focus on something they stay locked. De Niro's character in Goodfellas is a very intense person who commands respect. When he looks at someone, he stares directly at them, no eyes darts looking away. He's commanding respect/daring someone to challenge him. It's like how a predator would look around a room, and that's what he is...a predator. Keep in mind who your character is and how that changes how they look at things in their world.

#87

Nice little clip from Hanna. I really like the swallow the guy does before he delivers his last line. Breathing and swallowing are details that are often overlooked in animation and they can really plus up your shot.

#86

Absolutely amazing clip of Joaquin Phoenix in The Master. I love the slow build of tension in his face - starting extremely calm, with very little movement and gradually building to very tense with quick movements. Excellent reference for anyone working on close up dialogue shots

#85

I love this clip of Ellen Burnstyn in Requiem For A Dream. She's obviously upset/emotion during this scene, but she's smiling during most of it. Just cause your character is upset, doesn't mean they necessarily have to have a frowny face. Sad does not always equal :(

#84

Here's a nice clip from Rudy. A lot of great eye reference from Charles S Dutton (another great underrated actor). There's no one universal way to blink, and changing up the timing/speed can convey all sorts of different emotions.

#83

I attended a great talk on villains by Ted Ty at CTN and it made me think of this clip from Braveheart. I love how Longshanks is very precise with his movements. He's hardly moving at all and he doesn't have to, he's in charge and doesn't need to prove it. Notice how he never blinks once in this entire clip, which adds an eerie intensity to him. The bit at the end is also great. One of his second in commands compliments his idea and even then he puts them him in their place by questioning the compliment....not allowing anyone to get the upper hand on him.

#82

I wanted to show this clip from The Rover and talk a little bit about free rigs. There's a lot of free animation rigs out there and we see them over and over in animation tests. Often moving & acting in very similar ways. But check this clip out, it features an almost unrecognizable Robert Pattinson. It's not really a physical transformation, like some actors undergo, but its more of an acting transformation. It's in complete contrast to how we've normally seen him in other movies. (cough cough Twilight) His mannerisms, movements, pacing, delivery. Think about this when you're animating on a free rig. How can you make it new, unique, something we haven't seen before.

#81

Great little clip from Jaws. I love Richard Dreyfuss' reaction to Quint singing. He's obviously annoyed with him, but he's not putting on a generic "annoyed" expression. Instead its hidden in a fake smile. There's some great eye darts and mouth changes that let you know he's not happy with the situation. It may be obvious, when animating, that your character should be happy, or sad, or angry...but are they trying to hide this emotion behind another?

#80

Here's a classic piece of reference from The Godfather. Great example of thought process & eye movement.

#79

Here's a clip from Killing Them Softly. I love the reaction Scoot McNairy has when the name "Dylan" is mentioned. It starts subtle but you can clearly see the fear wash over him. Great stuff

#78

Here's another great example of simplicity. Without spoiling too much, in this clip from The Last of the Mohicans Alice has been captured and is being taken away. Uncas, who loves her, is telling his father I'm leaving and going after her. But instead of saying this through dialog, he simply puts his hand on his shoulder and shares a look with him. This is much more powerful that any dialog could have been. There's also nice varied timing in the beats of this shot. Noticing the girl, putting the hand on the shoulder and then looking into his father's eyes.

#77

Amazing clip of Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years A Slave. So much raw emotion. Great reference for eye darts, building emotion, thought process. I highly recommend this movie, though extremely intense, it has some wonderful performances in it.

#76

Nice clip from Searching For Bobby Fischer. Though Ben Kingsley has most the lines, I like how the focus in on the boy. When animating to dialogue, we often just cut to whoever is speaking. Instead of doing this, you should make sure the camera is cutting to what's most important, regardless of who is talking. In this scene for instance, the most important thing is showing the boy struggling, trying to figure out this test. So instead of cutting to the speaker, they kept the focus on him. This movie was shot by the late great Conrad Hall, who in my opinion is the greatest cinematographer ever.

