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OGR 10/02/2013Hi P-G,Okay - well, you and I have had some previous discussions re. alternate methods of identifying some directions for character design as I'd like to see you move away from that slightly hectic and agitated style of line that you're bringing into the process. Don't misunderstand me; this same style worked very effectively in the rendering and realisation of spaces back on project 1, but I think it's working against the character design process a bit here; it's just obscuring form, as opposed to presenting it, and while it might feel alien at first, I really would try working with unbroken line art and solid drawing in the first instance.In regards to your storyboard, my first impression is that there are not enough panels; now I know this storyboard is far removed from the final outcome, but that said, I do think you need to think much more about 'directing with a pencil', coverage of shots and how you can communicate the relationships more effectively. In truth, you've got a complex relationship to express; for example, what's not communicated by your storyboard is a) the passing of time and b) the husband's conflicted feelings around his wife's requests. I think we need to see much more of his face and his feelings as she asks for more treatment, he declines, she asks again, he gives in - and so on. The audience really needs to understand this; likewise, when the machine arrives, I think we need to see his reluctance to let her use it. This reluctance needs to define your surgeon character - reluctance and love - and the battle between the two. I think your Act 2 needs more thinking about in this respect; it's a) got to show the passing of time and b) establish the direction of their relationship. Maybe you should now concentrate on boarding out Act 2 in much more detail - more panels, more information, more character development. In simple terms, you'll need to be able to show us what your surgeon is thinking about his wife's demands and you'll need to show the wife's unhappiness and self-loathing (which is what makes the surgeon change his mind everytime).
I want you to think about ways in which you can get more storytelling into your story via the mise-en-scene. For example, in the first instance when we see the chubby girl being bullied, why not have her in the canteen reading a glamour magazine while she eats, something like Vogue with a stick thin model on the front cover - a tiny detail, but one that suggests lots about her state of mind. You could then perhaps use this cover as the image to which the wife always points to when she's demanding her husband operates on her - it's like her perfect image - her template - it just creates a nice bit of connection between scenes and means we always understand that she's sort of a victim of external pressure to look a certain way, as opposed to simply being a complete narcissist. Likewise, you can use the design of the cosmetic surgery clinic to a) convey the passing of time, and b) better set up the plastic surgery machine; so, when the wife has her first treatment, the design of the clinic is a bit old-fashioned, but as the various scenes of her treatments continue, we see the clinic get more high-tech, more computerised, more sci-fi etc. I think as I suggested once before, in the first highschool act, if you could show your audience that your male character is already thinking about a career in medicine; for instance, he drops his copy of Grays Anatomy (the book, not the tv show!) when he rushed to her aid. I know your storyboard is highly provisional, but you need to get into the detail of each shot now and make sure, in visual storytelling terms, that each shot is working as hard as possible for you in terms of information and pushing the story onwards.It's nitty gritty time, P-G - make these 60 seconds work hard for you! :)
oh - and I'm going to suggest you re-think your title: 'Obsessed' sounds more sinister and harsh than is true of the emotional tone of your story - perhaps something less judgemental-sounding, I don't know 'Skin Deep' or 'The Eye Of The Beholder' etc. Maybe something reflective of the story's themes than the wife's neurosis - anyway, give it some thought.In terms of the design for the plastic surgery machine - the very organic forms you're exploring are interesting, but in terms of the overall visual concept of your story, are they appropriate? (They maybe!). My point is that the design of your story world more generally needs to synch with this take on technology - just ensure that your world gels in design terms.