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HomeAwardsTV Awards Season-Animation Categories

TV Awards Season-Animation Categories

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By Elizabeth Chou
The four animation categories are some of thetoughest categories to judge, according to Brian Sheesley, one of twogovernors for animation at the TV academy.
“We can break animationdown into a hundred categories,” Sheesley said. “But we’re not giventhat realm. We’re all lumped under ‘half-hour’ or ‘over an hour.’”
Many people don’t realize that animation is just as complex as the live action field, he said.
“You really can’t explain (animation) to people. We could explain stuff until we’re blue in the face,” Sheesley said.
Thefour animation categories include the outstanding animated program lessthan an hour, outstanding animated program one hour or longer, thecommittee-awarded outstanding voice-over performance, and the juriedoutstanding individual achievement in animation.
The outstandingindividual achievement award was added only 12 years ago, and itrecognizes the many different talents required to create animatedprograms: storyboard artist, production designer or art director,layout artist, color stylist, background key designer, animator andcharacter designer.
Because animation is such a departure from theother categories, the judging panels are especially made up of fellowanimation professionals. While this brings a level of expertise to thejudging process, those same professionals must also set theirconnections aside and be mindful of conflicts of interest.
“It’sreally about being objective. You’re supposed to take each of theperformances and watch with fresh eyes … you have to judge it on yourown sense of quality,” Sheesley said.
One of the most importantthings that judges consider when evaluating television animation is thefact that many of the creators are constantly on the clock.
Itoften takes years for animators to create a feature-length release,whereas television animators have just four months to complete ahalf-hour program. What the program loses in polish, it gains inspontaneity.
“We get some pretty funny gags and stuff, because we’rereally thinking quickly,” says Russell Calabrese, the branch’s othergovernor. “It is very hard to be spontaneous in animation because ofthe time it takes to do it. Part of how we judge is based on knowingthe condensed time frame of TV versus features.”
The pace demands that the television animator really know what they are doing.
“TVpeople can really get their work done. It’s a lot of hard work. TVanimation is a real tough gig. When I work on features, I feel like I’mon a little bit of a vacation,” Calabrese said.

Written by Elizabeth Chou

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