Story Draft Two.5

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I’ve made some changes in terms of the story.

The script is halfway done, I’ve covered the entire bar scene up towards Nick and Ford entering the apartment. It itself set the characters and their objective and the antagonist, something I need to address when I work on my next draft.

Script Draft #1

Spec Script – Draft #1 (Bar Scene)

Additions

As of right now the script has no real tension; they go in, find what they look for and get out. My plan for a change is to have them trigger some alarm or defence and work together to stop it and through this they work more together, interacting in ways that need to be just talking.

Update 2

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I’ve been meaning to do one of these for a few weeks now but keeping to my planned schedule went out the window the very next day. Right now it has been a mish mash of doing set, the storyboard, and script all at once, generally going between each when I have seen something I wanted to change, expand on further and so on and so on. Nothing is final as of speaking, but i will still show what I have so far.

What’s Been Done

Nothing, next question.

Whats Being Done

  • Script

The script is about halfway done; I am at the point right now where both Nick and Ford have entered the apartment to begin their search. To note since doing my first draft of the story I’ve made some dramatic changes: I have omitted the entire bar scene and lead up to the apartment, its part in the script has been done though, should I want to come back to it and because it helped me define my characters and what they are after and is basically acting as a reference of sorts.

A big element missing from my idea for the animation is any sense of tension. The original drafts saw both searching the apartment and the focus would be on the communication and interactions between them. This is still the case, I’m just bringing in more of a conflict for them to overcome to keep things interesting and to fit more for the antagonist.

  • Characters

The Antagonist: he’s a man working for a mega corporation responsible for handling their sensitive information and keeps things close to him, being very distrustful and so on, as such this “sensitive information” our protagonists are after isn’t kept on some computer or server but instead a physical drive stored at home, hence why they are getting in there. Originally the two Detectives get in, search, find it and go–the antagonist wouldn’t make this so easy.  He would have some form of protection in place, and this is what is to cause the tension.

  • Set

Set is partially done, the bar and establishing shots are not in the final take so all I’ve modelled is the apartment,  it’s kept my attention for a while now laying out the floor plan and then modelling and is still nowhere near finished. Looking at the time I have left I want to start animating ASAP and after considering the facts my plan is this–what important aspects are stated in the script (a safe, certain cabinets, etcetera) will be modelled but that’s all, animating the characters and scenes will be the immediate next and then textures, additional details and such will be added afterwards.

Story Draft 2

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This story will be told as if part of a much greater narrative that our protagonists are already part of when we join them. Its my hope this can mean skipping some essential details in the narrative and limit the amount of scenes I need like the first piece of the case; the event that caused it and any of the leads they would have taken before the point they are at. If I could I would include them but this is in the end a short animation. Those “essential” details that need to be brought up can be addressed by the characters themselves while they search the apartment and talk to each other, I know this could break the rule of “show, don’t tell” if not done right but at least, with this being a detective story, there is a viable reason why two people would be talking about things they should  already know so there is some leeway.

Rundown

  • scene opens to an establishing shot of a city street, Nick [protagonist 1] crosses the street in the focus of the shot, a Bar [Deus Ex Machina].
  • we then cut to Nick as he stops in the entrance of said bar and scopes the area, hes eyes settle to the left where a couple stand looking him up and down but he ignores and moves past them.
  • he walks to a booth separate from the rest of the area and finds Ford sat smoking and drinking away alone. Nick tells him they have a new lead on the case but Ford ignores him, until he shows a warrant and gives the name of the place they can search.
  • we see them set off out of the bar down the streets, towards the outer parts of the city.
  • the next scenes opens on them knocking on the door of an apartment, once they know they wont get a reply, they enter, once again on the inside calling out for anyone inside. [shot follows the from behind as they wall into the apartment, the landscape and city in the backdrop of the apartments main wall composed entirely of glass]
  • scoping the apartment they go over where they could find evidence, highlighting locations that could be secret spots; behind the tv, paintings, under the table, the bedroom, cupboards, etcetera and then split to cover more ground.
  • as they try different locations, Nick tries to make conversation but only gets the occasional grunt or nod out of Ford unless it is details about the case. This goes on for a while until Nick is running his hands round a picture frame and feels a button, opening up the frame to reveal a safe.
  • they hack the safe, open it, and find a wealth of content inside, amongst it the evidence. [show their reactions to establish this]