#75

Ben Mendelsohn has quickly become one of my favorite actors. Here's a great clip of him in The Place Beyond the Pines. He always just feels so natural and real. I love the shoulder shrug he does and how he licks his lips towards the end. Really excited to see him in Rogue One this winter.

#74

Short little clip from The World's End. Really like the little head gesture Simon Pegg makes after he says "Newton Haven", has a lot of personality in it. There's also a lot of nice contrasting speed in his movement. He's got some quicker head moves and then a nice slow one at the end. Contrast in speed can add a lot to your shot!

#73

Here's a nice little clip from Road To Perdition. I love how much character there is in such a simple action as taking and opening a letter. Also a nice example of varied speeds in a shot. Some of his actions are very quick, but he also has some longer pauses & more slow/subtle movement. Varying the speeds of movements in your shot will add a lot of visual interest & appeal

#72

Here's a great example of strong silhouette in Skyfall. You want fight scenes to be very clear to the viewer and the fact that this one plays out all in silhouette is awesome! Roger Deakins is a master

#71

Here's a short video from Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade. I really like the little side/side jaw movement Sean Connery makes. Often we only focus on the open/close axis of the jaw when animating, but adding little side to side movements can add a lot of character

#70

Here's another clip from The Thin Red Line. I wanted to show this one because I really like how Jim Caviezel's character moves freely through the scene. Often, in animation tests, I see characters who feel very planted to the ground. Don't be afraid to move your characters around! It works great in this scene because their movement fits their characters' personalities. Sean Penn's character is more shut off/cold, so he doesn't move much & stays pretty much in the same spot the whole time. Jim Caviezel's character is more of a free spirit, so having him constantly walking/not being able to stay still is very fitting.

#69

Great clip of Robert John Burke in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. Some really great timing in here & awesome facial expressions.

#68

Not much to say about this clip - Anne Hathaway gave a pretty amazing performance in Les Miserables. It's a little longer than my normal acting reference videos, but since this was all one shot I didn't want to cut any of it out. Never have I seen a musical performance with this much emotion in it. Enjoy

#67

Amazing clip of Viola Davis in Doubt. I love all the little head gestures, lots of great brow & mouth shapes as well. This film has many great performances in it, definitely worth checking out.

#66

I've been watching March Madness and these AT&T commercials are on all the time. I really liked this one in particular. The girls expression & delivery after he asks "do you believe in yourself" is awesome! Such great timing and I love the facial expression.

#65

Here's a great clip from Django Unchained. This movie is awesome..so go see it. Christoph Waltz is amazing in it, definitely steals all the scenes he's in. I love the contrast he has with Jamie Foxx. One character being more over the top & expressive and the other much more subtle Having contrast in your characters allows them to play off each other very nicely.

#64

Great reaction from Q'orianka Kilcher in The New World. Love the brow & eye movement

#63

Here's Holly Hunter in Broadcast News (great performance). Lots of great eye darts and small blinks.

#62

Here's a nice clip from The Pursuit of Happyness. Just has a lot of emotion in it and I love the mouth movements that Will Smith makes while he tries to hold back his emotions.

#61

Here's a clip from one of my favorite movies The Thin Red Line. His reaction to the letter is very believable and this is great reference for pantomime animation. You could very easily mute the audio and still understand what he is feeling.

#60

Here's a scene from The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Rooney Mara gives a terrific performance in this, so if you haven't seen it go check it out! I first wanted to talk about the finger point the man does at the beginning of the shot. It has a lot of character and is very interesting. We're often told to avoid "cliche" acting choices (like finger points) but I feel you can still use them them if you push them to become more appealing. The pose of his arm and especially the timing of the move give it a lot of appeal/interest.
I also wanted to mention how you can use body language and posture to let the audience know what a character is feeling. The girl obviously doesn't want to be in this situation and isn't comfortable talking to these people. You understand this because of her body language, her slow pace, lack of eye contact, slouching. Telling this in a subtle way is way more powerful that given her a line of dialogue stating that she doesn't want to be there.

