Project 3 Live Brief

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As a whole, group-wise, I think we worked exceedingly well in knowing where each other were strongest and allowing them to focus on that: Nathan with the art work, Kia with the animating, and me with the editing and communicating with our clients. The project final itself came out with some problems, one being it took well over our due date to get it finished, and also the fact we had to forgo a lot of the original ideas we had either because it was something we were not experienced in, or because of the time issues.

For my role in this project, I stayed to communicating and organising with our clients, and handling the post-production with editing and sound work. First, I know where elements went wrong, but I also know how to improve on them: with the editing it was my inexperience with Premiere software; it’s something I’ve only dabbled in the past but had to take on to edit what we already had while Nathan and Kia worked on the final scenes. For the future I planning to learn more about Premier so I can experiment with more use of zooms, pans, and special effects to give more pop, it was a lot of learn as you go with this project but I did manage to learn a lot to act as a starting point for the future. In organisation with the clients, both sides were fairly prompt in getting back to each other and setting dates; though the YPAG recordings are still up in the air right now after multiple days we set out to do had to be changed. I take blame for this for the simple lack of; not giving enough of time in advance when I set a date, I’ve learned that because some of the members are under 16 years, Kirsty, the person in charge of YPAG needs to get their parent signatures well in advance before they can do anything. Also, simple planning; we were ready to record with them on both sides a few days after the original hand in, but I–through lack of just checking–booked on a day when the university would not be open because of Bank Holidays. If we hadn’t had to change it could be done by now.

In the final animation itself, like I’ve already said I didn’t take any role in animating any scenes bar the Nurse’s hand gesture when explaining how the child can not have any metals; this was once again not having any experience with the software, this time After Effects, but for what I did create it is reasonable: she arches her back as she points up to give more fluid motion to her body and emphasis to catch the eye though she doesn’t do it in time with the examples appearing across the top–this was because after several script edits the timings on almost everything were in the air.

Speaking of timings I was able to correct some scenes from what footage and audio I had: especially during the part where the narration is explaining the mini-capsules, the animation Kia produced was too slow in parts to fit the narration and sometimes not even in the right place–this in part because once again I was editing our next version of the audio to the new script as they were halfway through animating. I was able to take her scene and break it into pieces, it can be noticeable when you look for it, for example;

  • at the 32 seconds mark the pills original all disappear leaving the top row of 4, but it happens so quickly that it’s moved onto the juice examples while the narration is still talking about something else, what I did was simple: I’ve cut a single frame this animation and held it over time–hence why the middle capsule is faded as its meant to be disappearing straight the way. The pan shot moving down the pills is this same still image.
  • that entire part with the 3 sets of 24 pill I went into create since Kias version zoomed directly in on the container in the woman’s’ hand until the 4 capsules remained. I prefer her version, but once again the timing meant I needed to change it, hence why at the 45 seconds mark the 4 pills jump slightly into a new place–that is where her scene continues from my reworked.

Audio is jumping but we have no issue with this seeing as it’s not even the final version.

In the end I’m proud with what we have created; its introduced new software to me that I enjoy and given vital real-world lessons in group work, working with clients, and the issues that will inevitably arise from them.

Project 3 Promo Kit Evaluation

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Now with this essay I wasn’t exactly sure what the aim was and felt simply talking about my approach to promoting my video would be too short, so I took the reasonable approach of looking into the industry first from both examples and other people’s analysis’ of the marketing industry.

The comparison between the indie market and mainstream market is there because I think they both have two different ways they go about promotion, and it is very reflective of the industry itself and the way people tackle problems, like a lack of money or resources, or what people can do when they have what can feel like nearly unlimited money and resources that will come to affect me down the line no matter watch approach to this industry and genre I take.

