yes please

September 30, 2009

http://www.quentinblake.com

I’ve always admired Blake’s drawing style, obviously I’ve mention the simple black and white line and the expressionist colour-ful paint technique, but these drawings add a little more, I don’t yet know what my film would need but in terms of detail and invention and the wobbly human nerve in the line which is important to my idea of God, considering his style could prove very useful…

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Colour/sound

September 30, 2009

I’ve been wondering how I want the film to look, and one thing I’ve thought will help communicate the distinction between the 2D and 3D is colour. I was watching about 5hours of Beatles documentaries recently and the majority of the footage was in black and white, so when they played a bit of the animated video for Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, the colours, were just amazing, they were already bright and vibrant but in contrast with the black and white film it just looked so good. A lot like seeing colour for the first time, which also a good example of God. So I was thinking that the 2D world would be in black and white, and whatever is 3D (cross-sections- 3D passing through a 2D flatland) would be really vibrant dynamic alive colours, to show how much more would be revealed out of their paradigm. The same would be done with the sound, the characters like in the Grace Of Dimensions test, the flatland characters would lip-sync with speech bubbles and not create sound, but what passes through their world but have full foley sound, which also gives so much information about what it is that’s passing through, like the sound of water- depending on what I figure out for them to experience.

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, The Beatles.

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Grace of Dimensions, my earlier test.

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It could also be really good in terms of involving computers in this in a good way, not in a modern CG way, but keeping the essence of human error and nerve in the animation by painting all the frames but making it even more epic using a computer to add atmosphere, perhaps, somehow, I imagine them being used for lighting, because God is like light, and it’s not easy to draw light in the same way as generating light to create more of an experience…

Rough Script

September 30, 2009

So a rough script came to me, really naturally and subtly when I was daydreaming, and for some reason that is why I trust it, as well as really quite liking it. I’m liking the idea of beginning with a fly. God used one recently to speak to me, and it turns out it really complements my film. I want the concept to be slowly revealed- so that at the beginning you’re like, ‘what’s those random circles’ and nearer the end you’re like, ‘oh they’re fingers…’ So I see Pete my dog character snapping lazily  at a fly, then it disappears. It reappears somewhere else on the page, also referencing the behaviour of sub atomic particles. It disappears because it can move in 3 dimensions through flatland, so it’s sometimes in flatland and sometimes so close you can hear it buzzing and feel its wings but it’s just not there. I MUST KEEP THINGS SIMPLE THOUGH. If it’s all poetic and subtle it will reflect the nature of God. The next thing that came to me helps pace and inspiration build up as you go along, like a crescendo as understanding hopefully becomes easier as the idea is revealed by clearer communication and more information. I would like to use a whale and an ocean at the greatest point. For me, these two symbolise raw energy and captivating beauty. They’ve been timelessly inspirational for me which is what I’ve been wanting to keep liking my film. I hope it to be dynamic and flowing and the characters be chased and swept around in a very abstract environment, providing on time and resources. There’s just so much to think about.

Commitment

September 30, 2009

I thing I’ve gradually come to accept the idea I’ve been talking about here, for months I can remember thinking, keep your options open, this might not be the film you’re meant to make, or as a Christian- what God wants me to make. But I’ve just been following whatever has come to me and influenced me, and because it was so unforced, which I know is good, it’s still a bit worrying because I haven’t really wanted to do much else, or I’ve always been brought back to this point, and I know that if I bring this to my tutors and they don’t think it’s right for me, then that would affect me very seriously.

So before I got too far along I tried to ask for feedback. I managed to get to talk to Caroline Parsons the other day, and she said that she is happy with what I’m doing, but to consider really trying to incorporate something which is more desirable than just a 2D drawn film. Its obviously become a very small field of animation now with the take over of computers, which is half the reason why I wanted to be a pencil animator, because it’s really made a lot of work quite lazy, but I totally agree and the thought has been in the back of my mind for a while, so that needs more consideration. The balloons film used compositing and 2D hand drawn which worked quite well, and I’d be happy to do something like that, but it was also necessary for the film, not just used for the sake of using a computer.