#59

Here's a nice clip from the movie Drive (one of the best films of 2011) Bryan Cranston's character is cleaning a car part while he delivers his dialog, which is a great example of a secondary action. Giving your character something to do while they talk will make the shot feel much more natural. I also like the subtle flirting that's going on between Ryan Gosling & Carey Mulligan.

#58

I wanted to show this clip because I think this movie had the best performance of 2011. This is Michael Shannon in Take Shelter. Its really sad because he hasn't received hardly any award recognition. He gives a performance that is both heartbreaking and terrifying. In this clip, I love the little mouth twitch he does right after she asks him how he is going to pay for that. Its a great nervous tick and makes you feel there's a lot going through his mind. Great movie with great performances, check it out!

#57

Here's some nice reference of a walk with a lot of character from A.I.

#56

Here's some good reference of crying from Magnolia. Something to note about crying, its always associated with another emotion. We cry because we're happy, sad, afraid, nervous, etc. Knowing whats causing your character to cry and associating that emotion into the animation will make it more believable.

#55

Here's a nice clip from The Town that's a great example of changing emotions

The girl starts out very flirtatious - playing with her earring, smiling, pressing her lips together. She's never met this guy and she's putting on the usual "I'm interested" act
Then he starts talking about the 20 dollar bill. She starts a little confused, she's never heard this one before, but then she genuinely starts to get more interested. The smile she starts to use now is more genuine than the one she had before. This is a subtle change of emotion - she's went from I'm pretending to be interesting to I'm more genuinely interested.
Finally he mentions the oxy (drugs) and she realizes this person is not who she thought he was, she instantly starts to avoid eye contact, slouches down in her seat, you can feel her getting a little nervous/worried.

Before you have a change of emotion, its helpful to build up a different emotion first, basically its anticipation but with feelings. If you were to animate a character jumping, you would first anticipate them down. The same concept can apply to emotional changes, if you want to have a more drastic change, have the character go from two opposite emotions. (anticipations are usually in the opposite direction of the main movement). So if a character is going to be frightened, have them start more happy/calm. If they are going to laugh from a joke, maybe they start upset/mad. Creating contrast in your emotion change will make for a more interesting animation.

#54

Here's a great clip from Batman Begins (my favorite of them...yes I enjoyed it more than The Dark Knight) This is a good example of eye direction. As Liam Neeson starts to tell the story of his past his focus goes away from Christian Bale & goes more inward. You really get the feeling that he is thinking back on the past. What I also like about this sequence is that it starts with Bale not wanting to look at Neeson. Bale is having to confront his past and he doesn't want to, so he avoids eye contact. It's not until Neeson starts telling his own story & Bale learns how similar the two of them really are, that he looks up at him. You can really use eye direction to help tell the audience what a character is thinking & the relationship between characters.

#53

Here's a neat little clip from Conspiracy Theory. I like it because of the little head tilt & shoulder raise that Mel Gibson does. I also like it because you can clearly see the breathe that he takes during the clip, make sure to think about and plan when your character is breathing in a shot.

#52

I wanted to show this clip from The Way Back because it does a great job showing a fight or flight response. The fight or flight response states that animals/humans react to threats with a general discharge of the sympathetic nervous system, priming the person for fighting or fleeing. Males and females tend to deal with stressful situations differently. Males are more likely to respond to an emergency situation with aggression (fight), while females are more likely to flee (flight), turn to others for help, or attempt to defuse the situation. This clip is a great example of someone going through the fight or flight response.

It starts with Ed Harris piecing a lie together, he has this great subtle little smile once he has figured out the girl has been lying to him, this little moment of realization before he speaks helps the audience know he’s figured something out. Saoirse Ronan’s character instantly gets confrontational, its not over the top, but her voice and pacing let you know she’s afraid/upset. Her reaction is perfect the moment he says “your parents weren't murdered” the quick head turn, the eye blinks, you really feel she’s afraid, that she’s going into “fight or flight” mode. I love clips like this cause it really shows the battle going in within ourselves, sometimes that battle can be far more interesting than external ones. Saoirse Ronan is an amazing young actor and I'm very excited to see her career continue.

