Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Production Design

For our final workshop of the year we had Stephane Collogne and Barry Purves come in to discuss Production Design.

Barry Purves

Stephane Collogne

We saw lots of animation films and also some clips from live-action features and musicals to study how colour and staging are used to create mood and tone.

Quick studies from 'An American in Paris'

We also had to team up with the Production Designers and put together a pitch for a retelling of the Biblical story of Noah's Ark. My Production Designer Toni and I had to create a story from the perspective of the Dove who brings back the Olive Branch and the Raven who is sent out before but never returns.

I had a lot of fun figuring out the story and coming up with the types of characters they would be and together we began exploring how the film would look. In the end we settled on a woodblock cutout style on multi-plane cameras so we could play around with depth and also use negative space to show the soft-edged tenderness of the Dove which would contrast with the more angular Raven.

During the week we also had a screening of 'Mary & Max', the new stop-motion animation feature from Director Adam Elliot. It was amazing, the story was so tragic and yet at the same time uplifting and the characters were so endearing with how they both struggled but managed to find comfort in each other. The whole film was just beautiful to look at. If you get a chance then go see it!

Until next time, it's back to developing ideas for my graduation film..

Monday, 7 December 2009

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

And/or Book Awards

Things have been a bit busy these past couple of weeks. At the moment I'm currently working on a trailer for the And/or Book Awards. The award is the UK's leading prize for books published in the fields of photography and the moving image. They are currently celebrating their 25th anniversary and so they've asked us to create a 1-min animation to commemorate.

As well as this we're also beginning the development stage of our graduation film. I'm just going through old sketchbooks at the moment looking for ideas so pretty soon the whole process will be well underway!

I also went to see Russian animator Andrey Khrzhanovksy give a talk on the avant-garde composer Alfred Schnittke with whom he collaborated on several films. Khrzhanovsky stated that he would often plan out the flow of an animation so that Schnittke would have a guide to begin composing the music. I thought it was interesting to hear how animation (something that quite often is painstakingly slow) collaborates with music (something that is so flowing) I'm in a similar situation at the moment myself for the And/or trailer so I'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

Khrzhanovsky has the distinction of creating the only animated film (The Glass Harmonica) to be banned totally during the time of the Soviet Union. I managed to make a few sketches in the dark during the talk and also a couple on the journey. Until next time..