I for sure know I rambled at the beginning, comparing the money spent and earned by two examples from both markets when it could have been more short and sweet yet give the reader the same outcome. It in turned forced me towards the end, as I was skipping going further into detail for what I know are the more important parts; I wanted to tackle more on how Youtube and social media have been used in promotions for the indie market, and the benefits and downsides of it. This comes down to my biggest enemy time management, as in the end with very little time until submission I couldn’t necessarily pick what I had apart, which is more annoying when I know what I can say to get back those lost words from the introduction.

In the promotional image, I actually learnt from my previous mistakes: instead of wasting time trying to drawing something only to not want to submit because I’m not proud of the results, I approached it differently by instead working with what I know–Maya and 3D animation. The end results I’m happy with, the model is provided by my Long Winter Studios subscription and the set is built from a scramble of rectangles and a 2d blue plane in the background but I still think it serves its purpose of giving an idea of what I would do.

Project #2 – Toon Vs Actor – Evaluation

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To start off with I believe I argued a pretty valid point when it comes to this kind of argument. And hopefully it shows that I was able to complete both of the objectives; broadening my ability to discuss animation and its place in the industry as well as how it works as a communication, though looking back I do wish I’d made some additions to help develop these further.

The way the brief was phrased I didn’t truly understand if we were arguing simple cartoon animations case, or animation as a whole, so in the end I just argued as if for animation as a whole but at the end directed my focus onto just cartoon animation, making a valid point on the idea that with cartoons you should tend to essentially go big or go home: incorporating cartoon animations and then not making a deal of the fact and its effect on the world underwhelms its place in the film, hence why I feel Who Framed Roger Rabbit made such a good effort at this fact.

Somes notes I wish to add on the fact are the use of colour palettes and proportions; we usually see the toons maintaining a vibrant, colourful palette that compares to usual gritty, dark and dirty look of real world, helping to exaggerate it further to give a nice contrast between the two in both sake of visual style and the actual world.

Where I know I can improve is in the organisation and entire research stage of my essays. I tend to have an idea in my head I’ve maybe read over time or begun understanding the more analysed things myself but don’t have the facts to back me up, so a lot of research comes second, usually more to prove my statements than help me develop an understanding for both sides of an argument, hence why I feel this was very one sided, and more directed to those in charge than at the animations techniques themselves.
All in all though I feel I’ve argued my point clearly and with the facts to back it up, I could have spent longer in the research phase but at the end of the day my essay still maintains a point that is stated at the beginning, supported through the middle and then concluded at the end.

Project #2: Toon Vs Actor – Final Essay

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I think before we can answer this kind of question we need to, at least briefly, understand what kinds of animation techniques are being combined with live action acting and environments because there are a lot and I personally think it comes down to two important factors that work in tandem with each other: how and when those in charge of production use animation, and how well is the viewer’s suspension of disbelief in response.

Different types of Animation Techniques

Animation in films typically comes in one of multiple forms; cartoon–which is exactly as it sounds; cartoon animations working with live action, i.e. Who Framed Roger Rabbit [1998], Song of the South [1946], Space Jam [1997] and so on. Rotoscoping, in which an animation is layered over live action, sometimes drawing over every frame to give an artistic effect over natural movements, such as; A Scanner Darkly [2006], The Snow Maiden [1952], and Life is Cool [2008]. There is stop motion; the technique of moving a static object, whether its character or scenery, every frame in a film to give it the motion of movement, for example; Fantastic Mr. Fox [2009], Chicken Run [2000], Coraline [2009]. And as a last example, and probably one of the most notable and common in nowaday films without many people realising, is computer generated imagery [CGI], which is exactly as its name implies, e.g. Transformers [2007], pretty much everything in Avatar [2009] and, for an example of something where it might not have been so apparent and will later lead into one of my further points; The Truman Show [1998] (fig.1).

Truman Show CGI

Figure 1. They CGI the height of the buildings in the backdrop.

It was with stop motion that we got our first true form both animation and live action combined, starting as early as the 1890’s with The Humpty Dumpty Circus [1897]. It was simply toy animals and acrobats came to life within a miniaturized circus but it spearheaded a big snowball effect as more and more films came to include animation in one way or another, and this has only increased with the advent of CGI, that now is guaranteed to be in almost anything you watch, for a quick example; in Blood Diamond [2006], in an interaction between Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Connelly, they didn’t think Jennifer was being emotional enough and so CGI in a single tear (fig.2).

