Synopsis Ideas

Posted by Sam Hayes On Wednesday, September 29, 2010 0 comments
Here is our current shot-list. It may not make too much sense at the moment as we haven't added a script, but it shows our general structure of the trailer so far.

1)      Quick Establishing shots of School, slow zoom towards school entrance fades to 2.
2)      Shot of the Radio Tower broadcasting signal
3)      Pan into upper atmosphere, shot of alien control panel
4)      Cut to Alien ship heading to earth
5)      Car with two students on ‘make-out point’ overlooking town, spaceship flies in distance and lands
6)      Shot of spacecraft landing in wooden area / rural field and door beginning to open – Fade to White.
7)      School gym, Cheerleading practice, moonlight exterior shot with lights on inside, woods behind
8)      Cut to gymnasium sign.
9)      Cheerleader taken over by alien
10)   School Bell Ringing
11)   School corridor (Noise in background) Doors open, cheerleaders walk through corridor. Emotionless, looking really slutty and walking in formation.
12)   Jock practicing basketball alone in gym, Cheerleader walking from behind camera, stalking her prey
13)   Blood splat up gym door window
14)   Basketball gently rolling by camera covered in blood and slime
15)   Shot of newspaper reporting on missing student
16)   Chief Editor of School Newspaper looking through locker room peep-hole,
17)   Shot of his eye framed through hole, looking
18)   Shot of cheerleader walking out of view past locker, leaving silhouette which morphs into a disgusting shape
19)   Shot of his eye widening in fear
20)   Shot similar to 16 but with something approaching him.
21)   Second newspaper article. This time of the editor going missing
22)   Cheerleader luring a jock into janitor closet, before hearing him screaming/ gargling
23)   Double-doors swing open, light pours through, silhouetting line of cheerleaders, they walk towards the camera.
24)   Fade to black, Title appears on screen,  alien sound in background

Lost in La Mancha / Pixar / Full Tilt Boogie

Posted by Sam Hayes On Tuesday, September 28, 2010 0 comments
 I've held back on posting this since Tuesday as I've been looking at a few similar films.

Lost in La Mancha

To start our narrative Unit, Alan showed us the documentary 'Lost in La Mancha' which follows Terry Gilliam's lengthy attempt at adapting 'The Man who Killing Don Quixote', a Spanish novel from the 1600's. The documentary is a cautionary tale in film-making, showing the struggle between a man's vision and reality. The documentary shows the stages from Pre-Production to Production, where Gilliam's project eventually collapsed. Plagued from problems in Insurance and funding from the start, the project took a huge hit on the first week on filming when a flash flood halted production and a lead role, French actor Rochefort, became seriously Ill and had to return home. 

I really enjoyed this film, I always assume that large-budget film schedules go smoothly as the 'experts' are in control, but this really did show a different side to film-making, the unpredictable and risky factors which pop-up. As Alan said, being in CG does have it's advantages, chances are, any future projects of mine won't be affected by a flash-flood.

I decided to look at a few similar documentaries, which gives focus to the production of films. Jordon mentioned on his blog about 'The Pixar Story', which I watched earlier today.

 The Pixar Story

This documentary was incredible, showing the entire history of the founders of Pixar, right up to the modern day. It focuses on Steve Lasserter and Steve Jobs, who are the main contributors of Pixar. Steve Jobs, founder of Apple computers, was responsible for the inital founding and financing of the studio, while Lasserter was the creative force and director behind it's sucesses. The documentary shows the past struggles between the company and Disney, who it is now owned by

The documentary chronicles the company from the very first tests in 3D and Advertisements, such as 'Tropicana' (one of the first adverts to ever use 3D animation) to Toy Story (The first feature-length 3D film) to the most recent CG blockbusters, such as the Incredibles and Cars.The documentary shows a detailed insight into the 3D industry, as well as the struggles of moving from 2D to 3D in the 90's. There are moments in the film, which ring a bell with 'Lost in La Mancha' such as the problems Toy Story 2 suffered from in it's production, forcing Pixar to start the project from scratch only 9 months from deadline. 

This film was very enjoyable and shows just how hard the studio has worked for the success it has received. It is definitely very inspiring and I recommend anyone who hasn't already seen it to take a look.

