Monday, 22 June 2009

Nimbus's tracks

I've been chatting to Nimbus over the net and he's sent me a few tracks from his upcoming album for his band, Crawlspace. They're all really atmospheric and fairly ambient, when I listen to them, my mind creates clear images of locations and atmospheres that the tracks remind me of. If a track can give me that clear an image, I'm thinking about what it can do to the audience... It would be very useful to have a soundtrack that creates such a clear sense of atmosphere and location. The tracks have really inspired me.

Best of all.. Nimbus said he'd love to collaborate on a soundtrack! :D He also said he could adapt any of the tracks he's sent me to suit a project I'm working on.

The album is quite dark, with a theme of "virus/disease/apocalypse" so I would have to think hard on who I want to Target the animation at. If I targeted it for film festivals, the subject matter wouldn't matter as much as it would for say a TV advert.

Here's a visualisation I made whilst listening to some of the tracks (Industrial ambiance 1-8) they gave me images of empty cities and warehouses, rusty pipes, filthy walls and floors, an approaching danger...


Thursday, 18 June 2009

Work Experience Corispondance

I've got in touch with a small production company making a film in the west midlands. Filming starts in september, I'm so excited!

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Thats brilliant news, thank-you for your prompt response, will be in touch soon with more details!

-Louise
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Hi Louise,

Thanks for updating me on the filming date, I don't get back to uni till the start of October so I should be completly free in september. When I get back I will still have at least 2 free days a week. I live locally so travel won't be a problem.

Looking forward to working with you too :)

-Lauren
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Hello,

My names Louise Wood and i'm working for/with Mark on the film Bogo and Flit. This is just a quick email to firstly welcoming you to the team and keep you updated. Although exact roles have not been allocated yet, this will be done nearer the time, you will more than likely be working alongside me.

Okay, things you need to know, the date of filming has now been pushed back to the 14th september but dont worry you will know what you need to do before then. If you could give me your september timetable or list of commitments we can work around it. I can let them know location and times as soon as i do!!!. In the meantime tell everyone about Bogo and Flit!!!

I think thats about it for now! I look forward to hearing and working with you!

Take care

Louise.

Musical Friends

I'm begining to get in touch with old friends of the musically tallented in order to establish connections for possible collaborations.

I spoke to an old friend yesterday from sixthform who said he'd be willing to produce music or a soundtrack for a project I'm working on. He'd already been asking people from his uni whether he could make music for their films. I'll get some songs from him and see whether his style of music fits in with the project I choose.

Also back in art college I made a music video for a band down in brighton who I'm sure would be willing to collaborate on a project or two. They have a rather distinctive style and their tracks are more like soundtracks than music anyway. The drummer, Nimbus is intrested in animation too, so I'll ask.

Children's Animation at BCU

Here's the final group animation for the Audiences and Communication module.




Magic to children has always been exciting, at least it was when I was younger. Our target audience was tricky as it was to children, the industry and perhaps even to prospective students. To appeal to the industry and students we used as many different types of animation as we could to broadcast the variety of animation that takes place at the university. To appeal to the children, we made the ident into a magic show, the stage and opening curtains hopefully having the effect of drawing the audience in and wanting to see more. Origionally, throuought the ident, there was supposed to be magic of all shapes, sizes and forms spewing from the magician's hat causing mayhem. In the end we ran out of time, but it can always be added later.


You can also download it here. Sorry about the file format, that's Kyle's doing.

12 steps to a healthy project

Looking back on past projects has helped me a lot with figuring out some sort of strategy/ pipeline that can be used for future projects.

Strategy

  1. Research: Gather as much information on the chosen topic as possible, and plenty of reference imagery, video, sound.
  2. Target audience: Choose a target audience that I want to focus on ad research as much as possible about them, look at past experiences when I was that age and draw from them.
  3. Objectives: Write a brief based on the target audience, or define a series of objectives from a brief that will define what I want to achieve and how I might achieve it.
  4. Treatment: What is the mood of the film? Decide on the look/ feel/ atmosphere/ genre, base this on the needs of the target audience.
  5. Story: Decide on the story (if there is to be one), I can get inspiration from anywhere as Miles McLeod emphasised. All I need to do is look.
  6. Script/ Storyboard: Refine the story and decide on the shots and 'camera' angles needed. Get inspiration from films and look at how they portray atmosphere/ hierarchy/ action/ emotion through the types of shots that are used and the speed at which it cuts. Remember what I defined in my treatment and objectives. Make the storyboard into an animatic and refine where needed.
  7. Design: Design a character (if there is to be one) that fits in with the design of the landscape and surroundings. Look at the work of other animators and artists to find a style that gives the effect I want and that I'm capable of animating in.
  8. Experiment: Test different techniques. Do they work? Do they fit in with the assigned timescale? Do they create the effect I was after?
  9. Reference: Create reference videos of the animation needed, test out my acting skills in front of a camera till I have good quality references for all the character animation.
  10. Animate: Substitute the animatic scenes for animated scenes as I progress, ask for feedback along the way by peers/tutors/online forums/professionals.
  11. Render/Refine/Edit: Make sure the final animation is of the best quality compression for the method of delivery. Is it for the web? For the big screen? Is there anything that needs improving before release?
  12. Reflect: Ask for feedback from everywhere the film is shown, wherever that may be. Learn from any constructive criticism.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Skills audit