The Suspension of Disbelief

The suspension of disbelief is simply put; the ability for the creator to provide the viewer a world, its inhabitants, and everything that is possible within in it and the viewer will not question it, and believe everything they see and hear so long as the creator is able to keep up that pretence realistically; it can take just some simple mistake, or uncanniness with a CGI creation to ruin this, for instance the baby in That Twilight Film, or the crowd effects in something like World War Z [2013] and The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies [2014] where we are given these large shots of massive crowds and something just doesn’t look right to eye, something called the “Uncanney Valley”, in which something should look realistic to the eye, but there is just something off about, something that provokes a sense of eeriness to the viewer.

It is difficult to pinpoint when exactly this has come into effect, but I believe it’s more prominent now as we get closer and closer to realistic looking CGI, and the fact–nowadays at least–as I’ve touched on a some points beforehand, creators are turning more to CGI over the practical effects; i.e the use of CGI-ing tears in Blood Diamond, making buildings bigger in The Truman Show, the almost human looking baby in Twilight, or the sheep in Brokeback Mountain [2005] (fig.3). And with this we are getting more cases of it being where something just isn’t right.

I mention this because if we look at films that predate CGI, and instead use something like stop motion, for instance Jason and the Argonauts [1963], and the famous skeleton fight scene, to our standards today that shouldn’t hold up anyway near, say, any fight scene from Transformers, but back then this was revolutionary as it presented something the creators could have only imagined doing with live actors dressed for the part some years earlier. And yet even nowadays people can look at the fight and see something that allows them to be sunk into this films world.

CGI over Practical Effects

The biggest case against animation, especially CGI, is the idea practical effects are more realistic and authentic. Examples such as The Lord of the Rings compared to The Hobbit are bought up; where a film from 2002, The Two Towers, had more greater, and realistic battles than The Battle of the Five Armies, one of the noted points in The Two Towers case is the fact the Orcs were in fact real actors in costume and makeup compared to the CGI Orcs in The Hobbit. Another example; Star Wars; the Original Trilogy vs the New in which people argued it was all acting against green screen compared to the real sets in the Originals. The point these people make in their arguments is that, in the end, the overuse of CGI takes away the time, authenticity, and the perceived dedication of the producers for their film, especially when these same people are held up against their previous work, and this brings me back to the first point I made at the start and the core of my argument…

When & Where to use Animation

A big case for the use of CGI is that, it’s easier, and relatively cheaper to use CGI compared to practical effects: it’s easier to CGI tears onto someone’s face compared to take shot over shot until they get that single tear just right. It’s cheaper to CGI a backdrop, or in the case of Brokeback Mountain, a large herd of sheep than take the actor’s, equipment, etcetera to that setting, or pay to hire that many sheep when it can be done post-production, and this can be due to the director’s own call, or executive meddling from above.

But either way, it all comes down to how and when animation is used and whether it serves a true purpose, and I believe, once again, that suspension of disbelief works because deep down people can understand when and where different animation effects are being used: people can be willing to accept that there are moving skeletons (fig.4) bought back from the dead, but they are less willing to accept that this CGI child is in anyway actually real (fig.5).

Twilight Baby CGI

Figure.5

Extras

To briefly bring up cartoon animation, as it’s been something I’ve tend to avoid throughout this essay, I think it can serve a purpose in live action films to a degree that somewhat takes in account what I’ve said above. Looking at the likes of Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Space Jam, the cartoon animations in these are used on what it is needed for–the cartoon characters, partly for the fact they are based on already existing characters from tv/films, and partly because the creators knew when and where to use it effectively as a contrast between the cartoon world and live action world.

