Monday, 28 February 2011

CD Cover

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Start of Story Board

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This is my story board so far, iv not done the last few frames yet and I think I may have to add a few more shots in to fill in any gaps. I really liked the style of the grayscale pens they really lent well to conveyiving the atmosphere of the room and the swinging of the lamp.

Other Character Turnarounds



Sunday, 27 February 2011

Second Draft of Treatment

Treatment 2

All is here except the character biographies, when I compile my character bible ill put them into my document.

Wallace Turnaround

Others are done just need to scan them in tomorrow. Also most of my story boarding is done, just got a couple more frames left to do, so all will be scanned tomorrow :) and ready for 2D animatic!!!

Kitchen Concept

Friday, 25 February 2011

Interrogation Room


Final Concept


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The Light (Bulb)

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Tuesday, 22 February 2011

La Jetee (1962)



"A remarkable and unique experimental short that consists solely of still frames, narration, music and sound effects as it relates an apocalyptic tale of memory and time-travel." (TV Guide's Movie Guide,2007) La Jetee is not your typical film. The way the beautiful naturalistic photographed stills, narration music and sound were used in a similar way to moving film but gaps had to be filled in because of the absence of movement. The narration spoke for the character and moved the story on so it could be understood al most like being read a picture book. The music was still used to build tension particularly when the editing became faster as the prisoner was struggling in the hammock and the pace of the editing sped up as the heart beats quickened. The way the story is edited it is still possible to make sense from the stills with a bit of narration in the same way a film would be story boarded. The way the frames are transition varies between a jump cut and a fading transition, when the mood of the film is softer the transitions tend to be slower for example when the woman is sleeping, and the jump cuts for more tense moments like conveying the torture of the prisoner. The music plays a key role in setting the mood of the scenes when the narration take a pause for a few moments. Also there is a ghostly whisper (sounding like German) that is used in the to create an uneasy felling within the scenes of the experiment in the lab.

Still 1

"The only fictional work of experimental filmmaker and documentary-maker Marker, this is an elegantly constructed riddle, with a puchline that is as satisfying as it is chilling." (Film 4, 2007) The twist ending of the film is the true horror of this film and it is certainly a chilling thought to be caught in this continuous loop as the story takes a full circle back to the shooting on the pier. Repeated frames of close ups of the woman's expression of horror are repeated to flash back the horror from the beginning of the film. It is also emotionally powerful as the audience has more understanding about his fate than he does but it is in the end inevitable.

Opening Shot of the pier, La Jetee meaning ' the pier' in French
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The Prisoner being shot.
   

A lot of the most powerful images are of the close-up's of the characters faces at moments they are capturing moments of emotion which become haunting seeing them traped in that still frame. Moments when the prisoner is in the hammock these still become more frequent as his head moves almost animating his pain and suffering in quicker editing making the impact stronger. The image of the bandages over his eyes is in itself a disturbing image and this a highly repetitive shot trough out the film, this focuses the audiences attention around the prisoner inviting them to sympathise with this character because of the close up shot.
 "I find it tediously pretentious, but there are striking images in it, and it does get across a vague impression of Frankensteinian meddling with the brain." (Crowther, B, 2005) The film makes reference to Dr. Frankenstein and its story subtly echoes its science experimentation themes tampering with the human body and defy nature itself.

The Prisoner being experimented on.

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    Alfred Hitchcock's Rope (1948)



    Defying all the rules of traditional cinema Hitchcock set out to make a a film that seemlessly flows to create the illusion of no editing. The end result makes the audience feel like they are watching a theatrical performance, a critic describes it as "... a fascinating experiment trying to find the cinematic equivalent to a play..." (Levy. E, 2005) No editing meant that the actors had no cuts between takes so they were basically acting out a play, but in front of a camera.  The experiment works well for Hitchcock as he gives front row seats to witness the series of events unfolding in the apartment. The camera zooming and floating around the set creates a feeling of being a curious ghost following the actors every movements, even as they move from room to room in smooth gradual movements.

