Monday, 10 January 2011

self reflection

so over the last term i feel i have learnt a great deal. as far as directing and story telling goes its been a blast, i may have had a few problems with the script and story line but apparently that is to be expected. i feel that looking back to the beginning of term the story morphed from being a very rough outline to a very mature and difficult narrative to a concise and warm story. my personal choice to make a dramatic change to the narrative at such a late notice was due to the presentation as a focus group, the fact that there was no reaction meant that there was no engagement with the story and i was obviously putting too much time and effort into trying to tell the lives of the characters outside of the story instead of telling the actual story.

there have been some tough decisions to make over the course of the project too such as the choice of members for example, i have no regrets about who i selected as i selected them for specific reasons and for how they not only interact in the working environment but how they function outside of project time too.
it was easy to see that they wanted to work on the project and that was the first step, passion.
i then decided who i wanted to do what and whether or not the film could be achieved with said members.
so now i can say that i am proud of the work we have achieved so far and i have my team to thank for that.

there was also the very difficult decision to cut the penguin from the film. i had asked emma to design the penguin for me and we had a hard time hitting the target but eventually after re-evaluating the story i realised that it was the character of the penguin that was throwing the story off. the penguin was cute and funny and my initial idea was to show a developing relationship between these 2 characters but as the project progressed i found that i was really wanting to tell the relationship between the eel and the kid. thus rendering the penguin useless, it is a shame and i was gutted to cut him out but at the end of the day the penguin would have compromised the production.

i also found it difficult to tell people the truth, in reflection to their work. initially i saw areas of peoples work which i thought could have been improved but i didnt push the matter, but as we progressed i realised that the film would look crap over all if i didnt say anything so it just clicked. it was a huge learning curve for me but at the end of the day i have the film to think about and sometimes being harsh with criticism is the right way to go. also if i push my team harder then they will become better artists for it.
i have discovered that having checklists of things to achieve is the best way to prioritise the project aswell. i am able to easily see what needs to be done then can pass the information on to ben to schedule it so we know what needs to be achieved.

personally i have learnt soo much about directing as i have had to think in a more technical and cinematic way.
CINEMATIC STORYTELLING has been my main reference for this project it offers soo much to new directors i learnt something new on every page, so much so that i have read the book cover to cover twice to make sure i didnt miss anything. i feel that this book is partly the reason why my film is where it is now and i also thank it for teaching me so much. it has shown to me that i could possibly have a career in directing and story writing. so thanks to ben for lending it to me was definitely worth it.
before when working i never really thought too hard of framing or composition but now its all i can do whenever i draw a picture its all about how it will look on the big screen and does it have an impact. this has been key to the story board but i feel that shots and angles may change as we get a new perspective through the 3d software.
narrative is something i have always thought about as it is key to engaging the audience, if there is no narrative then there is no film. i had soo many ideas for this project that i could have pitched but i had to bite my tongue and pick the best one. i still think now though about how one of the other stories i had would be doing at this stage in the project.

where are we now and where are we headed

currently i have completed the script and storyboard the main character has been designed and i am modelling him at present. the exterior of the iceberg has been modelled and textured by carlos we have an array of lighting examples for the film put forward by keith. the kids submarine has been modelled and textured although i wish to tweak it slightly. we have some great examples of animation from mel to show the movement of the character. the eel has been modelled and textured by fahran and looks great, with clym working on the rig for it again it looks great.
ben has been doing a great job of scheduling and did a great presentation. that was last term .

this term i wish to begin production as soon as we are able. with dissertations looming this will be a very hard target but i believe we must begin production as soon as possible just to get the team rolling. so i am currently nearly finished with a rough animatic which i will pass to emma to fill in with some more detail to help out with the animation and timing. with my rough animatic i wish to complete a rough sound pass to pass to the sound guy Dave so we can get the sound effects going as well.

-pontoon needs to be built with a matte painting aswell.
-interior of ice berg needs building and texturing.
-baby eel needs finalising and building/ rigging
-kraken needs building texturing and rigging


i began to draw the storyboard digitally but was finding myself bored and easily distracted so after watching something about how pixar works i decided to draw the storyboard with pencil and paper the old fashioned way. by doing this i was able to increase my production time considerably and as a result the new story board took no time at all. and at current the storyboard is stuck up on my bedroom wall, i have learnt that this is how i prefer to work and if i am unable to work in this way at college then i shall have to set up base camp in my room.

the new board is the up to date and concise story featuring the new beginning i spoke about in the previous post.

slight revision

after speaking to dan in college before christmas of the new story he suggested beginning the film with the ending to cut out a lot of work on the intro. at first i was worried that this would confuse the audience and i was also unsure about losing the beginning that i had crafted. after some consideration and lack of an idea to finish the film i went back and considered dans technique.

it works.
now the character begins the film having already won the photography competition and we re-live the story through the kids eyes.