Everything in the real world, bar the characters, is real: the actors, the setting, the things they interact with and so on. Nothing is so apparently CG unless there is a reason, and the same goes for the cartoon world; everything is unrealistic; the sky, the design of the buildings and vehicles and such. There is a clear contrast between the two that works to help enforce the believability of this world.

But at the same time the two interact, whether it between a toon and an actor or an actor and the toon world. It is little elements like how, in the toon world, when the protagonist steps through a door and realises he’s hanging in the sky, he falls like any other toon; he’s able to reach back up for his hat, fall for a very long time and so on. These even tiny details help the suspension of disbelief because we are able to know the way the world is set up isn’t grounded in reality but a combination of two worlds.

Conclusion
In the end I believe wholeheartedly that any form of animation in a film  can serve a rightful purpose, whether for practical sake, or to help create something that otherwise be. And it is down to those in charge in how they take advantage of this; however easy it may be to CGI something if it’s done wrong it can be really apparent, and that has a massive effect on the rest of the film, and if it’s done right probably no one will ever notice.#

 

 

References

Bold Content Video Production. (2017). How To Combine Animation And Live Action To Create Stunning Event Videos – Bold Content Video Production. [online] Available at: http://boldcontentvideo.com/2015/02/24/combine-animation-live-action-create-stunning-event-videos/ [Accessed 31 Mar. 2017].

Cracked.com. (2017). 31 Mind-Blowingly Ordinary Scenes You Won’t Believe Are CGI. [online] Available at: http://www.cracked.com/photoplasty_1344_31-mind-blowingly-ordinary-scenes-you-wont-believe-are-cgi_p6/ [Accessed 31 Mar. 2017].

Elizabeth Baird, S. and Marie, T. (2017). 8 Ordinary Movie Scenes (That Feature Tons of CGI). [online] Cracked.com. Available at: http://www.cracked.com/video_19662_8-special-effects-you-wont-believe-were-cgi.html [Accessed 31 Mar. 2017].

En.wikipedia.org. (2017). List of films with live action and animation. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_films_with_live_action_and_animation [Accessed 31 Mar. 2017].

En.wikipedia.org. (2017). Stop motion. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_motion [Accessed 31 Mar. 2017].

Gizmodo.com. (2017). Cite a Website – Cite This For Me. [online] Available at: http://gizmodo.com/why-the-movie-industry-owes-a-hell-of-a-lot-to-cgi-anim-1563910626 [Accessed 31 Mar. 2017].

JA, S. (2017). 12 Worst Examples of CGI in Big Budget Movies. [online] Screen Rant. Available at: http://screenrant.com/worst-cgi-fails-big-budget-movies/?view=all [Accessed 31 Mar. 2017].

Lamble, R. (2017). 25 great stop-motion moments in live-action films. [online] Den of Geek. Available at: http://www.denofgeek.com/movies/23707/25-great-stop-motion-moments-in-live-action-films [Accessed 31 Mar. 2017].

Listal.com. (2017). Movies with real people AND animated characters. [online] Available at: http://www.listal.com/list/cartoons-real-people-coexisted [Accessed 29 Mar. 2017].

Norkey, T. (2017). Has CGI had a negative impact on the movie industry?. [online] Moviepilot.com. Available at: https://moviepilot.com/posts/3681959 [Accessed 31 Mar. 2017].

reddit. (2017). Why do the LOTR movies look so much better than the new Hobbit series? • r/movies. [online] Available at: https://www.reddit.com/r/movies/comments/2n2sgx/why_do_the_lotr_movies_look_so_much_better_than/ [Accessed 31 Mar. 2017].

Schwarz, R. (2017). 10 Creepy Examples of the Uncanny Valley. [online] Stranger Dimensions. Available at: http://www.strangerdimensions.com/2013/11/25/10-creepy-examples-uncanny-valley/ [Accessed 31 Mar. 2017].

TV Tropes. (2017). Uncanny Valley – TV Tropes. [online] Available at: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/UncannyValley [Accessed 31 Mar. 2017].

