Friday, 22 January 2010

Writing collaboration project

This project was meant to bring us animation students together with Creative writing students and make something in a group where everyone has (and sticks to) a specific job within the team. For example Producer.
The idea was that the writers came up with the story, and we had to make it into an animated animatic suitable for a professional pitching.

The brief was basicly to make a promotional peice for The National Union of Fairies, Sprites, Elves and Druids (NUFSED). The animated peiece would be used to raise awareness of the organisation. And the whole thing would have to be based around an already existing fairytale.
My group for example, picked the story about Goldielocks and the three bears.

I was given the job as the Storyboard artist. Initially i thought i would only have to illustrate whatever the producer/writers envisioned. But since there were no director of photography or director at all, i figured it was my job to lay out the scenes cinematography-wise...
I like setting up scenes and playing around with how the camera should tell the story. I´ve never had any specific lessons on the subject, but i really enjoy doing it. It is almost like you make the whole film right there on paper, and then you just have to follow through.

When the writers started to form the story, i immideately saw the scenes in my head.
And when the time came to get them on paper, i thought it would be better if i went above and beyond in terms of camerause. And with a very "cartoony" approach to the animating of the characters. This way, i figured we could tone it down to the bare minimum if we needed. Its always better to have too much, than too little.
So when i finished the first half of the story in storyboards, we had way too many shots and the expressions and movements of the characters were over the top.

So we cut it down, and Jacob (animation supervisor) and i, figured out how we could cut the whole thing down. Cutting it down would of course make it easier to make (deadline was slowly approaching) and easier to watch for the audience.

The whole team was great. I felt we all worked together very good and everyone did their best on each specific task. And the result was way better than expected. Especially Holly (designer) who powered out some amazing illustrations of Goldielocks in a matter of minutes. And when the hours started rolling, it only became better. And that of course goes for the whole group. Everyone was working hard non stop for those three days.
Our producer Craig always had a good attitude and mood. But he still managed to keep control of the whole "pipeline" of work.
The writers brought a good vibe and humor to the piece. Our given genre was "Dramatic narrative". The writers pretty much layed it down from the very beginning. With various adjustments along the way of course. But they really know their stuff and how to play around with it.
The only critisicm i have is directed at the fact that even though the genre was "Dramatic narrative"(which i imagined would be scary or serious), we ended up with a houmorous story about big gay bears. But i told the writers sraight away, but they explained how that genre could be "bent" either way. So trusted their decision, after all they know this waaay better than any of us.

The moral of the original story is of course "Dont venture unknowingly into the forest"... or something like that...
But we sort of wanted this old moral to be more adjusted to the modern, friendly society.
Therefore we had Goldielocks become friends with the "meterosexual" bears, instead of fearing and running away from them.

As the days went and we could see the end coming, we had to continiously cut down on the work. So even more shots were cut, and so was the story and dialogue/narration.
Short projects like these always seem to sort of get tensed at the end. Everyone is stressing to meet the deadline and sometimes it helps to push us, and sometimes things get forgotten and the whole project crumbles and fails. But its all good experience!

That is why i thought this was a good idea right from the start. We get experience of how it is to power out a pretty decent pitch animatic. And of course working in "jobs" made sense as it will mos likely be like that in the "real world".
I dont remember what i expected of the writers, but i definately liked them and the way they work. I migh not have seen exactly what they were typing, but we all had a good time and thought the whole thing was pretty funny. And the whole team was both impressed and satisied with the end result.
It made me want to actually animate it and finish the whole thing.

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