Acting for Animation Study #7

This weeks acting study comes from the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I had never seen this movie until this past year, but, I gotta say, I really enjoyed it. I think it is Jim Carrey’s best performance. He plays serious roles surprisingly well.


Let’s look at the characters, Clementine and Joel, and their different body language in this clip. We have two different personalities. Clementine doesn’t care what people think. She starts talking to Joel without a second thought. Joel, on the other hand, is more reserved, he’s a little uncomfortable that someone randomly started up a conversation with him.


Things to look for:

• at 1:12 notice how Joel starts nervously playing with his hands and bobbing his knees.

• Joel shrugs a lot. He doesn’t like conflict so when Clementine challenges what he says he tries to shrug it off.

•  Joel sits pretty still. He doesn’t want to stand out. He gestures are small and contained. Clementine on the other hand moves across the train to talk to him, she doesn’t mind turning around and being propped up on the headrest, and then at 1:52 she slouches down across the two seats. She’s much less concerned with her appearance and her gestures are larger.



The next animation your working on pay attention to the body language of your character. Are they more reserved or are they outgoing. This should be conveyed in the way they hold themselves and how big or small their gestures are.


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