I haven’t spoken to Leonie Sharrock that much but she did also mention to me that there are so many good 2D hand drawn films that are awesome because of how computers have helped. What comes to mind for me is the work done by Gobelins shown at Annecy 09, but to be honest I’m not sure I could really do it as well as this in the time I have, and it might be a downfall for me because I’m not sure of my skill in it, any way, have a look what I mean:

subtlety

September 30, 2009

squares and colours // or a message ?JWTSC Book Cover

Animals meowwoof

September 29, 2009

waaayy, hello, so yeah anyone who knows me will know I’ve always been an animal person. I want my film to encompass more timeless things that have appealed to me and stood up against the test of time (so that I am less likely to go off my work) like storms and pairs and whales and dimensions and questions to box in a few which are emerging and finding a place in my final film.

Animals are a big part of all of this! My dissertation is on relating to characters and anthropomorphism in particular because it’s so interesting for me. One or both of my pair of characters will be an animal, and I have a few thoughts about animals being used to pass through the 2D world and reveal more about the 3D world. I don’t want my film over-run with animals though!

But yeah, I went to Paris a few weeks ago, and not only are there so many dogs but their character appeal is always so great to me, observing them as companions is intriguing. My favourite characters and films from throughout my life have always been because of an animal, especially tigger. While I was in Paris I got to see ‘up’- ‘La Haut,’ which isn’t out here in Britain yet, and again it was the dog that made it for me.

Again what attracts me to these characters is the integrity, honesty, truthfulness and childlike innocence which I also see in Pete.

I then watched an absolute ton of Beethoven films and did a bit of animating dogs:

I THINK I’VE DECIDED TO MAKE PETE THE DOG CHARACTER, it just makes so much more sense because his personality suits that character so well, and the man will then complement that, each holding their separate world-views.

More films

September 29, 2009

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‘Robot,’ a Sony Playstation 2 advert made by Russell Brooke, caught my attention because of the simple style and humour, which is seen around quite a lot and in many other examples on this age, but still it is original and quirky, somehow it’s better in many ways than other very similar films. The character shapes and silhouettes are great, and the idea is suited to creating a really cool and stylish identity that’s really appealing, which is done simply by having a really individually funny style of dancing, which is cool because the character makes movements that are kind of geeky or old school, and pulls them off with a charisma which comes from confidence in who you are, which is probably what attracts the audience most.

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My Dog Tulip, a feature film by Paul and Sandra Fierlinger, is absolutely wonderful in it’s animated style. I love the lines and colours and that it is all animated in a way that seems like it’s more straight ahead than it is. It may also be that watching it during a time where so much is done on a computer, or generated by a computer, it was really refreshing to so much human nerve in the drawings.

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‘Simon’s Cat,’ by Simon Tofield. Again simplicity is the key. The behviour of cats exagerrated here is funny because it’s true. The over exaggerated anthropomorphism is just really funny and true. Nothing detracts from this because of the style. Very light hearted with really good comedic timing.

screen-capture-6‘Flatworld,’ by Daniel Greaves, obviously caught my eye because the content is based on the idea of flatland, like mine. The message is very different though- It seems like the idea of flatland was used to create the technique more than anything else- having 2D drawn characters cut out on card and animated as a stop-motion, which looks so cool. It’s more narrative based than making a statement, but still says so much more than a normal story…? ! I could consider using this technique, but i don’t think it helps to communicate the idea of seeing how my characters experience things in their world. The cute cheeky little cat as awesome. Just all of the characters are very inspirational in themselves because they all seem to have really appealing personalities, you feel a lot of empathy for them and there’s no dialogue! The way each of them are brought to life through their individual animation timing and poses really compliments their purpose. I love the flashes of clips of different environments which I can see perhaps adding more to my film- food for thought. What’s more there’s a whale… and relationships between humans and animals…love it. Epic.

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‘Line,’ a film for Olay by Suzanne Deakin, is another example of simple cleverness, it seems so free and effortless but the process could not have possibly been so. Again the fluidity and spontaneity of the traveling through it’s environment grabbed me.

