Thursday, December 18, 2008

A fresh start

Hi everyone, after meeting yesterday with Maarten,
it was decided to make a fresh start, that also means a new blog:

That's where the action is now, please check it out!
thankx Cesare

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Chapter 1: The Birth of Memohri

In the middle of the sea on a distant alien planet there are scientists working on an algae growth serum. Tubes and funnels bubble with glowing toxic liquids as two fumbling scientists, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, search for the magic formula. Suddenly, unbeknownst to the scientists, a bottle in the background bubbles and bubbles until it overboils, leaking toxic liquids down a drain into the sea just as a little fish passes by.

Bloop, bloop,
In an instant he is transformed into Memohri (shwang), a great and evil fish nemesis, that spits fire and electricity from his long flapping barbels.

He moves under the water scaring the fish away and tearing up the seabed until he reaches the shore where he can see Metropolis Buzz Buzz just on the horizon. (here we sense doom)

Meanwhile, in Metropolis Buzz Buzz where people are oblivious to the impending doom, another fish like creature is taking orders at the Catfish Padyyshack.

“Hello my name is Dimp, welcome to Catfish Paddyshack. How can I help you?”

Dimp is the employee of the month. He’s at the top of his game, the height of his prime and has totally mastered subtle arts of the fast food service industry.

But on that fateful day, everything was about to change…

A fat frogmama with her four tadpoley kids walks in and orders several Catfish burgers
(“Hold the algae, add extra tartar sauce and I want five side orders of curley tenticles fried extra crispy!” ).

To be continued....

Ok, I have been talking with Renee', my sweet sweet half, about the story dev. and she's helping in shaping up the story and spicing it up. Writing is certainly much more her thing than mine so I am happy to work with someone who has humour and writing skills. As you can see the structure is loose enough to give plenty of space to play around with visuals.
The descent of Dimp into loserdome (yes, he's wearing a funny fish costume!) is actually the most difficult thing to do I think, coming up with funny situations that are funny but also visually driven. This will also decide how the confrontation with Memhori is going to happen. It would be great to have your suggestions for funny gags in text or visual form, at this moment is very much open and fluid :-)...don't be shy....

Friday, September 12, 2008

Beer Robot

The new recruit for the disco scene in the 'Loser' animation!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Meeting with Ramon and Michiel

I don't know if you feel the same, but the blog has gone very quiet, and I am afraid that without a clear direction and objectives it becomes impossible to go forward.

That is why last friday I met with Ramon Verberne and Michiel Snjiders . I wanted to ask their advice for applying to the Film fonds for story development subsidy.

Before the meeting, I reworked the storyboard of 'Loser saves the day', switched scenes around, reworked a couple of panels and generally made it more compact, and I used the storyboard of the alien abduction gag as the intro. I printed some of the artwork and research picture material and wrote a motivation, as well as a 'logline', what would appear on the tv guide if this animation would be featured.

The meeting went very well, short and intense, and both liked the story and settings. I suggested a running time of 5 minutes, which Michiel said is right, if we go above that it becomes trickier to ask for funds, and can be showcased in different ways, for example as intro to a main feature at the cinema. The funny nature of the story is also easily geared towards a young audience of teenagers, 12 years up.

Because we are a group of people instead of an individual, it works to our advantage and Ramon can play the Kika & Bob card to show them that we have worked together as a team before.

Their remarks on the story were very useful, and suggested to apply for funding by the deadline sometime in november. That can give us enough time to tweak the story until we're all satisfied and develop some of the main characters.

Here are some of the remarks, I hope I have written them down correctly afterwards on the journey back in the train:

1-The story misses anticipation, that is, the build up to the meeting between the monster and the loser.

2-Need to bring more contrast and make more extreme the nasty traits of the monster versus the miserable state of the loser. Also make the choice clear for who we root for.

3-Define funny situations that accentaute the 'loser' state of our main ch: funny appearance, dumped by his girlfriend, lost his job, lost his house, alos Michiel's suggestion that other aliens pick on him, talk behind his back, maybe someone pisses in his drink instead of cigarette ashes....

4-Think about developing a few chs that may come back in later episodes.

5-The monster could be created out of some chemical reaction, or some funny weird alien phenomenon. Maybe he needs a nemesis, perfect example is Superman, his nemesis is kryptonite :-)

Ramon can help us with feedback on the story, and Michiel can also advise what the best options are. As I understand from their response, the basic of the story works, the look and feel, flash as being the format, the characters etc, but we need to add some punches and smart/funny situations.

If we can develop the story by november, add a moving storyboard and some modelsheet, it is possible to apply for Realisation Funds, instead of Development funds. That means the budget to finalise and execute the animation. The money is not great but we can get funds to work comfortably for a few months ;-)

Soooo... their last suggestion was to spend sometime on the story and write our ideas on the blog (like Maarten suggested). I know we are all busy with work, or as in my case a shortage of, and that this is a long term project, but it is also a great opportunity to invest in our future, and judging by Ramon and Michiel's busy schedule, there is no lack of funded animation projects.

I will upload some story ideas as soon as possible. Sorry for the looooong post, but ther's a lot of catching up to do...;-)

I really hope you all want to take part in this project. I know there was a lot of constructive criticism and that some people found the story not funny or too complex to execute. However, this is an opportunity, and it would be great to see all your suggestions soon. If something is unclear, please do not hesitate to contact me.

This is my Motivation I have written for the Funds:
While working on the Kika & Bob animation project I worked with a group of talented illustrators and character designers, all passionate about one thing: animation.
After the project was finished I realized that without a structure that provides and nurture for the talents of the people involved, the knowledge and energy that has been accumulated would be lost.

This is why I would like to encourage a culture of animation, where from the first concept to the final execution there can be an exchange between people with different skills.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Saturnday nights

I have been thinking a lot about what it has been addressed in previous posts with regards to the construction of our little gag.

Jurjen's comment about the giant spaceship hairdryer, under 'gag basics', is also where I thought the gag should go, and its many possibilities for different sort of objects and functions I think can deliver some pretty funny situations. Maybe I am just thinking too much about this, but I miss the reason why aliens are abducting other aliens. I will upload a couple of rough ideas later which try to deal with that and present some alternatives.

The storyboard above is approaching the gag from the relationship between the aliens and their behavior. Rather than trying to 'serialise' the gag, like the initial storyboard drawn by Jelle indicates, I have just created a self contained little story. Not sure if this is the best direction, and at this point I would like to start actually 'making' something based on all the material already posted. Would like to hear your thoughts on this.....

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Gag basics

I enjoyed seeing the different approaches to the "Hairy Alien' gag, Mitch's drawings are very funny and cartooney and Lennard's storyboard has a surrealist tone ready to be taken further into science fiction.
Even with such a limited storyline, the possibilities are endless, and that is what is so fascinating, but in order to to stick to our self imposed deadline of 2 weeks with a finished animation I suggest we go back to Jelle's original storyboard and look at the basic workings of the gag, and build it up from the ground up:

1-HAIRY ALIEN (must be hairy, at least for the first series of gags)



a skinny alien

a very skinny alien (guitar optional)

a decorative hairy organic plant

a hairy french intellectual (sorry Georges)

an alien puddle

an alien classic

a super hot sexy alien

or a very scary super smooth inflated sex alien doll

or an inflated fat shiny alien something...

And the list can continue to what we find funniest to characterise....So maybe is an idea that we can all make 1 hairy alien ch, and its counterpart, that is what it turns into, then I/we can animate the funky stuff in between, the way is abducted by the spaceship, and its transformation. Let me know what you think.

mitch sketches

here are the sketches from mitch :)