The Sullivan Bluth Studios in Ireland – Page 3

The Music Room, the organisational centre for the studios.

The job of keeping a look-out for errors goes to the ‘Music Room’. This name stems from the early days of the Walt Disney studio when music was played here, more than likely to soothe the frayed nerves of the people working in this department. Other tasks of the Music Room personnel include supervising all production areas and being up to date on all last minute changes. With the basic structure completed, work can now be allocated.

The next stage in production is the ‘Layout’. The ‘Layout Artist’ has the job of designing the ‘stage’, giving the exact dimensions and perspective for each scene. The drawings also provide guidelines for animation, showing the ‘Animators’ where to position their characters and also to provide the basic design for the ‘Background Department’. They must also check that each scene is historically and structurally correct, for example it would be of no use if the scene was to be set in an old saw mill if the background looked nothing like a saw mill. Therefore, the layout artist might sometimes have to refer to old books for reference when researching a scene.

John Pomeroy animating.

The layout is passed on to the ‘Background Department’ where artists transform the basic design into the elaborate version seen in the film. The background artists seem to use airbrushes a great deal in order to give a soft look to the paintings. They capture the mood of the scene and try to create a believable world in which the story can evolve. The backgrounds also affect the characters because all colour schemes are chosen in close reference to the background colours.

Some scenes go to the scene planning department before they go to animation. The four people employed in this department have the sole function of planning the camera moves which take place throughout the film. The planning department works closely with the directors and animators to ensure that everybody understands the type of camera moves involved in each scene.

Character sheets from Land Before Time.


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