Monday, November 28, 2011


Well I would have uploaded it but it's been an hour and a few reloads later and Blogger isn't playing ball either so. Forget computers I'm going outside...

I have been working. But, I don't really have anything new to post up. This is all my animatic so far because premier is being a know what. It refuses to export the last 30 seconds of the thing too.
I've coloured it in and re-done parts and its much clearer but Premier isn't having it so, try again tomorrow. I'll just post that up so you see I am doing stuffs!

But yeh, I've pretty much re-written the script like 5 times. re-done the storyboard another 5 times, so it gets a bit boring to just post up tiny changes every other day, so I'm doing it all in one big chunk now!

Hopefully it's going pretty good. We've got an independent judger to watch our animatics on the 7th of December so that's the deadline for this, which gives me 8 days.

The sound hasn't been made yet because I've had to switch who I'm using (the other guy is swamped with work) and I'm yet to record my voice scratch track because we haven't managed to be free at the same time yet! Bit frustrating but thats how it goes I guess.

It's all still on schedule though, maybe even a bit ahead. the middle of the script has been really hard to work with and get right and it's probably still not 100% there at this point.
Short and sweet today.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sympathy Vote? project actually got selected to the next round? Everybody was saying I got asked some difficult questions so I may have gotten a sympathy vote, I don't know. Doesn't really matter does it?

So the next stage is to produce a full pre-production bible (majority of that is done in terms of design and concept work now just have to bring it to life with mockups etc) and a production animatic with scratch sound tracks.

So here is the starting point of everything, well, the second starting point after the script. The Production story board. So it's rough, it's not an art work it's merely telling the story and working out shots. I've done this all today (from 4th picture down) so it will likely change and be re-worked as I re-visit it during the week. But for now, here it is, I done it, can't say I haven't. Also the shots and things aren't numbered yet.

If you know the song Something in the Way by Nirvana you may spot the few references I've put in there as the 'Son' (unseen character) is based a bit on Kurt Cobain.

Also here's the opening monologue so you can hopefully see how it might work together.

"Why do we vie with ourselves? [pause]. Why does this happen? [pause]. Who robbed you of light? Of life? Who stole your dreams? Hidden deeper than any soul could hope to find. [pause] Was it me? Is this my fault? What is this evil that toys with us? My cage sits by your grave. The years won’t matter but it’s the days that I can’t stand. "

So up to here is where I've done today. The opening sequence I'm still not 100% sure about and I may cut it out all together. (this is also where the monologue ends but that may change which is why I haven't written it all in)

I've just noticed I've forgotten to write in here in the first panel the Mother says "you never did dress warmly" hence why she has the scarf.

(may not be totally clear on here but the neighbour is holding the door open which is why his left arm is out like that...production storyboard, therefore not expertly drawn)

I've also just added to this now, a red scarf now fades in with the blue scarf on the black screen and the two entwine so that the audience clearly gets the connection of the scarves.

Anyhows, time to dress my puppet as shes been naked for too long! Really need to crack on with sets and things so that's the main task for next week with the animatic.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Pitch

I didn't go that well. I took a bit of a wrong angle pitching it and the "panel" (4 people from industry, i'll write their names when I find the bit of paper) decided to really pick up on that and ask a few personal questions which are now, having slept on it, thought about it and in the comfort of my own room, quite easy to answer but on the spot with about 150 looking at you are very difficult to answer and to be honest there were certain things I was trying not to tell 40 of my fellow 3rd years, and most of the 2nd year (the majority of whom I don't know that well).

But I could have pitched it better and maybe avoided those questions. Of course now 24 hours later I have thought of the perfect angle and things to say. As is the way.

In response to what all my tutors were saying in tutorials I spent the preparation for the pitch really focusing on questions for things like, how are you going to make it? Can you make a puppet? What's the sound track? What style is it? What are your influences? And all those kind of ones.
So when they were asked I think I answered them confidently, concisely and well.

They picked up on a contrast of styles when I said I've been influenced by the Brothers Quay and Susie Templeton's "Dog" but it was kinda sewn into a perso
nal question. So i mean, the question wasn't;
I see you've looked at Dog and Street of Crocodiles, please explain how you're using them to make your film.

I can't remember the exact wording but it was much more directed at the story rather than the style with a little bit of a personal jab between the relationship of me and my mother. And like I said, on the spot that's a bit tricky and I completely bombed. It really threw me.
If I had another chance at it I'd explain that Dog and Bothers Quay is purely for visual influence.
I was looking at how Suzie Templeton manages to subtly avoid lip sync with her puppets but you're still able to tell who said what and that I also took the poignancy and slightly dark feel to Dog.

