Monday, May 10, 2010

New Film Project: Concept art

"New Film Project" being the working title for my next feature, a followup to Archon Defender. Not exactly a sequel, not a prequel. But based in the same world, with the same background mythology and archetypes. Plus, until I actually decide what title I'm going to use for it, "New Film Project" is all you get ;) There are hints to the nature of my next film in Archon Defender, and in my short Legend of the Moon...

A lot of the action in the film happens in Bridgeland. Kind of your typical small rural town, Bridgeland is going to resemble rural Japan:

A lot of Japan looks like this, narrow closed in streets, lots of little streams and rivers, bridges. Lots of places for badguys to hide, and lots of opportunity for creative destruction of animated property ;)

The script is now done, at least the first complete draft. It clocks in at about 50 pages, which in movie script land translates into 50 minutes, but I have a lot of "storyboarded action seqeuce" parts in the script. Basically, parts where it's easier for me to block out the action on recipie cards movie making cards, then mix and match the action until I'm happy with the flow. That's how I did all the action shots in Archon Defender, and that can add a bit of extra time onto the length of the film.

Once the script is revised to my liking (I'm going to wrestle with it a bit more this week) It's on to storyboarding, and then the timing animatic. This means that I'll be posting a casting call for voice actors a lot sooner than in the production of Archon Defender. No computer voices this time, plus I'll be able to animate to the voice actors instead of trying to match them to the computer voices. I've also put my characters in the torture chamber: they are currently stretching on 'the rack'; to put an end to the complaineys who said that the character's arms were too short in Archon Defender >:P

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Legend of the Moon in 3D on the big screen ;)

My short Legend of the Moon will be playing at the 7th Annual LA 3-D Movie Festival, May 15th, 2010, 1:00 pm at the Downtown Independent Theater in Los Angeles. An excellent opportunity for those of you in the area to see it in the best 3D projection setting, full digital 3D in the theater, and no wonky red / blue glasses.

Everyone else, go check out the 3D anaglyph version on Vimeo, or the 2D version if you don't happen to have a pair of 3D glasses lying around.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Script writing time


A tributary stream joins with a larger, main stream in
the center of Bridgeland. Although shallow, the water
level is confined by a concrete and stonework channel,
easily the height of two men.

Out from the shadows underneath a series of bridges
covering the streams, staggers the Timekeeper.

The Timekeeper shuffles forward in a confused state,
with one hand he grasps furtively to the wall, the
other hand clenches the side of his abdomen, which is
dark and stained with blood.

Shuffling into the light, he takes his hand from
inside his tattered cloak, and holds it up to the light.

Emaciated and gaunt, his hand is more like a claw.
He shivers and stares for a moment as blood drips wet
from his hand, his arm and robes stained with darker
dried blood and dirt.

The river beneath him runs with blood, and he
tentatively takes a few more steps forward.


Story vs Demo Reel

In my recent post you were treated subjected to the yawn inducing pixels of demo reel film "Meet Meline". Here it is again, if you missed it:

In stark contrast I offer the work of DarkMProductions:
Sign Episode One: Beginnings

You might notice a few slight differences between the two films. "Meet Meline" has slick production values, highly detailed backgrounds, fuzzy out of focus stuff, fuzzy squirrel things that the girl chases the whole film. Both films took about the same time to produce, about 2 years, and a small production team.

The style of "Sign Episode One Beginnings" is quite obviously amateur, made in Bryce and Anime Studio . I've used both, I started out using Bryce 3, and the first 5 minutes of Rocketmen vs Robots ep 1 is done in it. Anime Studio (back when it was called Moho) was what I originally started Archon Defender with. Not easy to get good looking results out of either program, plus I suck at animating in 2D. That's why I switched to 3D and forced myself to learn character modeling and rigging.

That aside, "Sign Episode One Beginnings" is by far the superior film. The cinematic shots are fantastic, the pacing of the story is spot on, and the characters are believable, and the film engaged me for the whole. I even took the effort to click onto part 2 (stupid youtube 10 minute limit... they really have to update that) "Meet Meline" is a yawn inducing, predictable, boring, shiny demo reel, so typical of 3D animation. It's amazing to me that when you have the tools at your disposal to create anything you want with animation, and 3D animation, why so often it falls short. It's all about story. If you don't have a story, if you don't engage your audience and allow them to identify with the characters, if your film has no depth: Then you aren't making a film, you're just testing out the software.

Luckily, a few filmmakers out there get it.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

May is Script Writing month

Happy script writing month :)

May is script writing month. In order to be an animator again, and in order to be a filmmaker again, I have to first become a writer again. Which sucks, because my handwriting is terrible. Luckily Wordpad enables me to be a typer instead of a writer. Time to take all my disjointed and jumbled grab box of film ideas and somehow shoehorn them into something coherent. Now, I'm off to go press keys a whole bunch of times until I have a reasonable script for my next film.