#51

So most of these acting reference videos I have posted have been more about emotion and character. I figured I should try and get some more interesting movements/gestures. Here's one from The Big Lebowski. The little foot shuffle that Jeff Bridges does after he gets up from the couch is really cool and has a great "sneaky" feel about it.

#50

This is a Subaru commercial I saw on tv and I really loved the little girl in it. The way she plays with the seat belt while she talks feels very natural & childlike.

#49

I love this little scene from Kill Bill. They convey so much with just a series of looks. Subtle stuff like this can be very interesting when pulled off right. Imagine how less powerful this scene would be if they had dialog conveying what they were thinking.

#48

Here's a small clip from The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford that's a great example of thought process. In this shot Casey Affleck is coming to terms with the fact that he has to kill Jesse James (no its not a spoiler...its in the movie title haha) It's awesome how you can so easily see the stages of his thought process.

1st - he starts nervous/jittery, his head is moving more, licking his lips, eyes darting.
2nd - he slows down a bit, starts to concentrate, eyes look down thinking about what must be done.
3rd - he reaches his decision, eyes slowly look up in an almost villainous way and then he stands up.

Like your parents said when you were growing up "think before you act" so when you're animating make sure your characters are doing this too.

#47

Here's a nice clip from The Other Guys. I love Mark Wahlbergs take at the 12 second mark. The line is very over the top, but his reaction is more subtle which plays nice.

#46

First off I wanted to show this clip in honor of Pete Postlethwaite who passed away a couple of weeks ago. I’ve always been a fan of him, especially his performance in In The Name of The Father. And Steven Spielberg famously dubbed him the “best actor in the world,” which is pretty high props coming from Mr. Spielberg. Here’s a clip of his last role in The Town…if you haven’t seen it I highly recommend it.

This is a perfect example of Secondary Action. This was a principle of animation I had a lot trouble understanding originally. It’s often confused with Overlapping Action. In this clip, his dialog with Ben Affleck is the main action of the scene, the “secondary action” is him cutting the roses. It’s an unrelated Secondary Action, as there is nothing in the dialog that mentions flowers, but it works perfectly with the scene, as it’s a slightly aggressive action which causes a lot of tension. Secondary Action is a great way to add some flavor to your scene because in life we tend to always be doing something when we talk.

#45

Nice little clip from Road to Perdition. I love the bit towards the end when the boy is about to take a bite of his pie, pauses, then asks his question. Interruptions like this are a great way to show your character thinking.

#44

Here's a sweet clip from Hot Fuzz. I'll just let it speak for itself haha. Just a great example of using interesting layout to help make a shot more funny..and Edgar Wright is always great at this. The end is so perfect.

#43

I'm a big Philip Seymour Hoffman fan and here's a nice little clip of him from Almost Famous. The little head nod at the end is really great, got a lot of character in it.

#42

Here's a cool little clip from The Black Dahlia. I really like the secondary action going on, playing with the glove and the desk. Plus the her gesture at the end is perfect, very flirty and cute.

#41

Here's another great clip from It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia. I love the hand gestures Charlie is making. You can really see how his shoulders are involved in the movements. It's got a really nice loose feel to it. Television comedies are great reference for animation as you'll find characters are a little more over-the-top and tend to have bigger/more interesting gestures.

#40

Here's a great little clip from The Departed. This is a really nice example of thinking before speaking. Leo basically asks his question with his eyes & facial expressions before he even talks. Having this unspoken anticipation before speaking can really add a lot to a shot.

#39

Here's a nice scene from Solaris. I love the contrast between the two characters & there's a lot of cool gestures from Jeremy Davies (another great underrated actor)

#38

Here's some nice crying reference from Cinderella Man.

#37

Here's a nice clip of Ed Harris in Gone Baby Gone (great movie!) I love the eye darts he makes throughout to help emphasis the point he's trying to make. He's able to convey so much with not that much movement at all. Sometimes less is more :)

#36

Here's a cool clip from No Country For Old Men I really love the little head gesture Tommy Lee Jones makes to look through his glasses, just has a lot of character.