Possible Extras

  • They time when the owner of the apartment usually leaves and comes back. They work against the clock, getting out just in time to avoid the antagonist coming back in, none the wiser.
  • A change in the dynamic of Nick and Ford and how they go about the investigation; Ford constantly moving around, checking everything like the photo frames, safes, etcetera and Nick just standing at the centre rambling about the case.

 

End of Week 1 Update

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Just a quick weekly blog that will run over whats been accomplished in the week with the necessary links to finished blogs, as well as what will be done hopefully in the next week.

What’s Been Done

  • Project Research

I have brainstormed my ideas and looked at different sources of inspiration to come up with a final idea: [http://wp.me/p6OrOl-16F]. There is still one more blog with some research on it that hasn’t been uploaded but that is more looking into art style and story ideas and will be finished next week.

  • Character, Story and Set Design Drafts 1

I have done a run down on the characters and story drafts [http://wp.me/p6OrOl-1eE] and begun work on designing my sets, starting with location no.1 the bar [http://wp.me/p6OrOl-1fi].

  • Learning to Direct

I have also begun to take time to learn about directing a scene with blocking and composition as well as learning new software like Autocad [http://wp.me/p6OrOl-19U].

Whats To Come

  • Script

I aim to have my script fully written by this time next week, with the storyboard to come after.

  • Character Drafts 2

This will come in tandem with the script, as I start to properly define my characters look and roles.

 

Schedule [10 Weeks]

This is going to be my schedule for the upcoming weeks, I might do a proper gantt chart for this weekend but this will do for now. Its not completely thought ahead just yet but should be by the end of next week.

  • Week 1 – Decide on my idea, drafts for story, character and set. [Done]
  • Week 2 – Define characters, final script, storyboard.
  • Week 3 – Final models for: set, characters.
  • Week 4 – Animating 3d: Blocking Bar Scene/Voice Acting: First Run
  • Week 5 – Animating 3d: Finishing Bar Scene/Test Renders
  • Week 6 –
  • Week 7 –
  • Week 8 –
  • Week 9 –
  • Week 10 –

Set Design Part 1 – The Bar

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“The Look”

One of the recognisable features of anything cyberpunk is the constant of “High Tech, Low Life”, basically with films/games/tv like Blade Runner [1982], Fifth Element [1992], the Deus Ex Franchise [2000] and so on and so on they all employ similar designs as a highlight of the cyberpunk theme; dense tightly packed cities that are illuminated by hundreds of advertisement and cramped with living people who despite their setting live at the bottom of the wealth ladder, this is in contrast to those at the top, who are wealthy, living clean, open spaces.

I have two sets; a bar in which we meet our two protagonist and establish the world and then the antagonists apartment where the remainder of the animation takes place and the core of our protagonists interactions play out.

The Bar – [Placeholder Name – Deus Ex Machina]

I was originally going to reuse the bar I created for the Project – “Robot V Zombie” last year but after reloading it I noticed some problems old me didn’t realise at the time. SO I’ll make it again; both to take advantage of things I know now about Maya but also to learn the some software called Autocad 2017, which I’ve been interested in for a while now, being used for drawing the floor plan.

Description

Its not been fully fleshed out yet but the idea for the bar is where one of the protagonist will be, drinking away until the second comes to get him. This bar will be located at the core of the city living district, hidden away in the dense, overpopulated and filthy streets where the surrounding skyscrapers block out any sunlight. This will be the kind of place frequented by all kinds of citizens at all hours of the day and therefore cramped, dark and dirty on the inside, illuminated only by advertisements and neon lights.