 Full Tilt Boogie
Out of the three films of this post 'Full Tilt Boogie' is definitely my favourite. This film is the published diary of the production of 'From Dusk Till Dawn', the horror/gore Tarrantino Vampire flick from the late 90's. The film follows the production from start to finish, highlighting all the problems, fun and stress that goes with producing a small blockbuster film with a very dedicated crew.

The set-up of this documetary is very similar to 'Lost in La Mancha' the only difference is, obviously, 'From Dusk Til Dawn' was completed, released and became a high-grossing movie. It is a very light-hearted diary shoiwng the constant social side of a set along with the gossip and practical jokes. 'Full Tilt Boogie' sets the mood very quickly, opening with Tarrantino and George Clooney 'acting' being lost on set, wandering around, shoving away fans whilst the cameramen search frantically to find them to begin a scene.

Although the problems are no-where near on such a scale as Gilliam's project, there are some set-backs throughout the film, including a set fire when some pyrotechnics go wrong as well as a Union strike which, for a short while, jepodised the production.

This film is definitely worth watching for any Tarrantino or film fan in general, it also features a few crude shots, such as blood, gore and Vampire breasts. If you enjoyed 'From Dusk to Dawn' like I did, then this will be a treat.


Arabic / Viking Influence Map + Research

Posted by Sam Hayes On Sunday, September 26, 2010 0 comments
I've created an Influence map for Arabic Nights / Viking genres. I'm trying to pinpoint the genre's stereotypes, ready for the character design ahead.

I have also been researching Cheerleaders (What a great job) for our narrative project. I have some basic research below, I'll go into detail of each catergory in the next couple of days and find a lot of images. I'm planning on looking at 'Claire' from the first season of 'Heroes' for reference.

Maya Tutorial: Lip Syncing

Posted by Sam Hayes On Thursday, September 23, 2010 1 comments
To get prepared for the group project, I'm going to try and animate a quick line of dialogue every day (hopefully) to get the hang of animating. That way, in the future, when I learn more from Alan and eventually create a character I'll know what to do with it. This is a first attempt, I can see some problems with the Jaw, but next one should be better.

I'm really enjoying the facial animation and lip syncing, it is something that is going to be crucial to our current and future projects. I really want to explore facial animation more throughout this unit and I'm looking forward to learning how to act the Phoneme’s & Visemes. I plan to keep practicising to get these tutorials drilled into me, a I know very shortly I'll be animating characters. Below is the Jim Carey snippet along with a Taxi Driver line which I had a go at. I tried a bit of facial animation, but it is very rough. The rig is incredible intuitive and easy to use though, I can see why it is so popular.

Studio Logo Possibilities

Posted by Sam Hayes On Thursday, September 23, 2010 1 comments
I've created some quick mock-up ideas for a Studio logo. Our current name is 'Creature Studios' we dabbled with 'Creative Creature Studios' but it seemed a bit of a mouthful. These are some first drafts, we still need to explore other logo ideas, such as the text being in a monster's mouth, as if it is about to be eaten. I've played with the silouhettes a little, but they can definitely be improved.

Narrative Progress - Inital ideas

Posted by Sam Hayes On Wednesday, September 22, 2010 0 comments
 I'm posting for the narrative unit on my personal blog so that our group blog stays professional. It is more note-taking thna anything else.

I thought it would be a good idea to put our initial ideas which we explored yesterday in a post. That way we can decided which ones to build on and how to go ahead. Here is what I remember us talking about below, we can all edit it to change and add things:

- Cheerleaders from 'Beyond the Stars' does not limit them to Aliens. They can be aliens, robots or even humans.

- The best place to set the trailer / film  would be around a High School in a small town, fitting with the generic B-Movie plots.

- The plot could be based around a cheerleading group competition, in which the killer cheerleaders gatecrash or participate in before the killing begins.

- To set the background up, a shot could be included showing the competition or school mentioned on a local radio, showing the signal spreading into the atmosphere and beyond into space, explaining how it reached 'beyond the stars' or why the killers arrive.

- There are a lot of design possibilites for the weapons, they can be completely new technologies, allowing us some good original shots and ideas.

- A portion of our trailer would be a reveal shot, where the cheerleaders are shown emmerging from their innocent appearance to their real image. We thought that a good way of doing this was to show the cheerleaders in silhouette, slowly allowing them to be seen or perhaps a sudden turning point which would be shown in the trailer to set the film up.

