I was messing around with materials a bit today after someone on #blender asked how to get a coarse-ground salt crystal material. It’s.. well.. it’s something. 🙂
So. Project status time. What happened between 27 October and 2 November in the Sun, and where am I? I’m back in development, reworking the visual side of the storytelling and making some much-needed tweaks.
At the Blender Institute Open Day I showed my work in progress animatic to Mathieu Auvray, the director of the current Blender Open Movie Cosmos Laundromat as well as the TV series Babioles, the children’s short movie Jean-Michel le Caribou des Bois... someone with much more experience than I’ve got. I got some valuable feedback. (Also as an aside it was lovely to be spoken to by an actual professional filmmaker as an honest-to-goodness novice filmmaker. Need more of that. Time to crash some more animation festivals, perhaps..)
It turns out that the animatic was too much about showing off the cool music and not enough of other stuff. Even acknowledging that the music is going to be an important part of the film, I have to be willing to be way more flexible with the scoring. The score is utterly subservient to the story. If I want the score to drive the story at any point, the score has to be in the right place at the right time – it isn’t enough to let it coast there on its own natural rhythm without justification. I expect The One will be messed with a lot to achieve this (except in the end credits music which I started prep work on today).
As for the visuals.. well.. nobody’s standing around at the beginning any more. They didn’t stand around in the old cartoons and they don’t stand around in my cartoon anymore either. 🙂
So I’m back into re-planning the introduction with new-fangled inventions like close-ups, wide shots and other such stuff. The staging has gone from square-on comic strip to something much more dynamic. It’s better I do a rewrite now than getting to blocking before I figure out it doesn’t work. It’s already much better – not just because it’s new, not just because it uses camera angles, but because the characters and their relationship are set up much more concisely and explicitly.
That said, I can empathise if you’re all JUST HURRY UP AND MAKE THE STUPID THING ALREADY. It’s something of grind to rewrite yet again but when a far more solid presentation for the story is hanging right in front of me, I’d be stupid not to at least spend an afternoon testing it out. Throwing out inadequate work is just part of the process.
Also goes without saying Amsterdam is awesome and I’m going to do my best to get back to the Blender Conference next year – with a finished film at that! And hopefully another piece in development, if all goes according to plan…
I’ll get the unused animatics up online with some commentary after I’ve finished this latest rewrite. Need some distance before I can be objective instead of crapping all over my discarded work. 🙂