TV Tropes. (2017). Willing Suspension of Disbelief – TV Tropes. [online] Available at: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief [Accessed 30 Mar. 2017].

TVOvermind. (2017). 10 Movies That Combine Live Action with Hand-Drawn Animation. [online] Available at: http://www.tvovermind.com/movies/10-movies-combine-live-action-hand-drawn-animation [Accessed 31 Mar. 2017].

YouTube. (2017). Blood Diamond That´s alright, I am exactly where i am supposed to be. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MT9yNzCCDhU [Accessed 31 Mar. 2017].

YouTube. (2017). Special Effects of Brokeback Mountain. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPw5plmkd6Q [Accessed 31 Mar. 2017].

YouTube. (2017). Special Effects of Brokeback Mountain. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPw5plmkd6Q [Accessed 31 Mar. 2017].

YouTube. (2017). What is “Rotoscoping”?. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KoSolkp5Ds [Accessed 31 Mar. 2017].

 

Update 4

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Characters

I’ve finally settled on a female character rig thanks to this website: Long Winter Studios. Paying a £10 per month gives me free access to a multitude of free rigs, and from that I’ve now got Claire.

Capture

Animating

Animation is in full production, until now I’ve been working on just Nick, using a sphere as a placeholder for Claire but with her here I can finally get some action going on. I plan to post a video of what I’ve done so far but uni computers do not allow Screen-O-Matic so this page will be updated tonight. Realising I should know where the camera will be first has made things much easier, but when the camera isn’t looking what’s going behind it is a mess, a big fat mess.

References

– LONG WINTER MEMBERS

In-text: (Long Winter Members, 2017)

Your Bibliography: Long Winter Members. (2017). – Long Winter Members. [online] Available at: https://longwintermembers.com/home/ [Accessed 14 Mar. 2017].

Voice Work

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First things first, this is the final version of my script; things have changed massively from the start, except the core element of two detectives finding some incriminating files in the house they are searching. This is my idea boiled down to the most important elements in order to reduce the animation time. I mean I’m not happy about, but it’s a lesson in keeping focus and knowing my limits: if it calls for 1 minute of animation and I have around 14 then clearly I’m doing it wrong.

Doing the voice acting went well, except for a few discrepancies, but this is my first time directing even one person in dialogue so it’s expected. The good thing is I know where I went wrong and how to tackle it again.

  • In terms of the dialogue we had one big issue when it came to pronouncing some specific sentences like the one below (fig.1). Upon reflection I can see why; sometimes there could have been more pauses, a little time between each sentence or just simply getting of a few words where the character will say, for instance the word “body” being used twice (fig.2), it wouldn’t hit the ear right or such. This is something simple to change, it was after hearing someone else actually speak what I write that you notice some problems reading yourself doesn’t pick up on, that sentence itself could change to be read like “His body was; facing your way“.
touch-sentence

Figure 1

 

touch-sentence

Figure 2

 

  • At the time James was doing his dialogue, the original other actor, Nathan wasn’t with us, so I had Kia step in and, (at the time I hadn’t considered making one character female) take Nathans lines in order help James voice dialogue more like in a conversation instead of just reading lines. It worked for James at least, he sounded believable and gave some good emphasis where needed. The idea to use Kia came after he left, honestly the choice came after I realised I need this done now, so hers came a bit rushed in comparison. Next time I would like to have the conversations roll out at the same time with both actors speaking their lines in response to each other compared to having one person do all their lines for the next to then do all theres. Also, I’ll simply need to give more time; having a realistic conversation done to perfection takes time, as I need to hear what’s been said and then take different revisions of dialogue, and I honestly rushed this partly to get things done; not hurrying the person along but not truly listening to what’s been said and putting some thought into how that can change.

 

Bibliography

Update 3

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I’ll put everything here for the sake of not spamming posts.