I needed to do a little self assessment to help with future projects, so here goes:

Skills Audit

General/ Key skills

Presentation skills: Pitching to clients, presenting ideas in a concise way.
Problem solving: Solving briefs and creative problems, coming up with creative solutions to briefs.
Writing skills: Creative writing, scriptwriting, writing treatments, film reviews, etc.

Good


Computer literacy: Able to learn new applications quickly, CG Modelling
Experimental: With my techniques
Inventive with materials: Set building etc
Deconstructing briefs and defining my own objectives
Creative writing: Also visualising creative writing
Self motivated
Able to work to a specific target audience
Basic animation Principle skills and knowledge
Basic storytelling
Development and production pipeline

Needs work

Time management
Organisation
Humor
Timing and spacing

Aiden's animations

I was a bit dissapointed that I'd missed the opportunity to work with the school kids that came to the university when I was away so I asked my brother if he'd like to try animating.

Fortunatley he has become intrested in animation, he finds it fun. So obviously I can only encourage it! He's 11 years old, I helped him with this one as it was his first, but he picked it up pretty quickly.



I'm really proud of Aiden, all I did in this one was click the button, the animation is all his.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Turkey!

Bodrum, Turkey is beautiful. I spent a week there with friends, around the city. We stayed in Gumbet, in the Jasmin apartments for a very budget package holiday. The harbor and city were idyllic, the sky perfectly clear and the temperature very high and dry like a desert. The sea water was warm, as was the swimming pool. Suncream applications became almost habitual, they had to be. The evil eye was everywhere, in jewelry and trinkets, and all manner of decorations, you couldn't go anywhere without seeing it somewhere. The 'nazar boncu─ču' in Turkish.


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The eye was everywhere, on trinkets like this.



Gumbet Harbor



The nearest beach to our apartments. I'm pleased with how well some of these pictures turned out. I do like photography and capturing the feel of a location through imagery.



The nearest beach wasn't too pretty once you looked close enough, the sand was more like builders sand that the regular beach sand but the views were still spectacular.





I had a delicious Turkish vegetarian casserole on one of the evenings.



Bodrum Harbor



Bodrum castle, or Castle of Saint Peter, and, according to wikipedia, one of the last examples of Crusader architecture in the East.



On the Sunday we went on an all-day boat trip around the local islands.



View from the boat



Testing out my underwater camera case off the shore of Black Island (or I think that was what it was called)






We stopped at some caves that we could go inside





Floor of the cave area



Pictures of the boat





We rode camels!


More underwater camera fun!







The firedancer that night was really cool, so is this picture as you can see the movement of his arms and the flamed sticks.



Beautiful sunsets





We came back one day and the maids had made swans with our towels because we were nice to them and geve them a good review.



RINGO!



This was so fun, I fell off, tash managed to stay on but barely. I think he was trying to throw us off with his mad twists and turns!



Bodrum Castle and the Museum of Underwater Archeology:












The peacock feathers reminded me of the evil eye. I told you, its everywhere.




Gravestones. I love the characters on them, they're all different and have their own personalities.




These theatre masks were great, they look as though they're in mid shout.




In the gift shop they had these miniature houses the detail in them is amazing, even down to the pack of cigarettes on the table!




These were also very cool, little stained glass figures.



Panorama of the castle roof.



Panorama of the apartment roof.


Overall it was a fantastic holiday, I'd love to do it again some time. It could be another possible location to use in my final major project. As there is so much regular imagery to use, it would be reletevley simple to get across. The white, square houses with flat roofs, the evil eye, the turkish flag, the dry desert surroundings, the clear blue sky and sea, the harbor full of boats...