Design

We don’t need to see much of the bar, its total duration in the animation being something like 10 – 20 seconds in 1:30 animation. Right now I’m thinking of 3 different parts we will see:

  • Entrance (exterior) – this will be to set up the bar itself, set its location to the viewer and let the them know what it is.
  • Entrance (interior) – this will be focused on protagonist no.1, Nick, as he enters the scene and the viewer gets to see what he looks like, how he reacts to the scene and then his general mannerisms.
  • Booth – last is for protagonist no.2, Ford, his booth will be separate from the loud crowds and music in its own secluded area to help his characterisation.

Story & Characters Draft 1

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I haven’t a script or storyboard created yet but I do have my first rough draft of both whats going to happen and the characters;

Themes

First things first I want to establish the themes I have in mind right now; the main one is cyberpunk which will encompass the art style and design of the world, characters and locations, the second is discovery, which will work for the story.

Story

At the end of the day I am remaining mindful of the fact this animation is 1 minute long, maybe a 1:30 at the most. The story as a whole follows two detectives working together to solve a case. It will start in a bar, where the two detectives will meet, this will be the briefest part, devoted to characterising both protagonists and setting up the second “act” which will take place in an apartment they believe contains evidence they are looking for.

Characters

Protagonist 1 [Placeholder name = Ford] – A gruff, weathered detective, smokes cigarettes and drinks at his local bar when he’s off duty. Wears the stereotypical trench coat though unbuttoned to give easy access to his side arm when in danger.

Protagonist 2 [Placeholder Name = Nick] – Younger, more naive male. Dresses smart with his holstered weapon clearly out in the open.

Antagonist 1 – As of right now I haven’t decided yet if we encounter an antagonist in this animation. He/she will exist in the world, as the protagonists will explore the apartment they live and from this all of the characterisation. Adding the person themselves would simply off a more direct challenge to overcome, but require another model, voice acting and time to have him on screen as well as the need to show his conclusion whereas without him it can be inferred from the findings.

Learning How – Scene Composition & Blocking

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I’ve wanted to take directing the scenes more seriously for a while now in order to provide a much more professional level of creating these projects but never got around properly to actually learning and taking these elements into proper consideration until now. To note this blog isn’t going to be related to my development of the actual animation and therefore can be skipped; this is more for me personally as I learn about creating a properly directed scene and as such will constantly be added too.

What’s written will probably be taken verbatim from the video I’ve watched or page I read so I can come back to it time and time again to understand it more. But what you will see in brackets, especially if it has a film title or such first, is me watching the scene provided with the video but taking note of camera angles, shot, how its paced and everything as I try and understand this properly. If it is underlined then its something that stands out to me. (if that makes sense).

Composition –

  1. is the visual aesthetics of the shot,the shapes the lighting the colours.
  2. You can compose a shot to allow dramatic introduction and things into the frame like new shapes and new characters. (Unforgiven, 1992 – sawn off lifting into shot behind crowd as man talks to them.)

