Saturday, October 9, 2010

When The Faction's Fractioned

There were a lot of good ideas pitched yesterday, including a few that I would have an interest in working on. The problem is finding the crew members and convincing them to commit to yours. I am keen to build a portfolio of character design and animation this year [regardless of medium] and have already committed to assist Simon Acty's group as a part time crew member, helping with design, and possibly some animation further down the pipe-line, and would like to assist in a few others. However - and I find it unlikely that I do not share the sentiment with others - I would be disappointed were I not able to facilitate the workforce necessary to pursue my own directorial aspirations.

I am aware that yesterday I explained my idea in a very poor and perhaps confusing way, so I felt it made sense to upload the micro-proposal that we had to upload last night for general reading pleasure.

The project that I am proposing to make for the final year is a short film – 4-5 minutes in length – that is based on and accompanied by a poem that I am writing currently entitled In-between.

Basic Synopsis

The basic story behind the poem and animation revolves around a female protagonist and her encounter with a fictional, medieval town inhabited by traveling gypsies/carnival folk. A self righteous and pious individual, her judgement upon the inhabitants of the town (whom she views as monsters and degenerates) is severe. The gypsies enjoy the base pleasures in life – what renaissance writers might refer to as the grotesque – eating, drinking, sleeping and sex, and though these base pleasures are also the core survival instincts in a human being, our protagonist considers the town and it's inhabitants to be a pit of sin, no more than predatory, primitive beasts. In attempt to purge the town of it's “sickness”, she begins a violent and bloody crusade, policing the town by systematically murdering the sinners as she sees fit. In an attempt to cut the head from the beast, she slashes a path towards the gypsy king. Efforts to combat her take the shape of a resistance formed by vengeful members of the community intent on ceasing her crusade and baying for her blood. After her murder of the gypsy king, she is confronted by the mob, clearly outnumbered. This is a grey area in the story as the protagonist needs to have a crystallising moment in which she realises that she has made herself into more of a demon than the people she is massacring. This particular moment has not been figured out yet, but it needs to be an act that shows that humanity is so much more complex than right and wrong, dark and light, that humanity is all the shades in between. After her epiphany, she is left alone, racked with guilt, her belief system shaken to core.

Themes Involved

I would like to make it clear that this not meant to be an attack on religious beliefs or offend people who choose follow any particular faith as a harmless but important part of their life. It is more meant to highlight the danger of extremist methods within belief systems that harks back even as far as if not further than the Crusades. Methods such as war, genocide, indoctrination, and qualities like ignorance and closed mindedness. I think it's a particularly relevant subject in these times in which people are so desperately fearful of certain religions or cultures, purely based on the actions of relatively small extremist groups, or when others mislead potential believers to the point of endangering their lives, just to “save their souls”.

The point is that the extremist is not inherently evil, they do not believe their goal to be selfish, nor do they believe they are doing anything wrong, which is why initially we will empathise with the Crusader protagonist to begin with, and see the townsfolk as she does, but later we see a switch of perspective, and that wrong and right is simply not so clear cut. That the ability to make a choice has moral ambiguity in itself, and that morality is subject to the individual to interpret, which makes one human.


The method used to create the animation will be 2D cel animation, traditional hand drawn, and computer assisted. The poem will narrate the action but the animation will compliment the narration rather than be a literal, demonstrative visual aid.

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