Originally posted on the MA Character animation course blog, published February 28th 2016.
Thankfully, this week was much, much more productive than the last.
First of all, my film now has a new title:
Philip Hunt from Studio AKA where in on Wednesday and Friday this week to give individual tutorials on our animatics before production started. I was the first one out on Wednesday and worked as hard as I could on cleaning up the animatic for the tutorial. I was definitely kind of nervous, both because we had been told that he could be quite harsh and could rip our animatic into pieces and because like I said in a previous blog post, I value his feedback so much that if he had told me to make major changes I may have done it even if it would ruin my production schedule.
So Wednesday morning came and after being told over and over since early January not to be late I was in uni 45 minutes early, better safe than sorry.
The tutorial turned out to be the best one I’ve had so far and thankfully he didn’t have much that he wanted me to change on this stage, but rather things to be aware of when I started animating. I got a lot of credit for the lovely and clever story and the way it was told. He told me that is reminded him of a storybook for kids, but that it also had the potential to speak to older audiences as well. Yey!
The only few things he pointed out was that I should have the memory sequence in one whole sequence, that there should be snow swirling around the foxes before they start remembering and that the remaining foxes should have a tender moment at the end to kind of symbolize, “he is gone, but he is in a better place and we’ll be fine”.
I told him that I previously had been told to skip the whole memory sequence, but that I was hesitant to do so. And luckily he agreed with me, the memory sequence is too important to leave out. He pointed out that without it the old fox just dies and even though I could add him in the sky to show that he watches over his family, it would seen like the family just forgot about him. He also told me that I’m the one choosing what to take away from a tutorial and to not get stuck on the animatic because at some point production has to start. I think that was one of the most important things I learned that day.
Other than that he told me to be aware of the pacing of the movie. Both the animatic I had sent and the animatic I showed where without any sound and little bit too rushed. He told me to talk on top of the animatic to see if I could do it with the timing that it had. I did and this turned out to be an extremely effective way of figuring out where it was too rushed and where I needed breaks. Since my movie is not going to have any narration I never thought about narrating it to find the pace. I was also told to put on music to it if only to find a rhythm.
All in all, the best and most helpful tutorial so far. I wouldn’t have mind sitting there for half an hour longer.
Afterwards I’ve done the changes to the animatic like he said and paced it with a narration(that will not end up in the finished film) and it works even better now. The animatic is now finished, oh happiness I though it would never end!
Thursday this week we met with the composers from RCM and pitches our ideas to them. After a rather horrible experience with a composer during my micro short last year I hoped that this time it would be better. Also because my movie relies on a good score to help tell the story. Luckily a few composers where interested and after some talking and listening to their music I chose Eduardo Andrade to be my composer. Have a listen to his work here.
I’ve also started refining my character designs. The cubs more or less stayed the same, but the grown foxes where all changed. I think this is very close to their final design as they now stands out much more from each other. They also got names now and I’m currently writing down things about their personality to give them the character structure that Lilly and I talked about last week. One of my goals for this week is to settle on their designs before my first years helpers joins the production to help me out.
I’m so happy with my work this week and so thankful that the production is finally starting. Now it’s going to be probably about one month of fun while I do the animation and backgrounds and then it probably will go downhill again when I start the clean up and colouring… oh well.