Blocking –

  1. is the moving and the position of the cameras and the actors; camera tilts etc.
  2. You can block a shot to allow the camera to follow the actions of your characters all while staying in the same shot allowing the viewer to remain in the film for a more cinematic experience (High and Low, 1960 – following mans lowering of gun at the sight of the body and then lifting back up with the tissue to cover his mouth).
  3. An important aspect of blocking is the amount of coverage (Mentioned below)
  4. A good use of blocking – Jaws, 1975 – Protagonist, Brody, is what the director wants you to look at – The audience in the room (An open shot of the room and everyone in, we see everyone have their eyes directed at Brody at the corner of the set, twice; once for the citizens and then again at a new angle for those sitting behind the desk facing away from the camera in the previous shot.) A strategic restraint on close-ups, especially on sole individuals, this allows the audience to understand the most important characters and dialogue in a scene. (the camera snaps close up on the lady talking, once again all eyes directed at her, and then cuts to Brody  but this time without anyone else to distract in the scene. Shots gives distance when we need to see how everyone else in the room reacts to whats being said, once again cutting on the bigger audience and those behind the table.) Classical film making because its all about making contrast through movement and shapes, its all about directing the audience to what they need to be looking at. (Brody says something bad, we are given a open shot of everyone in the scene from a new angle, a close up once again of Brody as the main man says something out of shot to gage his reaction and then a cut to the man who had just spoke to once again repeat his words now directed at the citizens and then their reaction from close up angles of around 3 people per shot to once again Brody and his reaction.)
  5. A bad use of blocking – Super 8, 2011 – the camera is directed with a much blunter style of film making, when people are upset it cuts to people shaking their heads, characters are static as the camera moves around them. There’s also a much larger number of cuts with almost the same amount of shots. None of which have the same care or composition as the previous example. (The shot shows a woman amongst a crowd of people closer up, at the back and moving around her in between. She is talking at someone we see from behind in the same shot but covering half of the cameras coverage. A close up on her as she makes a point. Shot from behind her now showing the man shes talking with less people but with only a few faces and the reactions visible including that man as the camera pans left to right. New shot from the side of some people sitting in a pew, some looking off screen right showing some reactions and listening and one new older lady looking down shaking her head as the woman still speaks. New shot again of more people sitting on a pew reacting, these people nodding as if to agree with her or talking between them. Close up again on woman still making her point. Shot from behind her closer than the last similar shot with just her and the officer visible to show him looking not at her but off camera to the right. Again close up on woman now speaking out of shot presumably at the other people. Distant angle that encompasses the entire hall of people, our woman blending with crowd near another man who has stood in the centre this entire time. The crowd react to the woman, we hear clapping but almost all of them have their hands hidden by the backs of their heads at this angle. New shot of people at pew shaking heads. Long shot from the crowd at the man as he begins to talk, the woman and that same man still in the shot.) Bit players are given close ups even when they are doing jokes, as a result this feels like a very direct but looser style of film making which is fine but does have its drawbacks. (Close up of woman, audience reacts, woman passes mic to that other man standing at the centre but shot cuts to officers reaction before its totally handed over.)
  6. A bad use of blocking small task – Count how many shots are used to show a crane going up in one sequence from same film. ([Shot 1] Opening low shot on utility vehicle on a quiet street as something yellow crashing onto the ground close up. [Shot 2] Close up shot of a mans reaction, he then begins looking down off camera. [Shot 3] Low angle shot at a tilt looking up at same man as he reaches down to something close to him but out of shot. Camera follows his hand down further to reach the controls but remains fixed in place as his elevator crane begins to rise up. [Shot 4] Fixed shot from behind the man with much of his body taking up half the screen and the night sky over the trees taking the other as the crane continues to climb. [Shot 5] Long distance shot of the entire street, utility vehicle is in the bottom right of the scene with not much else but the set and crane continuing to rise for a few seconds. [Shot 6] Side on shot with much of the in focus, him looking off behind the camera. Camera begins to close in once the lift stops and the man fiddles with something near the controls, this soon leaving the shot as the camera gets closer. [Shot 7] Close up of man once his stops fiddling and looks off behind the camera. [Shot 8] Close up behind the man in the right, the night sky taking a lot of the focus. [Shot 9] Angled shot looking up from below the lift. [End: Duration – 24 secs].
  7. Clever blocking not only minimises excessive cutting between shots in something like a tense scene like this, but also rids the film of clumsy staging something that will bring you out of the experience. This can be the camera motivating the action rather than the action motivating the camera. (Same film – Close up of officers face, shot cuts back to show a pack of dogs running towards the officer. Officer notices dogs and steps out with a confused reacts as they all run past with him in the middle. Camera begins to approach towards the right of the officers as he moves back to his original position. [New Example] – Camera starts low and wide looking up at a man coming out of the convenience store [this was behind the officer in the previous shot]. As the man walks out reacting confused to something off camera to the left the camera begins to come in for a better shot of his reaction. The man says “Sheriff?” and remains still as the camera pans left to see a crushed police car back to its original low position. The camera begins to follow the mans legs as he moves around the car.) Why not start at the door and move out after that dramatic beat. This feels slick with nothing gained from it.
  8. Good composition aids blocking (Guardians of the Galaxy, 2014 – [One character threatening another] Open with a group of people leaving a ruins, one human man is walking parallel with another alien man at the lead, shouting aggressively in his ear. They continue walking from a distance. Camera quickly cuts to a close up of just the two men as the alien turns on the human and invades his space now by grabbing his collar. Close up of humans reaction looking down towards the aliens lower half. Close up of the alien showing his weapon holstered by his waist. Cut to close up of alien talking directly at the human in a more calm manner. [Example 2, Unforgiven, 1992 – One black and one white cowboy talking towards a shorter male who is facing away from the camera at the two men. Both men seem relaxed in talking to this guy and the black male reaches down to grab something between all three who following his gaze. Shot low from behind the two men now at the younger male as the black man takes his rifle, shot holds as the younger male lowers his hand near his holstered weapon and warns the black man to let go of the rifle. Side on shot of the men again, level with their faces, both looking at the rifle but turn their gaze to the younger guy as he finishes his threat and then their reaction as they both look towards his weapon. Close up of said weapon then camera pans up to young mans calm demeanour. Close up behind holstered gun looking up at the older men in clear view and their reactions as they look to the younger guy and then each other.) By keeping the weapon in frame while the characters react to it, the threat becomes much more tangible.
  9. With few shots and cuts in total