Pete

September 29, 2009

Pete is a really awesome character. Half because he doesn’t know or think that he really is. I’ve been thinking that basing one of my characters on his personality would be really successful, I feel like he would really suit the character with the world view that there may be something more than there is.

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I’ve never got to the point where I don’t appreciate his personality- I haven’t got bored of it, he’s still original, just because he’s being himself. He really strikes a chord with my empathy, watching him and just seeing the way he does things is really intriguing. Making him in to an animal character might really help bring out the parts of him which harmonize with the atmosphere of the film. I like that he’s quite slow moving and blinking, he seems to approach life very laid back, and doesn’t dwell too much at all, he seems very impressionable, and innocent but not innocent at all…? His quite monotone voice is great, and he seems to attract funny little things naturally, and his humour’s very unforced, he often seems very in his own world and quite willing to trust. On top of all that, paper airplanes get stuck in his big fluffy hair. Of course this is all my perception of him, we can’t say that we know too much about an actual person except what we experience ourselves. Anyway, it seems to really complement the simple, childlike, accepting, loving character which God asks us to be in order to accept that there is more than there is, which is why he complements my film idea.

I tried to picture Pete and his dog: it will change a lot I know it… but here’s an early example:

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QUESTIONS: Do I want a film based on God? Is the simplicity of my line drawings all I want? What else do I try? How can I fully communicate my films purpose? How do I make it not overbearing or too serious? How do I bring across the character and personalities to engage the audience fully in to what they then experience? How much will the audience relate to my characters so that they can then project themselves on to them and consider my suggestions? How much can I say without saying it? Why does honesty truthfulness and integrity in the character with the worldview that there is more, matter so much? Is it because God is like that? How will the second character complement this one and hold the opposite worldview? Will there be any dialogue? Any music? Just foley sound? How will it be resolved? Are there any other ideas I would rather consider before I get too far in to this one? What do the tutors think of my direction? How will I fully communicate the idea of a something 3D messing with flatland? How can the two be made more distinguishable- could sound and colour be used here to show the difference? How much can I animate before the deadline? Am I good enough at 2D hand drawn as I’ve only just started using it recently? How will I make the film a journey, memorable? How much have I settled on in my mind through questioning and seeing how it goes rather than making a decision? Is this a good thing? Questions or things which I didn’t understand how they would work, have just melted away over time, resolved themselves not been forced… How? Will a religious intent come through by accident- which I am really against- All I would want is the unforced option to consider God so he could perhaps be let in a bit more, showing him in a good light which is often lost through religion (my perception)? AM I JUST CONFUSING MYSELF FOR NO REASON? YES.

Annecy

September 29, 2009

As I mentioned, I went to Annecy Animation Festival this year. Two films especially stood out to me:

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Sur Le Fil, by Benjamin Dupouy, starts off very slow and simple, my first reaction was thinking that it wasn’t going to affect me that much, but something inexplicable was saying that something profound was about to be seen. I did not realize I would be blown away. I think that the way the character occupies its environment in the second half is what grabbed me, it was so dynamic and flowing, displaying very raw energy similar to that of the sea or a storm or a whale, the sorts of things that represents pure existence for me, real life energy. Naturally I tend to also go with having a pair of characters, probably because I was brought up with Wallace and Gromit, a pair who balance each other, I haven’t really considered any other way of having characters in my film.

screen-capture-1Inukshuk, by Camillevis Thery, was the other film I saw at Annecy that really spoke to me. I’ve only seen it once, but from memory I think I can decipher a few reasons for it’s effect. Again, 2 main characters are used and they were drawn in a continuous line which created a really cool style where the drawing would invert in to itself at times, and the crazy laugh that made the polar bear topple over was really well animated and endearing. The environment again is quite abstract and suggestive or minimal, which really helped the film to be successful, and the human nerve came through so well in the hand drawn lines.

All these things and more are influencing my perception of how my film is developing

My idea, which is shown primitively and simply here, is to suggest that there is more than there is.

There may be a being who isn’t trapped by the dimensions that we are trapped in, suggested/symbolized by using characters trapped in 2 dimensions on a sheet of paper. We humans then transcend the dimensions of their world.