    The continuous real time drags though out moments of the film especially when the camera lingers in the same spot for a couple of minutes for a conversation. However Hitchcock still manages to keep the audience entertained with the 'in jokes' in the cleverly written script about the body stashed in the trunk also a master at building suspense at close shaves of the secret being reviled. The suspense is at its highest when the maid is clearing the party food off of the trunk, done in one long continuous shot the audience can do nothing but sit and  helplessly watch as she gets dangerously close to unveiling the secret. Knowing that the body is in the trunk from the beginning of the film is a simple but powerful way to create moments high tension, it makes it hard to keep your eyes off of the trunk. 

    "Constructed entirely from uncut ten-minute takes, shot on a beautifully-constructed set, it's certainly a virtuoso piece of technique, but the lack of cutting inevitably slows things down, entailing the camera swooping from one character to another during dialogues." (Andrew, G 2006) Because the camera can only shoot for 10 minutes at a time it becomes routine for the screen to have moments of darkness from disappearing behind the backs of the actors, which made the cuts obvious but still kept the flow of the film. Therefore the cuts don't make it entirely seamless editing, even other critics have commented: "...the camera trick of concluding every reel by focusing on some dark jacket or other transition surface becomes predictable..." (Lenin Imports, 2004) In consideration to Hitchcock's limitations of the 10 minute film this seems like the only way this film style could be pulled off without obvious jerky cuts.

    For this film to work there must have been a lot of  planning from the beginning, from the layout of the set as it was being built to the strain on the actors to remember there lines for long periods of time (no time for mistakes with colour film in the 1940's = $.)

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    Hitchcock and Joan Chandler, possibly arguing but Joan Chandler doesn't seem impressed.

    "Every movement of the camera and the actors was worked out first in sessions with a big blackboard, like football skull practice. Even the floor was marked and plotted with numbered circles for the 25 to 30 camera moves in each 10 minute reel. Whole walls of the apartment had to slide away to allow the camera to follow the actors through narrow doors, then swing back noiselessly to show a solid room. Even the furniture was "wild." Tables and chairs had to be pulled away by prop men, then set in place again by the time the camera returned to its original position, since the camera was on a special crane, not on tracks, and designed to roll through everything like a juggernaut."(Lenin Imports, 2004) Knowing that all this went on behind the scenes it is not so hard to spot if anything went wrong, from time the trunk had changed positions and the furniture in the kitchen had moved. However the actors performances were still to an exceptionally high standard and remained in character even under huge pressure of  long periods of filming without a break, which inevitably caused problems between Hitchcock getting what wanted and the actors delivering it.


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    Behind the scenes snap shot of Rope (1948) It can be seen that the wall originally on the left has been removed for the placement of filming equipment for this scene.



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    More Sketches: Ideas Coming Together

    Done a couple more character designs today, and I think I have my cast of characters! Using the shapes from other toys has been very helpful to create an exciting range characters, each one being unique with distinct figure outlines. These designs will be the cool toys in the child's imagination but the real toys will be simple plushie toys, this will then mean that my child character come from a poor background not being able to afford the new toys available today.


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    Evil Toy and Plushie

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    Random design... Didn't really like this one.

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    Walrus Side Kick and Plushie Toy

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    Machine used to bust the evil toy out of the holding cell which is actually a cup.

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    Starting to design the child.


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    Frog Detective Character

    Monday, 21 February 2011

    Photoshop: Colour Character Design

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    Possible sidekick design for my villain, this guy will bust the thief out of the holding cell. I went for a biker/ex-convict look as he will have to be an expert in mechanics and escapology which is pulled off but the walrus look nicely. The walrus idea came from the giant cuddly one I found in my loft raiding through my old toys and it worked well by combining some of the shapes I had collected. Colour wise... I'm not sure about the full colour might try a black and white style to tie in the film noir style with the dark lighting I'm going to use in my interrogation scene.

    Toy Character Designs from Outlines

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    I think these designs are more for the imagination of the child than actual toys... I'm going to simplify the designs down to create the toys for the reveal of my story.