Sunday, December 12, 2010

Nice New Outfit

Pre-Production Bible and Animatic, evaluation of the term to come later.

Inbetween:aFable Animatic from Jake_Jones on Vimeo.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Tannhauser/ Derive

So, the character design for the Gypsy King has had to undergo a series of changes over the weekend.
Both Derek and Kathy brought to my attention that the King looked less like a monarch and more akin to a beggar.

Initially, I had intended for the King to represent subversive authority, influenced by Mikhail Bakhtin's King of Fools theory; Regalia dethroned, high culture and ideals decanted. Which is why he was designed to appear like a pauper, one of the great unwashed. However, as we worked through my storyboard it became apparent that having such a key character represented in this way, and relying on pre-cursory knowledge for the complex encoding of the character is a sure-fire way to alienate my audience. And although I am keen to get the audience thinking and contemplating what they've just watched, I don't want to leave them feeling disoriented, I want them to be able to work the film out without research.

So, instead of looking at Royalty of various cultures to influence the design I considered a more spiritual or tribal approach to the aesthetic. I wanted to keep the carnival essence and aesthetic to the design, and distinguish him as a leader of people, with-out the decadence of existing and representative royalty.

It is frustrating that the design has had to change, especially since Rory spent quite some time working on adapting the existing King designs for animation, but it seems as though it is a necessary change, particularly if I want to tell the story successfully.

So, for your viewing pleasure, are some sketches, and a rough approximation of something that I might possibly be happy with at some point I suppose.

I do like the design developments actually, I think I have managed to avoid elevating the character to that sense of self importance and extravagance exhibited by most representations of Royalty - in animation or otherwise.

On another note (no pun intended) take a listen to THIS.

The first 90 seconds of music are a gorgeous string piece that I can really see being a huge influence on the music for my animation. I've loved the arrangement since I discovered it several years ago, the conflict between the violin and cello is so evocative, it has a mournful darkness, but also an urgency and severity that I feel would meld with the images and words in the animation beautifully.

If you don't know Refused, and like aggressive music (or if you don't), check them out - they can be a bit difficult or challenging to listen to at first, but I find as a musician, listening to their music is constantly rewarding.

Ok, let's have fun.

Friday, December 3, 2010


Life drawing from the last term, just trying to get back into it really, although I did spend the most recent session experimenting with inks a little, trying to exaggerate, loosen up and emulate the great Ralph Steadman.

These are some digital paintings I made a while ago, from photo reference, in order to improve my light and colour theory. It's a helpful technique, and I'm likely to produce some more (in downtime, of course).

That's all for now, chaps.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tonight My Wife Is Your Wife

So, it's been a few weeks since the pitches etc. and the people who've had their projects chosen spent the first week running around fervently attempting to get people into bed with them.

Currently sharing my proverbial duvet are:

The enigmatic Rory Hinks - who has been working away very successfully as lead animator, but will also aid in design, and has helped to adapt some of the character designs for animation. As have I.

The illustrious Kat Michaelides - who is chiefly working on the animation layouts and backgrounds, and basically saving me architecturally. But will also help with animation further down the pipeline.

The fearsome....? Orla McElroy - who I have gladly taken on as a producer, to keep my mind focused and kick me around when I'm lazy, and help with scheduling next term. She essentially told me I was managing my time/work flow completely wrong. Which I was.

And the (recently) poetic Holly Tselikova - who is also lending her considerable talent to me as an animator, though not as a permanent position, as she is - quite understandably - attempting to work on as many projects as humanly possible for her.

All of this motley bunch are dividing their time between several projects, but I am very happy with the amount of time that each one is able to dedicate to my project, and I'm delighted with the standard of work that has been produced so far.

As Animation Director, I obviously don't have to do anything. Ever. I just witness events occurring. And boss people around.
By which I mean I've been working away at the storyboard and cinematography, and working on the animatic. I've also spent the last half a week trying to procure a suitable voice actor, with a lot of help from a very generous contact, which at the moment seems to be really paying off. But more about that later.

some character adaptations/turnarounds

And since kat hasn't updated her blog :P, some of her background ideas.

Have also been working on writing some music for the animation. Which is perhaps a little premature, as it's early days, but it all counts.

That's it for now, I'll update with some influences and evaluation/more pre-production sometime soon.

Just found some lucozade. Bonus.