What’s Been Done

  • Characters

I’ve been sieving through pre-rigs that match the look I’m going for but a lot of the more professional ones, that can be customised or are more realistic, cost money, and often even in the hundreds of pounds. So I’ve settled for three, free pre rig models that a close to realistic:

Franklin

Artella.leadpages.co. (2017). Artella | Free 3D Animation Character Download. [online] Available at: https://artella.leadpages.co/artella-character-giveaway/ [Accessed 2 Mar. 2017].

franklin

Nick (Franklin Rig), in action

Nick’s character model. The Franklin model has been the best so far; he has come with a wealth of controllers for almost any aspect of movement, and compared to the rest, truly fits the kind of role I was going for.

Malcolm V.200

https://animschool.com/malcolmInfo.aspx

Malcolm has been here and there with animating, he was to provide the role to Nick, with his ability to have different outfits giving some promise, but right now there are problems with the picker not working in uni, and having difficulties on my laptop as well, though the model itself works fine. Another problem, one that affects Franklin as well is proportions: for Malcolm is hands are massive, and the others feet are gigantic. Feet are easy to handle as you can keep them out of shot, hands aren’t so, especially since at one point them both handle objects.

Mery Project

Manuel Garcia Alvarez, J. and Mendez Lora, A. (2017). MeryProject.com. [online] MeryProject.com. Available at: http://www.meryproject.com/ [Accessed 2 Mar. 2017].

Mary became an idea when trying out another voice for my Ford Character in order to add some difference between the two protagonists to help distinguish them. I have to say, even though she’s a better rigged model, her style is not able to be changed meaning she doesn’t truly look the role I was going for, but it can be changed to fit her look; small characteristics can go a long way to defining the character. To note, script hasn’t been changed at all, as the dialogue still works as it is.

  • Voice Acting

This is finished, I’m working through searching through the many recordings for the best dialogue but all recording is finished. The script changed at points as both voice actors had trouble pronouncing certain parts and even tried both actors for different roles to find who suited what.

  • Animating

Animating has truly began now, with me working through Nicks character poses to see what works, a blog will detail this soon.

Title & Opening Sequence

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This is part of Jules and Phil’s lesson, but the more I look into this the more I see potential in adding to my actual final piece that could help the narrative and also feel the 2D criteria.

capture

Part A

My plan is to make use of this opening sequence both as to set up the themes and tone, but also establish the story and what’s happened before the arrival of the two protagonist: it will set up the apartment, a person entering (this being the actual intruder though the fact isn’t clear yet) and making his way upstairs, then the tension can build as we see the weapon being raised at him from behind before culminating in the shot being fired. On this gunshot the title can show and the scene can transition into the arrival of Nick and Ford.

This works in that it gives the viewer some more establishment of what’s happened bringing them up to pace with the protagonists–we know someone has broken in, and someone has been shot. The intrigue is given in that we don’t know who’s who, as in, who’s the “good” guy and who’s the “bad” guy.

This entire sequence will be no more than 10, maybe 15 seconds long, and will be entirely 2D rotoscope with a harsh black and white colour palette. Some already existing title sequences inspired me:

Batman

What I like from this is the use of edits, the screen going black is to showcase a title card, being the name of the film or members of the production staff but at the same time in my animation this can allow me to cover ground more quickly for the limited time scale: a shot of the man entering can cut to him on the stairs, searching, then the gun being raised and so and so on.

Anatomy of a Murder (1959)

This one works similar to mine; we know from the start this is a murder and the rough drawing in the background emulates the chalk drawing often seen drawn around the bodies in crime scenes. The music does for the most part the work and creating the tension, with it’s slow parts that quickly get louder before mellowing out again.The pieces of the body are also used to show production names and the name of the film itself. I personally don’t see much that I would like to use for myself, the drawing and the way different pieces keep moving in and around the shot work to give, in my opinion a sense of campiness (for lack of a better word), but also charm. Personally there isn’t much I would want to emulate or take inspiration from except maybe it’s use of stark colours, but it has certainly helped influence me in how I would do things differently.