- the kid runs onto the pontoon excited clutching a newspaper he sits down at the edge of the pontoon and begins to read amazed at what he sees.
- a 2 page spread devoted to him. a huge picture of him holding a trophy on the one page with a descriptive text and the winning photo on the other.
- the text fades in transition to the kid swimming in the ocean approaching the massive ice berg.

i believe that this beginning benefits the film greatly as it shows the audience how the story will play out and then we begin to piece together the epic tale of how he got his photo.

the Kraken

so here is my initial development work for the kraken.
the mood board shows the general feel and attitude for the character whilst also linking it to real sea creatures big and small. when I personally design characters i think of the outlandish first but then try and contextualize that character in our own world so it does not seem too far fetched for the audience and thus with an animated film i can hopefully imbue the characters with some believability and reality.

with the silhouettes of the kraken i wanted to have something slightly different from the norm whilst also remembering fahrans fear of squiddy tentacle creatures. i have personally decided upon my final design for the character and im now working towards a dramatic concept to show the character in action my next step will be producing the model sheet for it. i am extremely happy with the design and fell that it fits not only the film but the world i have created.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010


1.EXT. Pontoon

low angle push track and slow pan along the pontoon and up to child sitting on a crate.
The child has his back to us as he looks out over the water he Is lazily fishing whilst eating an apple and reading a newspaper. Shot begins with kid on left and ends with kid on right side of frame.

2.EXT. Pontoon

Cut to the front of character he dominates the right side of frame as he takes a bite out of his apple, more interested in his apple and newspaper than the fishing rod.
Behind the kid we see an out of focus sail from his submarine.

3.EXT. Pontoon

POV of Kid-
Close shot of the newspaper the kid is reading left side shows an article warning of a terrible monster that lurks in the Deep, the monster attacks without warning and will kill you. There is no hope and it must be killed.
The kid is suddenly attracted to the opposite page which is a full page advert for a photography competition.
1st prize – brand new camera and job as the papers photographer
2nd prize – money
3rd prize – crappy toy

4.EXT. Pontoon

close shot of the kids “wow” reaction to the competition

5.EXT. Water

Intercut the wow reaction with a close up of the kids fishing line. He has a bite but is more interested in the newspaper, so he ignores.

6.EXT. Pontoon

kid is already walking away from his perch, he has barely reeled in his rod and discards his apple over his shoulder and into the water.
The kid proceeds from right to left and out of frame towards his submarine.

7.EXT. Water

low angle shot looking back at pontoon as the kid throws his apple in the air it lands right in front of the camera then floats past camera follows as we turn 180 degrees the weather and sky change sounds change and we now look at an ice berg afloat in the ocean.
The apple is promptly pulled down into the water fade to titles.

8.EXT. Ocean

flash of white over titles fade into pov of a stunned fish.
The fish has just been photographed by the kid and his view is disorientated.
We can see the kid in his diving gear holding a camera as he swims off.

9.EXT. Ocean

stunned fish floats limply in the water then pops back to its normal swimming position as normal. (fish are dumb)

10.EXT. Ocean

kid swims in a barrel roll as a school of fish swim above him in an arc. As he is on his back he takes a photo and the fish scatter.

11.EXT. Ocean

OTS Kid right side dominant.

After his roll the kid now sees an iceberg, the underwater half, and swims towards it transfixed.

12.EXT. Ocean

wide angle of kid at the cave entrance, he is dwarfed by its enormity.

13.EXT. Ocean

close shot of the kids face as he looks up at the giant entrance.
Fog on inside of his helmet.

14.EXT. Ocean

back to 12 wide angle shot the kid musters his courage and enters the ice cave.

15.INT. Ice Cave

wide angle of the interior of the ice cave, greens and blues as the light refracts and diffuses through the ice. The kid swims from left to right diagonally down.

