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.