Thursday, 7 March 2013

OGR Fantastic Voyage


  1. OGR 09/03/2013

    Hey P-G,

    Okay - so you and I have already had a few discussions about your central idea - which is having your prokaryotic cell 'singing the blues' - and you know already that I think this is fab idea - but one requiring you to be hugely organised in terms of getting your info readied as a blues song and sourcing collaborators who can work with you - and do so quickly, so that you've got your song and voice track in place at the soonest possible opportunity. I can see from your blog that you've already identified some useful resources - for instance, the 'how to write a blues song' guide - good stuff. I sent you the contact details for a composer who is already working with 2 of our year 3 students and contacted me originally as he was keen to work 'for free' in order to gain experience. I'm not sure if you've contacted him yet, but if and when you do you need to be very clear in regard to what your asking him; he may, for example, know a singer who might collaborate, or he might just be interested in writing the music - which means you still have to find a singer. All of this, I'm sure is possible, but you will have to investigative and charming in looking for the right individuals - and it might take a while to find the right team. You need to be focused and you need to do your research and not give up - because your concept lives and dies by the quality of that blues song. It's hard, yes, but this is an example of you keeping your nerve and fighting for your concept - because it's good! Let me know how you're getting on with the song/music bit asap.

    In terms of character design, I actually prefer some of those earlier jazz-inspired designs, when the cell is more humanised - i.e. two eyes, cheeks, lips and that lovely idea of using the cell's bristles as the fringing on a jazz-age style dress. The coloured versions of your cell just seem too alien to me - with the one eye - and unlikely to elicit our sympathy. I think you should develop those earlier designs - and look at the likes of Billie Holiday and early soul singers for more inspiration. I also think that maybe a black and white vintage feel in terms of the whole look of the piece might be preferable - and you could use Audition to 'distress' the song so that it sounds like an old recording too:

    You might want to look at Disney's The Princess & The Frog for some nice jazz-inspired references for your character design, and also this sequence from Chomet's The Triplets of Belleville:

    In terms of your animation style more generally, you might want to consider the 'rubber hose' style - associated with early animation - because it's got that big emphasis on 'squash and stretch' and it's a black and white universe too: (this is modern pastiche)

    and also the Betty Boop cartoons:

    My general point in terms of style is a) I think your earlier drawings were much more instinctively in keeping with the whole 'blues/performance' thing, and also that a sepia/vintage/black-and-white line art + rubber hose style is strongly associated with the time period you're working within. For a great example of how effective 'vintage' can be, take a look at Tom Beg's Lifecycle of a Mushroom...

  2. In terms of environment etc. I think you can keep things very simple; a single spotlight and maybe something as simple as an art-deco style backdrop - to suggest a curtain or theatrical space without any actual 'stuff'?

    I'm asking all students to move to a 'thumbnail animatic' stage by the early part of next week, so that we can really discuss structure and staging prior to you committing to your presentation animatics. For you, this means getting your song written and some kind of placeholder track so you can begin to panel out your film. I think you need to give more thought to the ways in which you're actually going to show the innards and function of your cell, because although you're talking about having the 'wriggle' etc. you need to ensure that there's enough bioscientific content too - so perhaps you'll need to think of another means of display? I was thinking of something as simple as having a second spotlight fade up inside of which you've got the separate elements expressed and described - anyway, use your animatic to figure this bit of your world out too.

    This is a great idea, P-G, but not an easy one - but I want you to be absolutely determined to get this 'out there', so do what it takes! :) Onwards!

    Oh - and a personal plea from me - would you consider changing your blog template forward back to the 'classic' style - i.e. the non-dynamic style that you've got now? I just find the way the dynamic templates organise and 'hide' posts very frustrating - I know I'm not alone in this :(