16.INT. Ice Cave

kid swims diagonally on Z axis away from the camera and towards a pale white glowing chamber in the cave.

17.INT. Ice Cave

camera track and pan around the chamber entrance, at the speed of the kid, to reveal a giant sleeping conger eel. The glow is emanating from the eel itself.

18.INT. Ice Cave

close up of the kids face in aww at the sight of the sleeping beast.

19.INT. Ice Cave

kid swims diagonally down toward bottom right of frame approaching on the z axis toward the camera. Fade to 20.

20.INT. Ice Cave

kid is now an arms length from the eel's head he reaches for his camera and slowly takes a photograph. Large white flash.

21.INT. Ice Cave

close shot of the Eel's eye as it snaps open and the pupil dilates from the flash. The eel's markings change from white to orange.

22.INT. Ice Cave

Close shot of the kid as he realises he is in danger.

23.INT. Ice Cave

the kid franticly swims backwards as the eel begins to rear.
Pure terror on the kids face as he turns.

24.INT. Ice Cave

Long shot
kid swims up from right to left towards camera.
Eel swoops in a great arc from its sleeping place up round and near to the kid the kid dodges at the last minute as the eel continues her momentum.

25.INT. Ice Cave

Kid swims to a stop and surveys his surroundings.

26.INT. Ice Cave

POV of Kid looking around.
Kid looks left to right at his environment then to the eel looming in the higher parts of the cavern. He spots a crack on the other side of the chamber and swims for it.

27.INT. Ice Cave

close up showing kids determination.

28.INT. Ice Cave

kid swims into the crack just in time the eel charges down and misses the kid by a fraction. The eel's momentum causes her to slam into the cave floor. Stunning her.

29.INT. Ice Cave

low angle shot looking at the cave ceiling as three stalactite/icicles break from the roof due to the commotion.

30.INT. Ice Cave

Icicle impales the Eel's flipper pinning it to the cave floor.
The Eel tries to get free but cant

31.INT. Ice Cave

kid seizes his opportunity and fleas the scene.

32.INT. Ice Cave

kid swimming up towards camera then we hear a small cry. Child like.
The kid stops and turns to witness a baby eel trying to free its mother but it is impossible. At the sight of this the kid turns to help.

33.INT. Ice Cave

the kid swims back down from left to right and past the Eels head.

34.INT. Ice Cave

kid struggles to lift the icicle, struggles … and then it dislodges.

35.INT. Ice Cave

close shot of the Eel as she lets out a small cry.

36.INT. Ice Cave

shot of the icicle falling the ground showing the freed eel.

37.INT. Ice Cave

Kid is now face to face with the mother eel. He raises his hand to touch her face.
An Almighty ROAR that shakes the cavern.

The kid turns to see what it is fear etched on his face. The mother eel calls to her child to hide.

38.INT. Ice Cave

The Eel gestures to the kid to get on its head.
The kid does so slowly and cautiously.
As soon as the kid is on top the Eel blasts off.

39.INT. Ice Cave

kid slides down the eel to where the sail fin begins he holds on and enjoys the ride.

40.INT. Ice Cave

wide angle shot
the eel blasts through the cave and out into the ocean speed is of the essence.

41.EXT. Ocean

a huge tentacle slaps the side of the iceberg.

42.EXT. Ocean

the kid turns back at the sound of the tentacle. Fear changes to determination.

43.EXT. Ocean

the kid turns and reaches for his camera

44.EXT. Ocean

black space in the watery void #flash# of the camera illuminates a hulking kraken. Which turns at the sight of the light.

45.EXT. Ocean

the eel delivers the kid back to his submarine. Dismounts on the top of his submarine.

46.EXT. Ocean

the eel is looking away from the kid back to the deep, she turns to the kid and nods.

47.EXT. Ocean
the kid standing tall on top of his submarine nods his appreciation and success then slides down inside his submarine.

48.EXT. Pontoon

the kid runs up and opens the paper he is beaming and the audience is able to see the proof of his win through the front page which displays the kid winning a trophy and then next to it the winning photo, that of the kraken.

is it "Kraken" or "Kroken"?

so the new character the KRAKEN. he is there as the "Bigger fish" lighting on the fact that there is always some thing bigger. the kraken will be the heightened threat level for the film and will push the eel and kid together. the eel wanting to save the kid due to her maternal instincts and also due to the fact that he had just helped save her.

initial sketch work