#35

Here's another great clip from It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia. There's a lot of great gestures going on here & I especially love the reactions from Mac. He keeps them very subtle, which is good, because your focus is suppose to be on Charlie. Letting the audience know where they are suppose to be looking & not distracting them from that is very important.

#34

Here's a great clip of Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump. I love how he is able to convey so much with just his eyes...so much emotion. This is a great example of giving meaning & purpose to eye movements & blinks.

#33



Yesterday was the series finale of Lost, so I decided to post some clips in honor of my favorite show ending. If you haven't experienced Lost, I definitely recommend it, has some of the best acting on television. There are so many great moments from this show, so I decided to show 2 clips this time haha & I'm sure they'll be more to come in the future. Enjoy!

#32

I'm a really big Phillip Seymour Hoffman fan & here's a great clip of him in Capote. This is great reference for hand poses (the one holding the cigarette) and creating a loose, natural feel in hand movement.

#31

Here's a great little clip of Mark Ruffalo in Zodiac. I love how the shot only focuses on his character, so we really get to see his different reactions to the children he's taking a statement from. There's also a lot of nice little head gestures going on here. I especially like the subtle moment of surprise he has once he hears that girl saw the mans face. He's really a great underrated actor.

#30

After being thoroughly impressed with her performance in The Lovely Bones, I've been seeking out other movies with Saoirse Ronan. Here's a great clip of her in Death Defying Acts. It's just amazing how in this short clip she's able to go through multiple emotions. It's also has a nice example of an unrelated secondary action (her juggling) and an interruption. (stopping juggling when she has a change of emotion)

"All we've got is what we can touch & see" She says this as though she's hoping & expecting her Mom will disagree with her, but she doesn't. After hearing this she has this wonderful moment of realization, that shes lost her innocence. You really feel that shes trying to hold her feelings back, keep from crying, but she can't. There's just so much going on, with so little being said. She's such a great little actress!!

#29

Another sweet clip from It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia. Great reference for a more subtle double take that happens about half way through the shot.

#28

Here's a nice clip from The Black Dahlia. There's a great arc reversal in the beginning when she laughs. I really love the seductive feel she has, but its not too over the top, very subtle which works.

#27

Here's a great clip from It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia (love that show!) I love the emotion & gestures Charlie uses. He's just saying the same line over & over, but you still get so much from it. Great Stuff

#26

Those who know me know I'm a Shia Labeouf fan, when people give me crap for this I always tell them the same thing...watch him in A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints. Here's a particularly powerful scene from the movie. He does such a great job of conveying emotion. I love how, even though he is confronting his father, he still can't look him in the eye...really powerful scene

#25

Here's a great clip from The Hudsucker Proxy. I love the contrast between the two characters & how over the top the secretary is (Coen brother movies usually have over the top characters and they're great reference) Enjoy!

#24

Here's a great little clip from Sam Rockwell in The Green Mile. I love how "loose" his body is, especially his shoulders, really helps sell the idea that he's gearing up for a fight.

#23

Here's a little clip from Brazil (love that movie!) The different expressions the girl goes through are just awesome. Trying to be nice & pretending that she is okay, but really she's not.

#22

I always loved this scene from A.I. the little dance that Jude Law does is just really cool. Also a good example of readability & silhouette.

#21

Here's a cool clip from the movie Bronson. I love how you can feel all the anger & emotion that Bronson is holding in after he hears his girlfriend is marrying someone else. The little mouth movement he makes and eye darts all help sell this. The multiple little blinks he has when he says "congratulations" help convey all he's trying to hold back, really cool stuff. This is a really great independent movie that came out in 2008 which features an amazing performance by Tom Hardy who plays the main character I definitely recommend checking it out.

#20

Another great clip from Leo (wow this is like my 3rd Leo clip, guess I'm a fan haha) this one from The Departed. Really like all the gestures & facial expressions going on here. Especially the little hand twirl he does when he says "if only f*@king here" It's a really original & expressive gesture, which makes it much more interesting.

