Assuming the Position
Features

by James Eatock

Adam and Adora should maneuver smoothly into their odd change sequence poses.

Continuity was never one of Filmation's strong points. Characters would raise an arm in one shot, and the immediate following shot would usually see their hand by their side. Some directors, storyboard artists and animators took special care, and made sure that one shot followed the next without any problems.

One sequence that usually caused continuity problems was when Prince Adam changed into He-Man. The first shot of this sequence would usually have Adam posed with his arms slightly raised. Preceding scenes would very rarely match this and the two shots wouldn't flow.

However, there were three He-Man episodes where the director placed a scene in front of Adam's strange pose. These scenes established a believable continuity between shots.

MU46 - "Eternal Darkness"
In "Eternal Darkness" Darkdream accidentally brings Eternia's moon on a collision course with Eternia. Subsequently most of Act Two is dark, and this gives Adam and Cringer a chance to escape and transform into their other selves. After Man-At-Arms destroys the Wind Raider that Darkdream is about the escape in, we unexpectedly cut to a shot of Adam and Cringer about to change. This shot isn't needed, but it does make for a good bit of continuity as well as being a great establishing shot. We can see that Adam is already in the pose.

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MU72 - The Great Books Mystery
In "The Great Books Mystery" Cringer once again pleads with Adam not to transform him into Battle Cat. Adam does not answer back and merely looks in the usual direction. This is a strange example of continuity, because the two shots are almost similar in size.

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MU77 - Trouble in Trolla
In "Trouble in Trolla" Cringer is complaining about Orko's homeworld of Trolla. He has good reason to be annoyed, because in "Dawn of Dragoon" they faced all sorts of trouble. Adam tries to convince his friend that they have to help Orko, but Cringer's not having any of it, so Adam resorts to the only tactic he knows; the transformation! The director chooses to have Adam standing normally as he tries to reason with Cringer, and brilliantly animates a sequence which shows Adam maneuver himself into the change pose.

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The She-Ra series also used continuity to link the transformation to the previous shot. Adora, like her brother Adam, had a tendency to position herself oddly before unsheathing her sword.

PP7 - The Sea Hawk
The Sea Hawk throws Adora to safety as Catra confronts them both. Away from prying eyes Adora begins the change into She-Ra. Instead of having two shots that don't merge the director chooses to have Adora reach for her sword in the distanced shot, and resume the stock animation as she unsheathes the sword. This is a fine example of animation continuity, and was later used in "The Mines of Mondor."

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PP17 - A Loss for Words
More in keeping with the change sequence continuity in the He-Man series, Adora leaps into shot, and maneuver herself into the change pose. Sadly, on this occasion the following shot has a gaping error; it has now turned from daytime to nighttime!

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PP24 - The Mines of Mondor
As Adora makes her way through castle Bright Moon, she looks around and decides to change into She-Ra. Exactly the same as the continuity used in "The Sea Hawk," Adora reaches for her sword in the distanced shot, and unsheathes the sword in the regular shot and animation sequence.

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PP63 - Flowers for Hordak
As the Horde attack with the intent of capturing Perfuma, Adora dashes off to make her transformation into She-Ra. Adora nearly assumes the position in the distanced shot, but her arms are slightly lower than usual, and she appears to be looking directly at the audience. When the animation links up with the closer shot, Adora is still in this pose, but then raises her arms to pose in the usual way. This shot was located by Alex Hawkey.

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PP76 - Brigis
Only one scene prior in this episode, She-Ra was dueling with the Horde. But to our surprise she is suddenly Adora again, knowing that she still has to save Jarin. She whips out the Sword of Protection and goes straight into transformation. Why would we need to see a five second shot of Adora stating the obvious and transforming into She-Ra? Fortunately the director makes the scene interesting, and shortens the transformation as he did with the last one. Adora's maneuver into the pose is animated quite nicely, with Spirit at her side. This shot was located by Alex Hawkey.

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PP89 - Hordak's Power Play
Before introducing herself to Larg, Adora decides that it would be best to face the eight-foot tall alien in her She-Ra form. Adora leaves Bow and walks behind some building structures. The odd thing about Adora's pose in this shot is that her arms look very long and bendy, when compared to the closer shot. Also her legs are just straight up and down instead of being slightly parted as seen in other shots. This shot was located by Alex Hawkey.

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