KITES ARE FUN
Essentially, the film I did for "Yo Gabba Gabba" is a very short music video. The approach to it is very similar. I was given the song and asked to come up with a written and visual treatment. I listened to the song a few times and images started to come into my head. Since this is a show for little kids, and the song is called "Kites are Fun", it seemed obvious that the video should center around a little kid having fun playing with a kite.
The first step was to doodle out some character ideas, just roughly at first to get some ideas. During the process of thumbnailing, the story started to materialize. Since the film is only a minute and a half, I had to make sure that the story was simple without too many things happening. A boy and his dog play with a kite. A strong gust of wind blows the kite so hard that the boy is carried around the world.
Next, I wrote up the outline and drew some concept sketches. These were then sent to the directors for approval. The network felt that the boy should be younger and cuter so I redesigned him and came up with this.
A bit more like Ralph Phillips.
Once this new design was signed off on, I began to storyboard the film. This was a relatively easy process since the story was already pretty solid, it was basically just a matter of getting it down on paper. Here's a sample:
Since this video was to be completed within a month, I had to make sure that I wasn't going to be making everything too complicated for myself. However, I didn't want it to look to cheap either; I staged the shots fairly simply and had a fairly long sequence without animation so that I could save time for a few more elaborate scenes. During the boarding stage, I made sure that I listened to the song lots of times to plan the beats of the story would correspond with the music. Once the storyboard was complete, I sent that off for approval. Luckily, it came back with no revisions! And so, the next step could begin in earnest; cutting together an animatic.
Maybe I'm weird but this is one of the funnest parts of the process. You often here it mentioned that films are made in the cutting room, well that is totally true. It's a great thrill to see your pictures sync up with the soundtrack. A lot of time, once the firsts cut of the film is done, you can see whether it is working; which parts are flowing nicely and which parts are lagging or dragging. I was really lucky in the case of this film because I ended up not having to either cut anything out or add any scenes...it timed out (almost) perfectly. The only adjustment I had to make from my storyboard was the order of 2 scenes.
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