- We thought we may need a hero or protagonist character to bulk the trailer up and give the film some direction, but we haven't really gone into detail with characters.

Character Design

Posted by Sam Hayes On Tuesday, September 21, 2010 0 comments
Today has been a very varied day. This morning we kicked off our Character Design unit with Justin Wyatt, who assigned us two genres to 'mash-up' in the style of an 80's Cartoon, such as Transformers or Heman. From this mash-up cartoon we will have to design three characters; a villan, a hero and a sidekick.

For this project, I received Arabian Nights and Vikings. Justin stressed that the unit is not about creating a plot of Vikings invading the desert, but rather merging the two genres into one. I'm happy with my selection and can already imagine a few ideas.

We began learning the theory by looking at different conventions in character animation to help the audience understand the story, this heavily relied on two things:  Posture/ Movement (The way the character stands, walks and holds themselves) and Colour. Justin stressed that these conventions are important when designing a character.

The Hero
The Hero, especially in Disney, normally has very generic body proportion or shape, such as muscular or average build, they are rarely incredibly skinny or crooked. The colours tend to be bright and vagrant, using bright clothing such as red, white and blue. Below, shows Disney's Hercules with fair skin and a bright blue cape.

The Villian
The Villain tends to have a much less desirable body shape, usually either very skinny and thin or very large. Having such a strange exaggerated body shows that they are unusual and helps empthasize their evilness that comes across in personality. Their colours are normally much darker, being either black, purple or dark reds.
In Disney films the villains tend to move in a 'slimey' or 'slithering' way, such as Ursula in 'The Little Mermaid'.

The Sidekick
In terms of body proportion and looks, the animated sidekick tends to be much less restricted. In many Disney films, the sidekick is an animal, which is stressed for comedy value (Mushu - Mulan, Iago -Aladdin)
These sidekicks move in much more exgaggerate comedy ways. They also tend to be bright colours if working with the Hero or resemble the villian if they are against the hero. Below shows Mushu in 'Mulan'.

  Justin and Alan suggested using the Influence board after receiving the genres. I will make a start on this tommorow and I've been thinking about what to add to it.

Year 2 Begins

Posted by Sam Hayes On Monday, September 20, 2010 4 comments
Year 2 has kicked off today with our first Briefing: Narrative. This being a studio group project I'll be working with Richard VC and Matt Hyland. Out of Alan's mystical B-Movie cards we picked out ' Attack of the Horrible Cheerleaders from Beyond the Stars'. It is a 15-week-long project, far longer than we've ever had before. This will mean that our submission should be much more impressive.This will all be posted on the separate blog.


Posted by Sam Hayes On Tuesday, September 14, 2010 3 comments
 Over the last two weeks, I was hoping to get everything finished up and my book published, which didn't really go to plan. I was called up for a commitment I made to work at the Greenwich Comedy Festival, so the last week and a half I've been working more-or-less full-time in London. It has been a fantastic time.

I was working in the Greenwich Naval Dockyard, setting up the site and then helping orchestrate all the shows. It was hard work, with no pay, but it definitely had it's benefits. I managed to share some words with Bill Bailey, Reginald D Hunter, Tom Green, Stewart Lee, Ed Byrne, Sean Hughes, Angelos Epithemu (Strange one but his act is amazing) and some other great comedians. I also met loads of cool people and got plenty of free beer. I've finally finished the festival and need to get my summer project into some sort of final form.

Also, a bonus, was meeting a few guys from the crew who were building the set for the new Pirates of the Carribean film on our site on the final day. The amount of work which was going into a short scene seemed huge, building a huge extension on the Naval Museum.

I'm hoping to get my book published with as much art and renders as possible. I also met a few first years tonight from UCA too in the UCASU Pub Crawl who appeared at my local in Maidstone and from what I could gather, the new students this year will be a good addition. With a bit of luck, I'll have something to show from this long Summer!

Also, some of the rest of summer was 'wasted' on me and a friend trying to figure out the Galaxy. It is definitely not as easy as Discovery Channel makes it, but telescopes are now much more appealing, even if it is a bit of a strange hobby. I think this video below basically gave us the incentive and it is one of the greatest things on Youtube.

About Me

My photo
I'm a student studying CG Arts and Animation at the University for the Creative Arts, I'm living in Kent.

Search This Blog


Blog Archive