Coverage –

  1. is the amount of shots and different angles used to show whats happening on screen. Good coverage provides clarity to the audience and gives the directing more opportunities to swap between his/her best takes. (The Iron Giant, 1999 – tracking shot following boy with hand shown behind him up to the doorway where he looks at the person and the finger touches him, switch to face on shot from the hand as the boy pushes it back and looks away again. Close up shot of boy pulling out coin and looking at it then the woman. Back out shot as he throws and hits shelf, and reacts as it breaks, plus the reaction of the woman showing an action; the result and then reactions) Whereas bad coverage can over complicate or undersell a scene (Taken 2, 2012 – Protagonist and bad guy fight, quick cuts, new angles and shaky camera with not many clear actions or reactions)
  2. Film making is constantly evolving, and different styles come and go, each has their own strength, some are brilliant at evoking intensity, but may require a different number of shots to pull that off (Bourne Ultimatum, 2007 – Chase scene) This leads into coverage, different styles require different coverage, but poorly planned coverage can lead to poor direction. When stunt acting is bad it isn’t masked with coverage but by shaking the camera. (Snowpiercer, 2007 – Riot Sequence – Head height camera angle of man beating other man with baton, cuts with attacker first on left to the fight from the right. New shot of a different male grabbing a man on his knees around his neck from behind with a shorter black woman enter from behind. The camera pans to her as she beats another man further back down then turns on the man being held to repeatedly hit him in the stomach, the entire time the camera shaking left to right moving slightly away each time the woman’s weapon hits the man.) But when the stunt acting is good, the coverage also becomes overdone. (High angle looking down on a man running away from the camera across a large piping with people either side cheering him on. Man jumps at the end of the pipe as the camera cuts to see him land in the next room with two or three new men. Our character uses the wall to jump up and clasp a railing above a man in an officer uniform who at the same time is attacking another person. Other characters move out of the shot as the first male wraps his legs around the officers head. Close up of a knife going into officer and then being pulled up.) A fight scene later in the film is much calmer with longer takes with extensive blocking of the acting and camera. Each shot is well thought out and rehearsed and nothing here feels fake. (Close up of man holding a gun aiming behind the camera clearly bloodied and tired. Camera switches to behind same character looking down a long, foggy corridor with many points of cover behind large floor to ceiling walls. Camera holds position as our character moves from the left to right side, himself constantly focused down the corridor only checking the direction hes going once. A man comes out from up ahead and our guy opens fire as the man moves from right to left side. Our guy takes cover blind firing as the other man returns fire ducking in out eventually hitting our guys hand forcing him to drop his weapon and react in pain and cover his hurt hand.) This shows that smart blocking can sell a fight scene.

