Monday, February 28, 2005
Here's a couple of pages of rough concept drawings for various devils and demons that populate the final sequences of the film. A lot of them were sketched from old biblical paintings and illustrations-others were of my own invention(those are the boring ones).
Friday, February 25, 2005
And thus my archiving of abandoned concepts continues...I found this drawing in my folder of preliminary design work I did early on in the production. This bee, while never used in the film, ended up getting used in my poster for the 2003 Ottawa Student Animation Festival.
It's also interesting because you can totally see the Graham Falk influence. If you've never heard of him that's a real shame because he is without a doubt one of the greatest cartoonists alive today. His creation "Untalkative Bunny'' is but a pale shadow of his true genius. I owe a lot to this giant of a man.
Thursday, February 24, 2005
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Saturday, February 19, 2005
A modern version of a classic fable. Persephone, the goddess of spring, is abducted to the underworld, causing an eternal winter to descend over the earth. It is up to the goddess’ servants to rescue her. However, they soon learn that to get help they need to compromise; and compromise does not always lead to an equitable solution for one and all.
This film will employ new animation techniques in a story of comedy on a sociopolitical level, as opposed to the typical cartoon of comedy for comedy's sake. However the use of comedy in this particular film is to present humorous characters in a dramatic and morose setting, thereby creating an unsettling sentiment in the minds of the audience. It is my intention to create a work that forces the audience to ask questions; to leave with a message that challenges their minds.
Relevance to Previous Work and my Artistic Development
The underlying intention of my work as an independent filmmaker has always been to challenge accepted techniques and viewpoints. As a self-taught animator I have used my training in art and design as well as my passion for art and literature to create an individual statement with each of my films. In each I have sought to try new techniques and styles in order to advance my own journey of artistic improvement. Every step of my artistic development has exponentially informed the next; and therefore each subsequent work has been slightly more ambitious in both scope and method. This film will be eleven minutes in length, making it my longest film to date. Also, I will be attempting a new innovative method to the animation; a looser and more direct approach creating a distinctly abstract and odd visual style. It is my desire to broaden my understanding of the art of animation by exploring and bringing forth the subtleties that normally lay hidden to the eye. Likewise, I intend to explore the use of various cinematic conventions in a much more avant-garde manner, thereby pushing my understanding of the medium further than ever before.
Many of my previous undertakings as a filmmaker have been intended on the outset to be parodies of existing animation genres. Their satirical content however, has always been meant as a device used to enhance the underlying statement. By presenting a deeper message wrapped within a familiar context, the work has a greater impact and in a way works in an insidious fashion. Following this motif, "The Waif of Persephone not only presents the audience with questions that force them to think, but also challenges them visually.
With an innovative approach to the classic narrative cartoon, "The Waif of Persephone" will use a progressive and intelligent approach to both the design and animation. The animated film is an expressive medium, full of infinite possibilities. Therefore it is crucial that the art of animation should be revived from its current state of stagnation.
With the advent and refinement of computer animation, a sea change has occurred wherein the reliance on technology has taken precedence over artistic skill. Experimentation has shifted from the expansion of the artistry of the medium towards capturing a replication of pure and absolute realism. It is due to this trend away from the craftsmanship of the art form that further artistic experimentation must continue to take place.
Visually, my intention is to simulate the style of the classic cartoon film; drawing upon it for inspiration and yet transcending its achievement by pushing the boundaries of the medium itself.
Traditionally, when creating an animated film, it is the preferred method to hide the fact that the audience is looking at a drawing instead of a living thing. This has been the case for over a hundred years of animation history. In this film, the graphic nature of the drawing will become much more obvious; the shapes will take on more of an abstract quality. The viewer will get caught up in what is happening graphically; watching the lines dance around the screen at the same time as watching what the character is doing. This applies to my concept for the piece as an attempt to ignore convention and in fact escape from the accepted use of animation as a tool used to merely create an illusion of life; breaking the rules wherever possible in order to shock viewers into looking afresh at the wonderful mechanisms of the art form that lay just beneath the surface.
Animation is a medium that lends itself most readily to the use of pantomime. Without the use of dialogue, the majority of the narrative will be told through the use of title cards - much in the same style as a silent film. Music will also be used to set the mood for the emotional beats of the film. The music will be provided by a library of vintage royalty-free music. This classic music will also assist in giving the film a timeless feel. The only actual dialogue in the film will be a song that Persephone sings after her release from her prison. This will be a happy song with an ominous undertone, a forecast of the horrible turn that the story is about to take. This will lull the audience into a feeling of resolution which will help to contrast the disturbing nature of the sequence that follows.
Friday, February 18, 2005
Ha ha, I still think this drawing is funny for some reason. It was the original ending to the film but it was abandoned for a more ambiguous conclusion (my favorite kind).
There's some strange drawing theories at work in this sketch...I guess sometimes an ignorant composition just works.
Since I have a whole pile of abandoned story sketches (some of which I liked but just couldn't use) I guess I'll post these here.
These are some weird stylized deer that I ended up using elsewhere in the film- these are the very first sketch of them--historic artwork!