27 February 2017

FSTS: Reflective Statement

I have enjoyed this project, it has been very challenging, but I have learnt a lot because of this. Getting through to a story that made sense and could be enjoyable was a longer process than I expected and I went through a few versions. Then getting this story across on screen was also challenging. Making sure the audience would understand what was happening, without boring them, was interesting to work on. I'm feeling more confident about just getting in and thumbnailing without worrying. This allowed me to get ideas out quickly and move in directions I wouldn't have considered previously.

My time management still needs work, and I'm going to spend this reading week figuring out ways I can improve on this. I think that rather than planning my uni work separate from the rest of my life, I should try and organise myself better than a whole. I neglected some aspects of the course to focus on the main aspects of this particular project. If I manage my time better I won't have to do this, so I'm also going to spend this week catching up on things I've let slip. I know that my animatic was unclear, so I'll make sure to keep an eye on things like that in future. I'm looking forward to applying what I've learnt to future projects and I'm excited to get started on the next brief.

24 February 2017

Character Workshop Final

6

For this class we worked in groups to design characters and environments for a game reboot. I worked on the ship exterior, a logo for the Galactic Aviation Force, and a character named Ariana and her energy blade. The ship was described as having an Art Deco design, so I looked into this and found that geometric designs, curved shapes and fans came up a lot. I incorporated this into my designs for the ship and the logo of the force that built the ship.




Character Workshop 3

3

For this task we had to take an abject and redesign it to fit into the world of a fictional character. The objects I had were toothpaste and a walking stick, and the character I was given was Popeye.

For the next task we were given a room and had design characters from objects that would be in the room. I was given music room.



Character Workshop 2

2

For this task we had to choose a character and change their design using shapes. I chose Aku from Samurai jack and tried a few different versions.




I also chose Duckula.


The next task was to design a few characters from a particular group, I was given robots.



FSTS: Crit Presentation




20 February 2017

Maya: Pendulum and Chain


Pendulum from Eleanor Row on Vimeo.


Chain Start from Eleanor Row on Vimeo.

FSTS: Updated Story Development

I have revisited some elements of my story development. I have updated my logline and step outline and have created short character bios. I'm not sure what to do about a premise, as I think that's supposed to be a starting point for a story, and I'm not sure if coming up with one now would be strange. I think it would have to have something to do with envy, because that's been a theme for a few versions of this story.

Logline
Momo and Pogo are no strangers to sticky situations in their circus routine, the custard pies make sure of that. But Pogo's feeling mistreated, and Momo finds himself a little stickier than he'd anticipated.

Character Bios
Pogo is a tall, skinny clown, he wears green and often arches his brows. He has a bit of a mean streak and doesn't like it when things aren't fair. He loves his work at the circus, but he feels let down by his partner.

Momo is a short, fat clown, he wears red and often stands with his feet together like a penguin. He has a bit of a mean streak and likes to be the center of attention. He loves his work at the circus, but he doesn't care about his fellow performers.

Step Outline
  1.  A poster shows details of a circus, there is a drawing of a tent at the bottom. The tent dissolves into the real thing. It is evening and there is light spilling from the entrance. 

  2. Momo and Pogo are performing their show in the tent, Pogo slips on pies but dodges a vicious machine. Momo's wig is caught by the machine but comes off. Pogo takes his wig off and the audience laugh. Momo pushes Pogo back with a bow. While Momo continues to joke, Pogo cleans with a sponge from a locker. 

  3. The next evening, there is light spilling from the entrance to the tent.

  4. The events of the previous night repeat, this time Pogo seems annoyed, and he cleans with a mop from the locker.

  5. The next evening, there is light spilling from the entrance to the tent.

  6. The events of the previous two nights repeat, this time Pogo is very angry and is gluing his shoe back together. The super glue he uses isn't back in the locker when he finishes.

  7. The next evening, there is light spilling from the entrance to the tent.

  8. Momo and Pogo are performing their show in the tent. Momo's wig is caught by the machine, but it doesn't come off when it should. Momo is killed by the machine and the crowd are horrified. Pogo takes a bow to their screams.