Where as I also like the abstractness of the Brothers Quay, and the weirdness of it, but what I've particularly taken is their use of sound, minimal sound track and real emphasis on foley. (I said this in an answer to a question about sound but didn't say that this was the main thing I took from the Brothers Quay)
And then I would have declined to try answer the more personal stuff.

But the way the question was worded and directed, being infront of the majority of the animation course, it threw me and I fucked it up. Because it was in essence a simple question just asked in a difficult and complicated way. Thats what I thought any wa
y. But I can't blame anybody because I failed to decipher it. A couple of friends said they wished I had earpieces because they knew the right things to say, but it's much easier to think of answers to someone else's questions when you're in the audience.

The only annoying thing is none of them said anything remotely positive about anything I'd done. I'm not going to name names or projects, and I'm
not saying that mine is the best idea or the best concept by any means, but there were some drawings, and some ideas that were a lot weaker than mine that the "panel" had good things to say, and compliments. And I'm not the greatest, I know, but I think at least one of my pictures might have deserved a comment like "that's not bad you know". That's what's got me down about the pitch thing. It was a wholly negative experience.

However this didn't happen to just me, the project Wife Left Home also succumbed to negative questioning and criticism despite the fact that it was a decent idea and probably one of the best drawn projects that was pitched. I gave it a 9 f
or concept and style.

Anyway, rant over.
There's not much point doing any major work on this until I know if I got approved or not. At the end of the day though it comes down to the tutors really and they've all seen the script and been working on it with me and so know more about it than I can tell someone in 3 minutes.

So yeah I can do my dissertation for a bit and catch up on the chronic lack of sleep I've had the last week. I don't mind not getting approved either because the other stop-motion ideas are awesome and I'm more than happy to work on them and other 2D and 3D projects (helps being a jack of all trades sometimes). And I'm also going to work on an promo for the Falmouth Tridents (our uni american football team for which I play a
s a Defensive Back) and use animation to help raise awareness for the NFL in the UK.

you know what? Maybe I should have pitched that whole idea instead.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Patchwork Pitchy Pictures

Okay so because I'm obviously not going to have time to manufacture clothes by Friday I've taken Ann's suggestion and just wrapped a bit of a shawl around her but she looks a bit of a granny like that but I think that's due to the overload of white. It's padded out with cotton wool underneath. Also I haven't decided on the hair, may use something other than cotton wool, but that gives you an idea (also if I did use the wool I'd paint it). The hands are supposed to be blocky, but they're scooped out on the palms so she can hold stuff.

Oh and I need to get rid of the nose bit, but that'
s easily done.

So either one of two things has happened. I've either bought a brand of super sculpey that stays white when it's baked, or I've not had it in for long enough. I've baked it at about 140 ish for an hour, and the packet says 130 for 15-30 minutes.

If it has stayed white instead of going that nice light umber pinky colour then I'm going to plan B or C.

Plan B is to paint the face. Plan C is to wrap it in string like in t
he below film "Zero". However I'll only wrap the face in string, and it's purely visual. Because just white like that is shit. I'm favouring Plan C, so a trip to the fabric shop is in order tomorry.

It's like painting.

This was shown to me by a second-year, said my character reminded her a bit of these. I'm very intrigued and now toying with the idea of making my puppets 'skin' into string like this.

This isn't really a concept....just....muckin aboot.

I has re-done her with no eyes! Maybe need to fiddle around with the hue on her clothes a bit more but not right now because Photoshop is having a tantrum....well the computer's been on all day so probably time to give it a rest.

This is what I finally uploaded. Apparently she looks like a grandmother though. I disagree, but then again I would/have to. The face re-do was in conjunction with criticism (constructive obviously) that she didn't look stop-motiony enough. So I had a quick look at Coraline and some other Tim Burton things, and some Aardman, because they're the only main-stream stop-motion that I can think of, and came up with that. But now she looks too Disney and too old and too expressive. Well there's just no pleasing some people. It's kinda hard to work on this project because every tutor tells you something different and they always contradict so you have to chose who to ignore and who to listen to.

So back to the blank face it is. I figured I'd do some expression drawings anyway in case somebody accused me of taking the easy road. Although that above image may be in the brochure it's not the end of the world because it's only in the brochure and it's not going to be massive massive HUGE. Soo another little tinker and I'll have it all sorted. The good news is I can chose images, I mean, I've drawn enough so I don't have to panic about creating more pretty pictures.
also have to get my puppet all dolled up (haw haw haw) and take a photo of her.

Just mucking about with different hair styles.

Ohhh look at me I'm a Disney character. The gaunt blank look seems to work better with the mood so I'm sticking with removing the whites of the eyes. Although in my brochure image I gave her big eyes, because I'm clever like that...

All I done is taken away the pencil lines. Looks kinda cool, no?

Disney mum's struggle with small but mighty terriers.

The dog has a reduced role now so doggy concepts are not so pressing.