 

Bibliography:

1 –

  • FOX, D.

    Directing – The Fine Arts of Blocking and Composition

    In-text: (Fox, 2017)

    Your Bibliography: Fox, D. (2017). Directing – The Fine Arts of Blocking and Composition. [online] YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gT3FZdMqtVk [Accessed 10 Jan. 2017].

Research

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(I’ll come back to this at a point when I get the Project: Dialogue, Action and Interaction out of the way and clean this up)

The argument I am going to be going for is whether animation is something just for children or is it something that should be targeted at an audience encompassing all ages.

Themes, approaches, etcetera

Western Approach

  • Reference for below (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_animated_feature_films_of_the_2000s)
  • To consider Animation something primarily for children is understandable when you look at it from a Western point of viewer, pretty much everyone you talk too will cite Disney produced films or cartoons as something they grew up with during childhood with these same kind of films not so prelevent during that same time, if we look at this list of highest grossing animated films in the early 2000s there is not any that we can specifically state were aimed for a more mature audiences.
  • A lot of these same films though do carry overarching themes that would only really be apparent to adults: Zootopias take on rascism and prejudice (http://screenrant.com/zootopia-prejudice-discrimination-subtext/), Toy Stories themes of family and loss (http://armchairc.blogspot.co.uk/2010/04/toy-story-1-2.html), etcetera, but at the end of the day the way these stories are told through the characters and setting still come across directed to children. (Just look at the adverts for the first Toy Story film https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouDAIvgoZCQ).. Toy Story 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9M55_PdghU and the Zootopia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vmgiDCxRZs:: they dont give any if at all indications of themes an adult would think is targeted at them, though in this day and age that may not be so true anymore but more on that later.
  • Western animation has only really taken off in recent years: why? because not only has production gotten cheaper in terms of more available software and hardware and workers but the production companies and their funders have begun providing a LOT more money (http://techxav.com/10-blockbuster-3d-animated-films-man-hours-budget-popularity/: just look at Toy Story from 1995 compared to Wall-E from 2008) and this can be chalked up to the fact the more western approach to animation is that of it being for children so thats who the companies aim to entice and draw in, you only need to look at something like Disney films and the targeted age ratings for their films (https://rarestkindofbest.com/lists-3/disney-films-grouped-by-appropriate-viewer-age/)
  • Western films take the apporach to more expensive, high quality (http://www.relativityonline.com/past-top-tens/top-ten-most-expensive-animated-movies/) but similar films in a sense of apporach to genre or art style that reach a massive demographic and as such most other films makers want tend to go big or go home in order to feel as though they can compete, hence why you get a lot of similar films releasing around the same time (just look at this for all types of films: http://uk.businessinsider.com/twin-movies-2013-7/?r=US&IR=T/#19981999-the-truman-show-and-edtv-both-follow-men-whose-lives-are-being-filmed-247-5. Animated films include A Bugs Life and Antz, Finding Nemo and A Sharks Tale, Magagascar and the Wild and some more.
  • During the production of Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit american produces pushed heavily on the British studio to appeal more to american kids (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/3831833/Wallace-and-Gromit-one-man-and-his-dog.html)

 

Eastern Approach

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  • Eastern animation had become popularised much later than western, starting around the 1960’s when it was first broadcasted on television (2) but that isnt to say it hasnt caught up quickly, when i looked into what is know adult animated films (no not hentai) I noticed something that may support my case: (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_adult_animated_films) of around 156 animated films given the age rating 13 and above, 79 were eastern origins; Japan and South Korea being the main source. (These numbers may not be to the exact)

