Monday, 4 February 2008

February and time is running out

Self Negotiated Project
Continuing with character design- also working on the storyboard. Haven't made a puppet yet, hopefully I will construct something by the end of the week. I have printed out copies of the story and given them to so far 4 different people to see what their thoughts and ideas would be if they were to adapt the story and what media they would use. I am yet undecided as to if I will use stop-motion and puppets or hand draw frames due to the amount of characters (however if I built many puppets it maybe less work in the long run)

Sound Design
Eventually allocated a clip for the presentation a great animation entitled 'Home Road Movies'(2000) by Roger Bradbrook. The sound design in the short film fits with the image perfectly, very well though out and varied. The film is made with computer animation, photographic images and moving image. In a nutshell it's a real life story of a shy and awkward father who desperatly wants the family car to make him a better parent. Set in the 70's, the soundtrack reflects this period and the son is the narrator of the tale. Unfortunatly it's not on YouTube so no link I'm afraid, but it's on The Best Of The British Animation Awards 4 dvd.The other examples of sound design from the others were all good, each quite different. I trawled through lots and lots of short film before I made the choice I settled on, in hindsight a great exercise in itself as I watched tons of animation that I probably wouldn't have. Same again now as I try to decide which short piece of animation I will record my own soundtrack on for the imminent presentation. I've been going through the British Animation awards dvds and the Stash dvds. Found a great film which I may pick a scene from 'Flat World'(1998) by Daniel Greaves. Great mix of media and fantastic ideas throughout the very funny story. Here's some of it. The cat is brilliant.
We also recently had a sound workshop, showing us around the workings of the not-so-straight forward Logic sound program (which program IS straight forward on first use?) Good fun and we recorded some good Foley sounds. I bet it won't be as 'easy' when it comes to the 'real thing'!

After a whirlwind session showing us the 'basics' of Flash, it's now up to us to construct a website either in Dreamweaver or Flash. Personally I prefer the freedom which Flash affords with the design process and interactivity - but I prefer the simpler technique for building pages and linking them together in Dreamweaver. I have designed 80% of the pages and since that want to re-design the whole thing and have my website read like a scrapbook, where the visitor literally reads the site like a book. A good example to show what I'm on about can be seen here.
However, due to recent problems I will scrap that idea as it's getting incredibly ahead of myself. For the past 3 days on and off and for the last 10 hours I have been trying (and completly failing) to build the most basic of sites in Dreamweaver, which didn't work out at all. Then I moved onto Flash with the thoughts that I'll be learning from my mistakes and well, that's a wrong assumption! No luck at all and very frustrating with this computer nearly flying out the window! Stupidly I believed this would be straight forward, but I don't think that after literally ONE brisk run through each of these programs that one is aptly equipped to pull off a website using either programs. Hopefully I'll laugh at these initial teething problems (and it's not through lack of trying) There's millions of websites about for some of the most pointless things, it surely can't be THAT difficult(!?!) Lots of questions for my tutorial Wednesday afternoon. I've also been looking at websites all over the net and a particularly nice piece of design is here. A good straight forward personal animation website.

Private Work
I have been asked to produce 2 music videos for a friends band called 'Bonzer'. Quite exciting as both videos are for inclusion on an upcoming release (cd tracks on one side of the disc and dvd on the other) Looks like it will have a worldwide release too. For one of the tracks 'Oddball' I've edited together a whole load of train clips from a cine film from the 40's and it goes really well with the track. Unfortunatly since I had this idea I was exposed to The Chemical Brothers train video by M.Gondry in which very similar sound/image synching is used. Recently whilst I was in Japan I filmed every underground journey I took, even the whole of a Bullet train journey from Tokyo to Nagoya plus trains all over the place. I may use this footage for that track but not sure if I'll have the time to completly edit something from scratch. The second video is my BA film 'The Mouse, The Bird and The Sausage' (as requested by 'Bonzer') and I've really edited it down (still keeping the narrative structure) it fits pretty well with 4 good points of synchresis. Rough edit to follow.
I've also been asked to edit footage of an interview of movie 'hardman' Danny Dyer (star of Human Traffic and many other films) for local publication The Student Pocket Guide. It was a 2 camera shoot and the finished article will be on the website in all its glory. Hopefully more work will come from this as the owner of the magazine wants to go more in this direction. I have been associated with this magazine or over a year now contributing band interviews and designing layouts or the last 6 issues. Check out the website here.

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