Saturday, 31 May 2008

My Masters Proposal

Here it is. A few more adjustments may need to be made, but this is the general idea. I'm working on a script as well to clarify exactly what happens, and then I'll move on to storyboarding, animatics and stuff. Here's a rough, unfinished version of the script too. I'll update it once it's finished.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Pooing Birds

Just uploaded another bit for Frank's TV. Some birds pooing. It may seem a bit random, but these are pictures they have hanging around the bar so it'll make a bit more sense when you're sitting there watching. Hopefully.

Birds. Pooing from Retchy on Vimeo.

We're meeting Tim Hunkin tomorrow to talk about technical stuff. You may have heard of him - he used to do stuff on telly and cartoons for the Gaurdian or Observer a while ago I think, and also some crazy arcade animation simulator type things that are on Southwold peer which he gave us a talk about. Tomorrow's meeting will hopefully clarify what needs to be done on the technical side of things for this project, as up until now I have been fairly clueless.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

MA Project

I could spend forever looking at other people's stuff and never actually make any decisions about my own bloody film. Everything I see, I want to emulate. One minute it's Robert Breer or Stuart Hilton, then it's Blu, then it's Tim Webb, then it's some music video or other, then it's Semiconductor blah blah blah, so it goes on. One minute I feel like giving up on my own ideas and using some poem or something as a starting point, then I feel like that would be cheating and that I've already started on my own ideas and it would all be wasted time if I gave up now. I wish someone would just tell me what to do!

Anyway, I started off thinking the soundtrack would be leading the ideas for this film, but it turns out not to quite work like that. Ideas just tend to come from all directions, feeding into each other - with that test below, for example, I recorded the sound of the rice crispies first, thinking it would have a nice textural quality, but I didn't intend to use actual rice crispies to represent the photons, or whatever they're supposed to be. Is this the wrong way to work? I dunno, it's probably ok if you've got time to piss about, but I don't. I'm gonna have to make certain assumptions about sound/image relationships I think, and just trust my judgement where I have to.

More ideas have started pushing the old ones out of my tiny mind again. I think these new ones might be the way to go this time though, as they kind of naturally hold everything together. Sticking with the sciencey stuff, I'm "going to" take certain theories, like the quantum electro dynamics stuff, and just kind of take the piss a bit and let my imagination run with the ideas. For instance, I think my opening scene will be a pigeon choking on a rice crispie light particle. Or maybe I'll have little monsters deciding whether to let photons through, or send them reflecting on their way. Maybe there could be a big battle between monsters affiliated to each colour, deciding what colour certain things are.

I'm rambling, this probably makes very little sense to anyone outside my face. Ignore me.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

MA Project

This is the very first test for the final film, nothing finished, just getting some audio visual ideas down. It's all a bit aimless at the moment, and I've finally come to realise that I need to properly plan out a structure for this, or it'll end up a complete mess. So that's what I'm gonna do.

Maters Project First Test from Retchy on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Frank's Bar

Here's the pretty much finished menu screen type thing that will be looping whenever nobody's using or wants to ignore it. The button pushing bit is supposed to be a subtle hint to the audience that they should push the buttons on their table to make stuff happen.

Frank's TV from Retchy on Vimeo.

We've had quite a few tutorials about this project now, and have come up with quite a few ideas for the animations and their level of interactivity - it's just a case of narrowing down which ideas we actually want to use and deciding on the structure fairly soon so we can start planing our time properly. We were talking about possibly upping the level of interactivity a bit by somehow introducing multiple endings to some of the mini narratives we've come up with. David filmed one of his ideas the other day about two security cameras finding each other and falling in love - maybe we could have a tragic ending or something as well, and have the audience decide which one they want to see. Or if there are lots of people, have a vote? I dunno. Even these simple ideas are introducing much more technical problems that I wouldn't have a clue how to solve, and they might also intrude too much on the audience.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Frank's Bar

The final taught unit of the MA is all about audience and location - we have to produce 30 seconds of animation with a specific audience and location in mind, and then exhibit the animation in the chosen location. David and I have decided to work together again, and after a bit of brainstorming we came up with a decent idea I think. It's hard to explainf without it sounding a bit rubbish though.

We're basically doing a (non-pretentious, silly) installation for Frank's Bar in Norwich, kind of taking the piss out of those trendy bar visuals you get in horrible clubs. The idea is that lots of little pieces of animation will be unified under the theme of 'Frank's TV', and the audience will be able to change the channels with a little remote control that will be on each of the tables. So far, we've filmed the menu screen which I'm putting together at the moment, and David is filming some people for the staff profiles, which will be Top Trumps style.

Here are some pictures of the bar...

The upstairs bit already has a projector screen and bracket, so setting that up should be fairly straight forward and should pass our health and safety test wot we have to do.

Monday, 5 May 2008

MA Project

Right, it's about time I got back into the habit of posting on here again. I have been doing stuff, honest, just not much to show or write about until recently. I've mostly been trying to figure out what the hell I'm going to do for the final masters project - reading stuff, watching stuff and generally getting a bit worried. I eventually came to the conclusion that I want to make a film consisting of a series of small, interlinked pieces of animation using various techniques (hopefully making me employable) that are unified by a theme of some sort.

The theme I've chosen has kind of been at the back of my mind for a while now, but I haven't really had the time or the opportunity to think it through properly until recently. I read a book called "The Pleasure Of Finding Things Out", a collection of essays, lectures and stuff by the quantum physicist Richard Feynman a year or so ago, and some of the articles got me thinking. I'm no scientist, but reading this and other such books like Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion" and "The Blind Watchmaker", have opened my eyes to how FUCKING AMAZING the sub-cellular world is. I've always loved watching natural history programmes on TV, and been fascinated by insects (especially Ants) and their behaviour, but those shows tend to cover fairly similar, familiar (to humans) ground. The way these authors write and speak about their subjects just really inspires me and sets my mind wandering, trying to figure out visual ways of conveying the absurdity and wonder of the theories they communicate.

So that is what I plan to attempt. I am in no way pretending to fully understand many of the concepts and theories that I'll be using, and I will in no way be trying to accurately represent them - they are merely starting points, something to come back to for inspiration when I get lost, and to spark my thoughts off - I will follow them on whatever tangent they choose to take. Feynman's theory of quantum electro-dynamics, for instance, has lead me to animate some Rice Krispies. That's how my head works.

People have done this before of course (the excellent Semiconductor for example) but I think I can bring something new to the subject. Ignorance, perhaps, or just complete misunderstanding. This post has gone on too long already - I'll explain myself better next time, but I'm probably just as confused as you are at the moment...