Relevant Director Hayao Miyazaki Quotes

How technology affected the rise of animation

I guess the common approach to how western animation is dealt with is that in terms of age of media, animation compared to live action or books is still young, they all began around the same time period: live action films: 1890’s, and animations: early 1900s (citation needed) but films just continued to grow in popularity while animations were still relatively niche; we already had film cameras and people skilled enough to operate them or learning to and an audience eager to watch so it just continued to grow, with the advent of television broadcasts in around the 1920’s (REference: https://www.loc.gov/collections/origins-of-american-animation/articles-and-essays/notes-on-the-origins-of-american-animation-1900-1921/)

References

1 – https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=jEAoCgAAQBAJ&pg=PP46&lpg=PP46&dq=when+was+the+first+eastern+animation&source=bl&ots=y0x2jGWnQ7&sig=xpVsokOke0nDGy1S21Ay-SQpDhA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjggpD29eTQAhUC1hoKHVUMCREQ6AEIMjAE#v=onepage&q=when%20was%20the%20first%20eastern%20animation&f=false

2 https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=ASQ9BAAAQBAJ&pg=PA6&lpg=PA6&dq=when+was+the+first+eastern+animation&source=bl&ots=ZfFJoTVx4B&sig=pLVPW0GqM1F6I1PD2p2__ivynTw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjggpD29eTQAhUC1hoKHVUMCREQ6AEIPDAG#v=onepage&q=when%20was%20the%20first%20eastern%20animation&f=false

Script & Character Execution

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(This is a part of Project: Occurrence of Two Heads; I’ve forgotten to upload a sh*t ton of blogs from the previous projects so they will start popping up here and there)

The main focus of my argument is in how both Western and Eastern countries approach their animated films and television shows and I will have the script and my character design to reflect on this;

Character Design

Call it a really simple idea or a work of genius but how I’ve figured out my approach to the characters will reflect their chosen sides of the argument in how they look and their respective backgrounds. I will cover camera angles and shots further in the final script but the majority if not all of the scene will be a static view, focused from the front with a head to each side: this will therefore allow everything supporting the respective head design to be clear at all times to viewer. My inspiration behind this being the protagonist and his wife from the animated film Up (2009);

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Up (2009)

The man’s body is blocky and rigid to reflect is stern attitude to life, and this carries over into his ‘side’ of the room with the rigid chair, very solid cup and blocky tables and stools whereas the wife is more curved to reflect her easy-going and more comforting lifestyle with curving chairs, cups, lamps and so on.

How I am going to evoke this with my characters is simple; one head, more Eastern looking and the other more Western, with the facial features and the background set dressing to back this up, both arguing their respected sides. When it comes to faces, drawing them is not my forte, as such I will avoid this problem through giving them hats considered reflective of their cultures and maybe some more set dressing to cover up as much as I can.

Script

The script is inspired by the animation “The Kings of Siam”, created by Ged Haney, 1992. What exactly I am influenced by is the sense of competition between the two, one dreaming of being a footballer, the other an entertainer. Both of my characters are film producers, and the debate will come from them wanting to create an animated film, one thinking it should be for children, the other thinking otherwise.

Research Part One

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I made a quick brainstorm over what I would like to animate, covering brief story aspects and locations but it to when I have a stronger idea. It was a quick process for me to get through; I started listed different locations, different types of conflicts within stories that I liked and could come up with, plus jotting any quick ideas that would come to mind down  along side the brainstorm, not spending any time at the moment to develop them further because I just wanted every idea that came to mind out of it.

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My First Brainstorm

My research/idea generation started in the last week of the Christmas holiday as I looked at a mishmash of different TV programs, films, video games and even adverts that didn’t necessarily fit the brief but were giving me inspiration when it came to theme, the kind of music and ways to show interaction between characters, etcetera.

