To begin with, I took the first few slides to explain some words that were used frequently in the presentation. This was Fordism and Taylorism. Fordism is a manufacturing philosophy that basically means when you are in work, you are there to work. When the work is done then you can play, but not before. Taylorism combines the two work and play, resulting in a higher productivity.
Rebecca took the next slide which was the introduction, explaining briefly on slap stick comedy and the difference between todays Mickey Mouse and that of the 20s and 30s. Here is quoted Matthew Crawford’s World Beyond Your Head (2005)
The next slide was on Automation and Comedy which I took to present. I talked about how the writer of WALL-E, Andrew Stanton, describes it has a Pantomine Movie. He wanted to bring Slapstick comedy into not only the title character, but also the entire look of the film. From this we can see it he has collaborated the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Lloyd and Keaton films. In this movie he is able to use comic gags and gestures and guide of the audiences understanding to the plot with minimal verbal explanation. We have found while watching WALL-E that slap stick can be alot more exaggerated when the character is a non human/ robot. This is because some of the things that happen to him although are funny, would normally injure a human. Next I went on to talk about how Fordism is used in the beginning of WALL-E. In the introduction of the film we are shown WALL-E’s day to day routine as a trash compactor. What is funny in this is that his work resembles that of a human performance ‘Taking a dump’. He has the look of intense concentration when he is passing the trash out, which adds to the comedy of constipated labour.As we watch him do his day to day work we notice that he is only doing his job in the search of items that interest him, which he then takes home. This shows that also he started of as fordism, after 700 years of doing this job it has turned into Taylorisim, bring pleasure into his work. WALL-E is an assembly line that self humanizes.
The next slide was on Automation and Automatism which Jakob spoke about. He talks of how the only time WALL-E shows true fordism is near the ending when his circuits were damaged and he reverts back to his original programme, forgetting any of his human characteristics. The relationship between slapstick comedy and film theory is vital as it helps to create engaging humour based on realism.
This next slide was presented by Rebecca. She summarised the articles theory of ‘Pixar’s Fun Factory.’ Development with Ages. In the present age, the possibilities of digital manipulation of electronic photography seems to be returning images to a prephotographic quality of painting: that characterized by the painterly brushstroke.Is Pixar a factory itself? ‘Keystone’s mode of production was redefined in terms of its product: the making of slapstick was itself a kind of comedy…’ (p. 36).
The second half of the presentation was our evaluation of the article and how we can apply it to our work. For the first slide I spoke about Slapstick comedy and how it would be interesting to use this in our work and animations. Although I disagree with the article as it really emphasizes the use of slap stick in WALL-E and compares it to the like of Charlie Chaplin comedy. I believe WALL-E is very watered down slapstick and I would relate it more to the likes of Tom and Jerry or Donald Duck from the original Mickey Mouse short. Jakob spoke on how Fordism could be used in an antagonist character. Fordism can be used to dehumanise a character. That makes it easier to create a distinction between the protagonists and antagonists. Making antagonists seem more automated can make them seem like they would do anything to achieve what they want. The final part of our evaluation was looking at the silent movie aspect. WALL-E has very limited dialogue and no facial feature but yet we are still able to understand his emotion through his actions. We think this is something that is really important to learn and bring into our work, that is being able to show narrative through expressive action.
The Presentation slides