Thursday, July 5, 2007


Okay, everyone should be getting a script in the email. If not, the Story column has been updated. Please voice whatever input you have as a comment on this post. Thanks to everyone who has been contributing their ideas and designs, and thank you all for being patient with me as I lose my luggage and mind all over the country. The new story is longer and more involved, but the characters are SO MUCH better and more dynamic.

New Background Challenge: many-tiered mountain from the new story (the whole mountain or just one tier- it doesn't matter)

New Character Challenge: Mother


llharris said...

Ok, the story is beautiful, don't get me wrong, but it is insanely complex. It is huge even for a senior project. Absolutly everything is explained and its wonderful, but how could we ever hope to do this in a semester? This is like 10-15 minutes at least in length, and otherwise if you shorten it, scenes won't recieve the emphasis they need. The original idea is only 2 or three paragraphs in the over all story.

Don't get me wrong, I love it, but I think a lot more of this could be implied, and maybe, simply knowing all this stuff in our heads while we board/animate/design will make a more simplified story a lot more meaningful.

Simini said...

I agree with Levi... the write up came out quite a lot longer than I was imagining. And I know it's images that count and not words, and images can be shown very quickly, but we don't want to overwhem the audience with information, even if it's visual. Some of these scenes need to be more than just quick flashes.

I still think this story is much more interesting than the last. But it definately needs editing. which I shall think on for a while and get back to you with suggestions...

llharris said...

Ok, so I have been I have been slacking...No, whatever. I have just been sitting around hoping there is a possibility we could do the entire, there might just be...if its not all completly animated...Try this on for size (if it doesn't fit thats fine); what about doing the begginning as a childrens storybook? We animated a book opening, with triptic illustrations, the subtitles are the words in the book (we make up our own font and everything) The more fantasy like beginning is a bunch of lavish illustrations all painted/ designed on different layers (this next part sounds tacky but don't vomit just yet) we take these layers and make an animatic...not an animatic, but something else, something similar to an interactive pop up book, so when you track up past the layers, everything is moving past in 3-d space. It is obviously all illustrated w/ paints and gorgeous colors, but there is something very three dementional about how everything is put together. The rest of the story is told this way. The mother father master all of them are pop up figures that when the camera moves past they are obviously on a different plane than the background. For the parts where the father is battling, and for chosen other parts, because we want to emphasise REAL we make them completly animated, we make them living, then we cut back to storybook...of course, we need to cut it down big time, to even be able to do all of this, but I feel that we can do up to one third of the film storybook and really get a great feel and a great part of the story in there while at the same time saving ourselves a lot of animation that could bring about our untimely premature greying, balding, and finally dieing before we even have a chance to stress out on all of the stuff we have to learn come fall

llharris said...

Crap, I think I just succeded in making everything more complex.. how about a 1 and a half minute limit for background backstory info done in picture book triptic? Then a 2or three minute limit for the actual fully animated deal in which we fully plan out how we can cut work down to the minimum and still make it look gorgeous. of course this is very loose, we need to make an animatic and then decide really how long it will be, but for now lets set some kind of goal

Jake said...

I think we can do it all in seven minutes or less.

I think we'll HAVE to do mock cut-paper animation or just really limited animation for the bulk of the film, and I've been thinking along the same lines. All we have to do is figure out HOW to tell the new story.

Also, like Simini and Levi both said- we don't have to tell the whole thing the way it's out in print. It's a FIRST DRAFT. How, specifically, do y'all think this story could be made more manageable?

llharris said...

One, dad sitting on horse in battle armor holding boy. Boy touches his father's sheathed sword admiringly. Everybody happy, Dad hands boy to wife, kisses wife, leaves.

cut to tree outside house, leaves on tree change colors, fall off, tree covered in snow, snow melts leaves grow. A stranger comes to the house, has Dad's sword in hand. Kneels on stairs presents sword to wife, who bursts into tears.

(remember, we do like 4 backgrounds for this scene and then 10 gestures tops to tell the story. We show time change (snow and tree and everything) on different layers to minimize work. We could board it neatly in about 3 hours and be home in time for dinner

- eric said...

two things that come to immediate attention for me: i am not a big fan of showing the bag with money flying out of it - it seems kinda dorky, i imagine there must be a better way of showing it; and... someone was saying it earlier, but i think that we should incorporate the water spirit a little earlier in the film and kinda throw her in at the end to make a nice smooth transition - i think an effect way of doing this would be to have a statue of her in the garden in the BG at the beginning and at the end - it really doesn't need any direct reference, but some foreshadowing/allusion that she's kinda not just a tool rather a character

Simini said...

Honestly I think the part that worried me most about the new treatment was the description of the opening, going through all the differnt classes and layers. Which sound like it will be very visually interesting... but it also sound like a nightmare to create... because suddenly there a lot more characters and scenery, granted it doesn't need quite as much detail... but still. I think we could just hav ethe camer zoom in through the scenery, past houses and mountains up to the boy's house, whitout going quite so close to the action of the city.

the triptych format will definately help cut down on time at least, because we can show several things at once and have them fade in and out. though I imagine it will be a lot more complicated to board. Also, i suppose we could use three stills appearing in side-by side in sequence to depict something... Maybe him going off to find work? to show a progression without actually having to animate... and you could use music really effectively to make it a cool effect instead of a shortcut.

I think the cut-paper effect could be really cool for establishing shots and scenery or showing travel... I think we should try to stay away from depicting the actual characters as pop-up figures though... since they are drawn and not actual stop motion cut-paper. But... In a perfect world, right?

And now I'll probably go think about this some more, becasue it's taken over my brain and i'm no longer able to do any other homework... alas.

Jake said...

Okay. Simini, Eric, and Levi... you have all scored points.

The heavy focus on the levels of the city really doesn't DO anything for the story, other than give us an idea of boy's place in society. I think it could be simpler, as Simini said, to just go by some houses, including boy's, and sort of blow off the whole beggar level, peasent level, merchant level thing. ALSO it would cut the problem of Mom and Boy losing the house. We can have the house fall into disrepair without throwing them out, and the state of the house can change after they get the axes.

We can ALSO eliminate boy wandering around the market, and can instead, when the money runs out, have him look up the mountain with dread, and start the trek up to the pagoda.

Points for Simini. Further points for suggesting a series of stills to communicate as well as (to a point) using some cut-paper action to bookend the actual, beautiful, stunning animation that will tell the important parts of the story.

Points to Eric for calling me on the whole bag gimmick. Bethanne, when I would throw out an idea like that, ask me "Why do you want to do that?" I dunno. "It's because you don't know what you SHOULD do, Jacob." Eric's right. It's a cop-out. The only other solution I have at the moment is to either empty the coins on to a table and watch them, one by one, fade away, or to show the boy buying something (food, whatever) with the bag, and not have enough money left. Solutions that require less animation and are more suggestive than literal are better solutions for this particular film, so let's keep that in mind.

Levi and Eric both get points for suggesting earlier introduction of the water spirit. I think statues would work, as well as similar water effects to those we will see with her used earlier in the mist, the rivers, etc.

Again, points to Levi for simplifying the whole Dad runs off to war sequence. Can't wait to board that with you.

Go team.