Catch Me If You Can (2002)

This title sequence covers a massive scale in terms of the narrative; it immediately sets up the characters and the story before we’ve even seen the living characters themselves as well as setting up their arcs in the overall story. We see Leonardo’s character standing outside of the crowd before passing through a barrier and come out like one of the characters, and then Tom Hanks character in following him. This is a great way to set things up, and if my animation was feature length, or even the original ten minutes this would be an approach I would want to take but alas this wont be.

Part B

The only existing material that can fill this part is the set, seeing as this is where everything is going to be happening.

Part C

A storyboard is on its way. Should hopefully be done for tomorrow.

Story Draft 4/Feedback

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I have received feedback on my script, a common and expected point that has been made is an obvious one…its too long, so this draft will go through editing it down and maybe changing a lot of aspects of progression. The fact is, I really liked how I went about the characters and their dialogue, especially for something that pretty much my first time but I am welcome to feedback of all kinds, I’ll address whats been said first, talk about what aspects I will change and such but I also want to just cover why I had particular ideas in the first place.

phils-feedback

Characters

There has been a lot about making the characters more different; suggestions like make one lazy, one more determined–these more I dare say more…stereotypical characters. That’s not to say mine aren’t; the theme that is directing the characters, story and setting has been cyberpunk (something I want to note, that without the Bar Scene is impossible to see right now through the script and is more left to the art direction more than anything now.): I’m still having to more stiff upper lip leading, detective—Ford—and the more down-to-earth, light hearted support character, Nick, though through development of the script Nick has moved to a more leading role. I have just tried to make them more believable and falling back on creating one lazy, the other determined kind of takes away a lot of that; this isn’t to say it would make things a lot easy for me and the viewer as these characteristics are easily more accessible and easier to show.

They both want to be here to find the evidence; they just have differences in how they want to handle the situation: For Nick the case they are involved doesn’t mean everything to him, and he’s able to let his concentration and his attitude remain more relaxed and get distracted—he makes his way for the view first thing as it’s such a contrast to where he comes from, he doesn’t stress at the idea they might not be able to get into the safe first go around as he knows they can come back compared to Ford: he sets a plan up immediately and when it’s revealed they could potentially not be able to get the info the first time around it’s a big deal, getting angry towards Nick—like I’ve said nothing spectacular or original but still something at the least.

 

They were also there to experiment with blocking character positions, something I addressed and was learning in a previous blog that I still need to get back to. Their positions directing the characters focus and how they move to support who has the high ground in arguments or to help us understand about the antagonist:

  • Nick moves directly to window as it attracts his view and remains there for a short time whilst Ford goes over the job.
  • Ford stands at the centre and takes the set in—his focus on finding the information.
  • When they first argue, Nick adopts a relaxed stance, resting his weight on his knee but then comes to Fords level and height when he gains control of the argument.
  • When they split, Ford takes the lower level and Nick the upper, Ford is there to develop the antagonist, revealing the kind of life his lives where he feels the need for only one of everything and such—he’s a loner, the fact he handles company information physically supports this as well as with Nicks discoveries. This is all to push more to the reveal of when the information is rigged with a trap: he’s a man who holds his things close, and is willing to destroy them and is paranoid enough to be ready for someone to come in his home.
  • When Nick discovers the safe, he rushes in, almost triggering the trap, as such calls down to Ford, who comes up, onto his level now and then takes charge of the situation.

Looking at it I believe I can keep a lot of these little interactions, just dial them down, speed them up, or have them happen over each other so this shouldn’t be a problem.

