Action Analysis : Analysis and Discussion of Pole Vault and High Jump Action

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Page 12 of 13

From the collection of Hans Perk at A. Film L.A. and reprinted here with his permission.

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There's no formula for it. He must just go ahead. Make tests on
the side. It's the tests done after working hours that count
here. There isn't an animator that has done much stuff on Studio
time. It has all been done after hours. Do tests and really
study - not long complicated scenes, but simple gestures and ex-
pressions, and simple movements of the hands and arms - just to
get used to what canbe done with the figure. It wouldn't take
long before this group would be doing something valuable if
twelve or fifteen of you were doing this. It wouldn't be long
before the group were asserting itself around here. One hears a
lot about animation, how it takes a hundred years to learn how to
animate - and it isn't true. Every one of the aniamtors who have
gone ahead fast, and there are several of them, have done it one
way - they have all done a lot of tests. There's only one way to
learn animation and that is to animate. Take Spencer and thomas
and Wollie and Quackenbush - four fellows who have come up very
fast - all of them cut it in a year or less. Spencer took longer
than that because he didn't get going for a while, but when he
got going he did it in about a year. And all of them turned out
hundreds of feet of tests and they did it at night. That's what
this group will have to do. It will have to assert itself. The
young artist's best bet, the thing he has, is his background and
his training - and he is not doing a thing with it. How can any
one say what can be done with a human figure until someone tries?
No one has tried it. Grim is the only one that has seriously
tried it around here, and he hasn't had the chance to show it in a
picture yet. But he has the knowledge, and there are others
around here who could too.

- High Jump is Run -

First, the problem of what he is trying to do and how he goes
about it! First of all, a take-off, a run up to the bar - notice
as he approaches the bar he increases his stride until he gets
close to it. On the last stride he swings the left foot through,
lifting it very high and pulling his arms and his body down to
the legs, and the legs up until he is all humped over, and then
he snaps the right foot through. In other words, it is the old
scissors.

In the second jump - as he approaches the bar he swings the legs
straight ahead of him and snaps both his feet up ahead of the body
and shoots his feet over first, so that in this case the feet
pass over the bar together. Then as he pulls his body over the
bar he snaps his head and body back, and this snap back of the
head and the roll back on his back gives him the much added inch or so
with which to arch over the bar. This is very much like the fel-
low pole vaulting, only reverse. In this case it is the snap [...]

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