15 February 2017

Rope, 1948

Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Rope’ (1948) is a murder film, in which the murder takes place within the first three minutes. The film is based on a 1929 play by Patrick Hamilton, which is based on a real murder case from 1924 (Hutchinson, 2012). Fernando F. Croce of Slant comments on the moments immediately after the murder in which the main characters ‘recompose themselves as if awkwardly cleaning up post-coitus, complete with a was-it-good-for-you cigarette to soothe jangled nerves’ (Croce, 2006). Hitchcock was aware that the murderers in the 1924 case were lovers and, although unable to overtly show this in his film due to the time’s hostile attitudes to homosexuality, alluded to the same being true of his characters.

Fig. 1 Poster
Hitchcock invites his audience to view the aftermath of Brandon and Phillip’s murder of their friend David, and their storing of his body in a chest in their apartment, off which they then serve dinner to David’s friends and family (as seen in Fig. 2). As Pamela Hutchinson, writing for The Guardian, comments, ‘Murder in the movies is usually more about motive than consequence’ (Hutchinson, 2012). Hitchcock instead uses the aftermath of the murder to build suspense; the audience know that Brandon and Philip are dangerously close to discovery at any moment throughout the film, they are just waiting for the inevitable. It is impressive that Hitchcock manages to engage the audience for the length of this film and it is his clever technical and creative choices that fill it with suspense.

Fig. 2 The Dinner
The audience must spend the majority for the film waiting for something they know will happen. Hitchcock tells the story in this way to build suspense and he keeps this going by moving the murder closer to discovery from several angles. As the murderers’ old tutor becomes suspicious, their housekeeper begins to clear off the chest in which David’s body is hidden. This is shown very cleverly, with a tense discussion about David’s possible whereabouts happening off screen on the right, as the camera remains still as she moves items off the chest a few at a time (as seen in Fig 3). It is only as she has begun to open the chest that we see other characters again as they move to stop her.

Fig. 3 The Close Call
Hitchcock makes clever use of the camera in several ways, with particular shots such as the housekeeper clearing the chest, as well as shooting the film in as close as possible to one take. Hitchcock disguises cuts by ducking behind objects and characters, it is almost as though the film is shown from the continuous point of view of the audience as they stand inside the apartment, as, as Hutchinson comments, the film proceeds ‘excruciatingly close to real time’ (Hutchinson, 2012). The screen time and diegetic time do not match up completely but it is close enough that the audience experiences it as though they do. Croce comments that ‘Far from just “recording a play,” the suffocating long takes enforce ethical contemplation by refusing the relief of a cut (which, in the director’s voyeuristic world, would have amounted to looking the other away)’ (Croce, 2006). It serves to build suspense by trapping the audience in the narrative, keeping them waiting while making them feel as though something could happen at any moment.

Not everyone was a fan of this one-shot experiment; Bosley Crowther of The New York Times wrote that ‘the method is neither effective nor does it appear that it could be’ (Crowther, 1948). Despite this Crowther did note that ‘Mr. Hitchcock has followed the goings and the comings of characters with evident ingenuity. His camera stands back and takes them in, singles them out on occasion and even moves in now and then for close looks’ (Crowther, 1948). This is particularly impressive considering the size of colour cameras at the time. The set needed to be designed in a way that allowed for the camera to move as Hitchcock needed it to. In his book ‘The Wrong House: The Architecture of Alfred of Hitchcock’ (2007), Steven Jacobs describes how ‘wild walls hung from heavily greased overhead U-tracks so that grips could pull them silently out of the camera’s way as it followed the actors through doors, then roll them back into position before they came back into camera range’ (Jacobs, 2007:274). The furniture was similar, with some of it on wheels so that it could be easily moved out of the camera’s way.

Fig. 4 The Backdrop
The backdrop (as shown in Fig. 4) of the was an important element of film, particularly as Hitchcock needed a moving sun that kept with the diegetic time of the film. An 80ft semicircle model of the New York skyline was built with some buildings in three dimensions and some flat ones in the back. Steam chimneys were used with dry ice used to slow it down and make it look like far away smoke. This has a very impressive effect and the design of the set allows for this back drop to be in many of the shots throughout the film with the sun moving at the right speed to make it look like real time. Christopher Null of Contact Music describes the set design as ‘gloriously complicated’ (Null, s.d.). Hitchcock was meticulous, calling in a meteorologist to check the accuracy of his spun glass clouds and using individually wired lights to be turned out gradually as the evening progressed (Jacobs, 2007:272-276). Lighting is a very important part of the mis-en-scene towards the end of the film, as neon lights flash red and green into the apartment (as shown in Fig. 5). This is very dramatic and adds an unnatural atmosphere to the apartment as everything comes to a head. The red and green are very different from anything seen in the rest of the film and they work well to add drama to the final scene.