Scene Composition

There is a lot of long pans, establishing shots and such to set the scene, to give the viewer a sense of the geography so that when the two characters split, we know where they are when the focus is on another. Somethings can be edited though:

  • There is the suggestion to ignore the establishing shot of the building—without the Bar Scene the entire theaming of it being cyberpunk is pointless in my eyes, there is no contrast of scenes now from the dense city to the open apartments and there wasn’t even any futuristic elements to show since the antagonist literally avoids using technology. Anyway—the establishing shot of the apartment building isn’t necessary, we can establish that same setting just from the set alone and maybe an exterior view from the window into the flat.
  • The opening. This could start at two points, it all depends on how they establish the location and characters;
  1. The first could pick up with them walking down the corridor and stopping at the doorway. This scene was imagined as being filmed with them walking towards the camera first: we see their faces, who they are and their clothing could give hints to their jobs implying the reason they are here. This also allows me to establish the apartment, and its occupant with the name card above the door.
  2. The second could open on them coming through the doorway which was one of the suggestions. We can get the same introduction to our protagonist on their entry as they enter the apartment but skip a few vitals seconds. This brings with it the problem of understanding the antagonist as this time we don’t see the apartment ID, but this problem can resolves with a voice comm welcoming the residents entry.

 

Draft #4 Rundown

  • Ford and Nick stand at the entrance to the apartment, Ford gestures to Nick by tapping his watch and Nick nods—he swipes his card to open the door and Ford moves in, weapon at the ready with Nick in tow.
  • They move swiftly through the entrance into the main room and conclude its empty, Ford lowers his weapon, Nick holsters his and his attention is attracted to the scenic backdrop.
  • Ford clicks his finger to attract Nicks attention and points upstairs telling him to look for It there. Nick nods, gets too.
  • Ford searches the kitchen with pace while Nick runs into the bedroom, back into the bathroom then sits down at the computer to search it. He works his way through the files and finds a command that opens a panel on the wall to his right. He rushes to the panel, and finds a second panel within, he opens it and notices the wire just before it fully opens shutting it closed. There is a moment of pause as he reflects internally on rushing, then calls up Ford.
  • Scene plays out how it was in Draft #3 from then.

This is considerably denser than the previous draft in terms of what happens: character building for the antagonist is pretty much out of the window now in terms of being discussed by Nick and Ford as well as the whole idea of each characters conflict with the each other the situation.

Story Draft 3

Standard

Script is finally done. It’s taken its time but up until today I was having trouble making the dialogue sound “believable” and that was slowing me down. As I have said before I’ve omitted the Bar Scene now, but this wasn’t the case when I started writing so this is going in believing we have set up Nick and Ford and what they are after, something I will take into account after I have feedback from my teacher and other people; I want to use this site as well called Amazon Studios, they take scripts and give feedback from both staff at the company and in the general public but after reading the guidelines it says it should be between 80 or so and 100 pages long soooo….nope, but it is still something I might come back too.

This script is massive, a single page is meant to equal an single minute of footage and mine is at 10, and this is without even the Bar Scene. I’m going to be whittling this down over the week, especially as this weekend I don’t have work, this will be done in tandem with my first storyboard going through the scenes from a camera perspective.

Anyway here it is:

Script Draft #2

(This isn’t the original, I have gone through, make spell checks and changes to some small text as well as made notes of important facts. At the start it lists colour coding, this isn’t done but will be after some feedback, so maybe the next post.)

Script – Revised Version

Possible Extras

  • I need to address who these characters are; the antagonist is the main focus of their dialogue and is properly explained to the viewer at various fazes, at least that’s what I am hoping to find out. Nick and Ford though aren’t, not even their names are bought across the viewer. There are a lot of ways I already know how to improve this without being to obvious to the viewer;
    • Name badges – they’re detectives, they would have some form of ID.
    • A simple call out at least a few times in a way that’s organic.
  • Phil suggested a video I should that relates to my idea. Its from the TV show The Wire following two detectives who go through a crime scene; they barely say anything except swear as they go about working the case that’s apparently 6 months old in what amounts to a couple minutes. It’s interesting because even though it’s just swearing you can kinda get what they are getting at. Also there is the clever use of exposition that helps you to understand whats happening.

THE WIRE – FUCK FUCK FUCK

In-text: (YouTube, 2017)

Your Bibliography: YouTube. (2017). The Wire – Fuck Fuck Fuck. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOyvDRxK–o [Accessed 6 Feb. 2017].