How would these characters experience something outside of the dimensions that they can comprehend. If they were hugged by a 3 dimensional being, who transcends the 2-dimensions that they’re trapped by, how would they see it?

The film here shows a not very well communicated hug, which definitely needs to be improved on, as it’s essential to my idea, but it does show the idea of fingers passing through their 2D world, then the hands and finally the arms. Because in 2D flatland you cannot move forwards and backwards, a cross section of the 3D being is all that is seen as it passes through their world, do you know what I mean? I hope so, Rob Bell explains it better probably.

Anyway, the 2 characters on the page represent the two world views- one who says, ‘I think there’s more,’ and the other who says, ‘what rubbish- this is all there is because there is no evidence that you’re right (pish posh).’

When I did this test, I hadn’t settled on the idea, but right now I have a huge passion for going for it because so many other elements have fallen in to place beautifully and it feels right.

This is a very simple test, I can see the idea developing so much by exploring why this speaks to me, what I want to achieve, how I can encompass many things and express what I truly want most effectively through cinematic technique, there is so much to think about!

2 minutes in to this clip, Rob Bell starts to talk string theory which leads to discussing the idea of flatland proposed by Edwin Abbot (6 mins in). This idea immediately caught my attention because since my A-level in physics I have been fascinated by quantum physics and the idea of dimensions, but when I really understood what Bell is talking about, it spoke so much to me, mostly because not only does he explain everything in way which is very accessible, but it also showed how I could suggest a very profound and even life-changing idea, without ramming it down your throat and letting you really consider it for yourself in a very real and tangible way without a load of religious voodoo. I consider myself to be a Christian. From this I made a short film ‘Grace Of Dimensions’ to explore the idea of dimensions and 2 different world views as a starting point for my film.

Re-born Animator

September 29, 2009

I feel like I’ve been asleep for so long. Going to Annecy 09 really woke me up, I know where I want to be, what I’m a part of and what it’s all about, what can be done, re-realizing the art of film making not the fulfillment of criteria for grades, it’s truly amazing.

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Over the summer, a lot of things in my life have been amalgamating together really naturally and beautifully.I don’t feel like what I’m heading for has been forced at all- like how most things so far have felt like, it doesn’t seem like a chore to have to fulfill all these different things, it’s like a party now, and I want to share all the elements which have come together and fallen in to place around my central idea.

EXCITING

What will it be?

September 29, 2009

A few words to keep in mind:

2d hand drawn, perhaps some after effects, clean, powerful, simple, subtle, profound, character based- personality, journey, quality, timing, passion, personal- not a sausage in a factory, less trying to please people and fulfilling criteria, more developing, testing, seeking opinions, raising the bar, refining, searching for inspiration, aspiring and breaking my boundaries.

floobydoobyshlooby

September 29, 2009

What this year means to me- too important an issue to miss out on.

I want to take this chance to properly prove myself. As with most creatives I’m not satisfied by most of the work I’ve done so far, with the exception of the new version of Balloons (2009). It’s more frustrating than anything else I can think of to know that I haven’t achieved as much as I believe I truly can. It’s all learning, now I want to start getting it right.

The reasons why I think it has been like this is because obviously we are all always learning, but whilst on such a steep slope as I have been recently, I feel that I move on very fast, often half way through a project, or when I see it shown in front of people, I no longer feel a connection with the work- I’ve improved and moved forward beyond that piece of work basically.

So without having to bore everyone with too many words, my plan has been more to follow influences which have stayed with me for a long time, and follow less the new things that come to me. I’m glad not to be restricted in the course now and I’m going to drive my friends and tutors crazy asking for feedback! I’m going to develop and refine the face off this film!

HELLO

September 29, 2009

Hello!

I’ve got lots of stuff to share with you about my final film already, and once I’ve shared that, I’m going to share some more until my lovely shiny degree film is made! Yay

There will be a big splurge of stuff at the beginning because I’m just starting to record stuff that I’ve been exploring for months, then hopefully I’ll have a steady stream of lovely things over the next few months! Hooray