Example: Carlsberg Advert [1]

  • Okay so this involves more than two characters working together but what I was taking from this was how the theme of the advert is taking inspiration from the film The Great Escape (1963) with it`s overarching plot and music choice; the main title theme of said film [2]. A note on that music, as soon as it begins to play we know the theme the director was going for and in turn don’t need any sort of dialogue between the characters or anything else that would add length to the advert.

Example: Carling Advert [3]

  • This is one in a series of adverts for Carling; two recurring characters take turns in challenges that usually end up failing in some way or another. I like the sense of competition between the characters who are clearly friends and the imaginative ideas each advert has for what they want to do that keep things interesting and funny throughout each.

Example: Interstellar [4]

  • This scene is set on a planet when for every hour those spend on the planet, 7 years passes on Earth. Time is a big deal for the protagonist as he wants to get home to his daughter and spend as little time as possible on the planet. The director drives this fact into us with the quiet music in the background that sounds like the ticking of a clock.
  • The music begins to rise and get louder in tune with the discovery of what really has happened to the person they are after and then the climatic event as the waves begin to come at them. A good use of creating an underlying tension some viewers may not have even realised but definitely felt.

Example: Fifth Element

  • Every time we are shown anything to do with the Elements; the character, the symbols, etc, we here that same noise. As well, its cutting between two characters at different location in order to get across the fact the Pieces aren’t with the Big Bad and then how they react to the fact.

Example: Edge of Tomorrow [5]

  • The concept of continuously repeating the same day each time after you die. This also works to at first make death for the character funny with a constant trial and error which then, as the film progresses starts take a darker turn with the deaths of the protagonists side character and its affect on him.

Example: Alien Franchise [6]

  • This can apply to any sort of horror but in my opinion this is one of greatest with its enemy; the Alien and the whole design around it. This applies to my conflict which could be a monster the two characters are trying to fight.

There is still a lot more research to cover in my next blog, which will continue to cover different stories but also touch on art style and different methods of story telling that apply to the brief.

Bibliography:

1 –

CARLING: OFFICE ESCAPE – PAY PER INCH

In-text: (YouTube, 2017)

Your Bibliography: YouTube. (2017). Carling: Office Escape – Pay Per Inch. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmniHB9Lj0Y [Accessed 3 Jan. 2017].

2 –

WEST, J.

  1. Main Title Theme (The Great Escape Soundtrack) – Elmer Bernstein – YouTube

In-text: (West, 2017)

Your Bibliography: West, J. (2017). 01. Main Title Theme (The Great Escape Soundtrack) – Elmer Bernstein – YouTube. [online] SoundCloud. Available at: https://soundcloud.com/john-west-1/01-main-title-theme-the-great [Accessed 3 Jan. 2017].

3 –

CARLING: OFFICE ESCAPE – PAY PER INCH

In-text: (YouTube, 2017)

Your Bibliography: YouTube. (2017). Carling: Office Escape – Pay Per Inch. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmniHB9Lj0Y [Accessed 3 Jan. 2017].

4 –

NOLAN, C.

Interstellar – Waves Scene 1080p HD

In-text: (Nolan, 2017)

Your Bibliography: Nolan, C. (2017). Interstellar – Waves Scene 1080p HD. [online] YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Hf_XkgE1d0 [Accessed 5 Jan. 2017].

5 –

LIMAN, D.

Edge of Tomorrow Supercut – All Repeats

In-text: (Liman, 2017)

Your Bibliography: Liman, D. (2017). Edge of Tomorrow Supercut – All Repeats. [online] YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35KWaArZMGo [Accessed 5 Jan. 2017].

6 –

SCOTT, R.

Alien (4/5) Movie CLIP – Dallas Dies (1979) HD

In-text: (Scott, 2017)

Your Bibliography: Scott, R. (2017). Alien (4/5) Movie CLIP – Dallas Dies (1979) HD. [online] YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRXyWtv-huc [Accessed 5 Jan. 2017].