Fig. 5 Neon Lights

Bibliography:

Croce, F (2006). Rope. At: http://www.slantmagazine.com/film/review/rope (Accessed on 10.02.17)

Crowther, B (1948). THE SCREEN IN REVIEW; ' Rope,' an Exercise in Suspense Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, Is New Bill at the Globe. At: http://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=980DE3D81630E03BBC4F51DFBE668383659EDE (Accessed on 10.02.17)

Hutchinson, P (2012). My favourite Hitchcock: Rope. At: https://www.theguardian.com/film/filmblog/2012/jul/27/my-favourite-hitchcock-rope (Accessed on 10.02.17)

Jacobs, S (2007). The Wrong House: The Architecture of Alfred Hitchcock. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers. Online At: https://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=rIDVqjD6SZIC&oi=fnd&pg=PA8&dq=rope+hitchcock&ots=El631tyQrX&sig=gNeuADAeIK4HaSulBRBsor3uYOQ#v=onepage&q&f=false (Accessed on 10.02.17)

Null, C (s.d.). Rope. At: http://www.contactmusic.com/film/review/rope (Accessed on 10.02.17)

Illustration List:
Fig. 1 Poster
Hitchcock, A (1948). Rope. [Poster] At: https://thejar.hitchcock.zone/files/gallery/org/338.jpg (Accessed on 15.02.17)

Fig. 2 The Dinner
Hitchcock, A (1948). Rope. [Film Still] At: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-5YVGifmNImI/Ue8JvFRXDCI/AAAAAAAABqo/awiVoWtk6uA/s1600/Rope_still_4.jpg (Accessed on 15.02.17)

Fig. 3 The Close Call
Hitchcock, A (1948). Rope. [Film Still] At: https://theseventhart.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/rope.jpg (Accessed on 15.02.17)

Fig. 4 The Backdrop
Hitchcock, A (1948). Rope. [Film Still] At: https://image.tmdb.org/t/p/original/dInCDTVbnD4x7eOUMRZnDRjHCEr.jpg (Accessed on 15.02.17)

Fig. 5 Neon Lights
Hitchcock, A (1948). Rope. [Film Still] At: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/fb/ea/53/fbea5392a8e934d160d87832f66ab17b.jpg (Accessed on 15.02.17)

14 February 2017

Drawing 17

20 minute pose - charcoal and watercolour pencils

7 minute poses - charcoal and watercolour pencils

30 minute pose - charcoal and watercolour pencils



12 February 2017

FSTS: Clowns Update and Colour Testing


I have looked at different clowns and have concentrated on 1950s American clowns. Pointy wigs and ruffles stuck out a lot, as did baggy onesies and tights. I'm not sure on colours so I've just done a few colour tests. I'm not sure I've found the right colours yet, but the bottom left and top right sets are sticking out most to me.

7 February 2017

FSTS: Factory Thumbnails


Drawing 16

6 minute poses in (running out) Promarker

30 minute pose in chalk pastels and compressed charcoal

30 minute study in compressed charcoal


@Phil - Script


I'm worried about how long this is. I timed this roughly in my head before I scripted it and I thought it fit into 2 minutes, but I may have gone through it too quickly.

I'm not sure if it is because I am including too many different shots, I have tried to fit too much into 2 minutes, or have gone into too much detail in the script. I'm considering dropping one of the repeats from Act Two.

Is this too long?

5 February 2017

FSTS: Clowns 2

Alice (left) and Momo (right)

At first I wanted Momo to be taller than Alice, but I found that then he was just too much bigger and it didn't look right.

3 February 2017

FSTS: Story Planning

Here are screenshots of some planning I have been doing for my story. It's not a set plan, but it's something I'm going to use to help me with my storyboarding and timing.






FSTS: Clowns


Just to start, here are some clown heads.

Drawing 15

20 minute pose

Close up 

1 minute poses

Close up

Close up

I am pleased with the page of 1 minute poses. I like the faster drawings because I don't have time to think too much about where to put each line and I find they come out better this way.