#19

Great clip of Philip Seymour Hoffman in Charlie Wilson's War. I love the intensity and the head shakes he does while yelling. Lots of great hand gestures as well.

#18

I really love this little clip from Solaris. There is so much emotion being conveyed from the eyes. There's also some awesome subtle mouth movements going on at the end. They say the eyes are the window to the soul, so don't forget to make their movements have meaning. Also a big fan of Natascha McElhone, she's a great underrated actress.

#17

I uploaded this video because it has a lot of nice subtlety. Rose McGowan pretty much stays in the same basic pose during the entire shot, but she does a great job of working within it. A lot of nice details going on in her shoulders, eyes, her hand (playing with the curtain) Adding some of these small subtle details can really take your shot to the next level.

#16

I uploaded this video from 12 Monkeys cause I really love the little spin that Brad Pitt does a the beginning of the clip. It has so much character and the timing on it is really cool. Adding character & personality to something as simple as turning around can really make your animation much more interesting. And Brad Pitt did a super awesome job in this movie, if you haven't seen it I definitely recommend it.

#15

This is a great clip from Alpha Dog. There is some awesome contrast going on between these two characters. I also love the head & shoulder movement from Ben Foster (great underrated actor) at the end of the clip. Sweet stuff.

#14

This is a great clip from Javier Bardem in No Country For Old Men. I love the brow raise at the end which he uses to emphasize the point he is trying to make.

#13

I really like this clip from Superman Returns. There's some nice brow stuff and I like how you feel he's in a rush and has multiple things going on at once. The "thinking" is very believable.

#12

This clip from The Frighteners has some really nice finger movements. Fingers are a great place to add detail and polish to a shot.

#11

Leo gave an excellent performance in The Aviator and I really like this shot for the head accent at the end. There's also some really nice shoulder movement going on as well. You don't always have to use your hands to make gestures, sometimes using only the head can be more interesting.

#10

I uploaded this video because Daniel Day-Lewis is the man :) There's so much emotion and anger is this short little clip, really amazing

#9

I uploaded this video because of the expression the girl makes at the end of the scene, very expressive

#8

I really like this moment from The Aviator because of the little hand gesture that Leo makes. Instead of hitting the gesture on a word, he does it before the line and it really adds some nice texture to the shot

#7

This is a great shot from The Weather Man. Nic Cage's sarcasm at the end of the shot with the eye darts and head turns is really great stuff.

#6

Double Take

Great reference of a double take from Brazil

#5

Make your blinks count

I uploaded this video to show a great example of using a blink. Often people just throw in blinks as filler, but you should really think about how the dialog is being delivered and place them accordingly. In the second shot Colin Farrell doesn't blink at all until the end of his dialog where he has a single blink, this really helps sell the confusion he is feeling. Keep in mind that blinks can add lots to a shot and placing them in the right spot is important.

#4

Speaking Without Speaking

This is a great scene I captured from Before the Devil Knows Your Dead. You really feel how uncomfortable Ethan Hawke is and how he's trying to get a word in, but can't. Often we overlook characters who aren't talking in a scene, but this is a great example of excellent acting without having any dialogue.

#3

I uploaded this video from Almost Famous to show a great example of offsetting different parts of the body to make more appealing movement. The character is going from pose A to pose B, but she moves her arms first, then the rest of her body which makes it a much more interesting move. Keep this in mind when animating, changing which body part moves first can drastically effect how an animation looks and feels.

#2

I captured this video from the movie Kingdom of Heaven. I really like the moment before Sybilla speaks, she's asking a question but, before she speaks she asks with her eyes and small head shake. I've noticed this happening lots, we tend to anticipate what we're going to say with our eyes before we actually say it. Anticipation isn't only for big movement and actions, anticipating before speaking, like in this video, can add a lot to an animation.

#1

Subtlety
I uploaded this video to show a great use of subtlety. Often in animation people push emotions and gestures too far when sometimes a more subtle route can be more appealing. This scene from Dances with Wolves is a great example of a subtle reaction, When Rodney A. Grant tastes the sugar his reaction is very small and subtle, just a slight smile, but it fits his character perfectly.
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