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.

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