This week we will watch Buster Keaton’s 1928 classic silent film, Steamboat Bill Jr. on Thursday and Friday in Cartooning & Animation.
While watching the film we will stop occasionally to take a closer look at how story and characterization can be conveyed without relying on sound/talking.
Live action film had a heavy influence on the early animators; the greatest silent film makers were able to tell a story and express mood and emotion visually with a minimum of dialogue. This was achieved with a focus on clear staging, body language, and facial expression. These three concepts are incredibly important for animation, and even more so for comics.