Thursday, 25 August 2016

Minor Project: Initial Story Ideas

After watching several silent films and more Comedy documentaries, I have come up with a few relatively simple story ideas that can be made into a funny animation. As I have said in a previous post, I think silent film comedies don't have much of impact on modern audiences, so I want to make something that would answer the question of "If silent films were made in the same way now, regardless of improvements in technology, how would they work and what would they be about?"
  • Failing to get ready for a date/job interview properly.
  • Someone from the past (early 1900s) "waking up" in the modern World.
  • Someone "waking up" into a post-apocalyptic version of the modern World.
  • Alien comes to find a human, but can't find anyone.
  • A very bad "How to cook" show.

The middle 3 are all fairly similar in that they all tell the same story of someone interacting with the unknown, but obviously in different ways. I think the Cooking show idea would be quite amusing, if say it was done in the standard way of a chef following and teaching you a recipe, but they don't know what they're doing. The problem with this is the lack of speech, but I think it could still be easy to follow through gestures and screens of dialogue in places. With the first idea, I think there is the most potential in terms of visual and physical somedy in that the character can be making a complete fool of himself/herself. Out of these ideas, my personal favourite is the cooking show as I think it can be interesting and funny to watch, and it can be for all audiences.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Laughing Matters (1992): Notes & Idea development

In my first post about this project, Alan suggested that I should watch Laughing Matters (1992) - a documentary, presented by Rowan Atkinson, which explains the different types of Comedy, but is predominantly based around visual Comedy. I wrote a lot of notes while watching this, picking out the key points that he makes and by doing this, I have a clearer image of how the Animation should work, as well as how it is made.

Ironically, he raised a point that I too have considered, which is that old, silent film comedies don't have the same impact on today's audience, as they did when they were released. He used Charlie Chaplin as an example, by saying how modern audiences don't find him as funny. He elaborates by saying that "it's hard to identify with him" and is difficult to get "involved" with what he is doing.

"If you identify with a comic attitude, you'll laugh"

This is, therefore, one such challenge I'll face, especially as it is, of course, for modern audiences. If I can make the audience relate to the subject matter and, most importantly, the character they'll enjoy it more.

As I mentioned earlier, this spoke primarily about visual comedy, and how the character needs to be "portrayed". Many different aspects of the character can lead to the audience understanding who that person is. What they wear, how they move, how their face/body move etc. - all these things can be done in different ways to suit different types of characters. Innonence, however, is perhaps the most important aspect of a visual comedian - like he was born yesterday, or is an Alien completely unaware of what he is doing. Harry Langdon is one such comedian that he mentioned, and said that some one was said that he looked like "a baby-faced dope fiend".

Moving on from this, I will continue watching/finding videos like this, as well as watching some more silent films, so that I can expand on the running themes and could even take old jokes and turn them into new ones. 

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Personal Work: Update

After looking back at my blog, there is a clear lack of digital paintings and drawings in recent posts, so I thought I'd upload some of my latest personal work. There is still a lot more room for improvement, but I am still happy with the progress that I have made over the past two years and so hope this year will see a bigger boost in quality.

I have organised these into the order in which I made them (Old to New).

 BB-8 from Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) - Digital painting - (Made 12th January)

House of Cards is one of the my favourite TV series', and Kevin Spacey is my favourite actor in general - his performances in Se7en (1995), American Beauty (1999) and The Usual Suspects (1995) are partcular favourites. I went into this drawing unsure as to whether I should do the usual, take a line drawing and then add to it in Photoshop, but as it progressed, I felt that using my line art style would work well - which I think it has.

Frank Underwood (Played by Kevin Spacey in House of Cards - Pen Drawing - (Made 12th March)

Although I do have a certain drawing style and way of using Photoshop, I feel that it could benefit from a further style choice. For this drawing of The Bride from Kill Bill, I drew this out on paper first, like I usually do, but I left in some shading in from the pencil. I think it looks quite effecttive in the arms and demonstrates creases in the clothes, but overall, it looks a bit too dirty and needs "brightening up" in places. I, also, tried to incorporate the anime influences from the film into this, but that is not at all clear.
 Beatrix Kiddo (Played by Uma Thurman) in Kill Bill (2003) - Digital Painting - (Made 5th July)

Recently, I have got into the habit of taking things and turning them into tattoo designs. I did also make a Drive (2011) and Trainspotting (1996) design, but they didn't look quite as good and look like I've just put a load of random things from each film into one image. Before I made those though, I turned one of my favourite film quotes into a design. The famous Joker quote from Batman (1989) is something that I've always liked, and so I looked at ballroom dancing images and used one of them as a starter for this design. I think the colours look good as they stand out and combine with each other well, although I think certain tones could have been improved, especially in the dress.

Tattoo design inspired by Batman (1989) - (Made 17th July)

Like many people, I saw Suicide Squad recently,and perhaps unlike many people, I really liked it, despite it's clear flaws. One undeniable strength of the film lies in it's character performances, especially Margot Robbie's portrayal of Harley Quinn. It seemed look a good fit to make a tattoo design based on her. It's quite simple, but the overall composition is what works best. I definitely think that my drawing of people faces is improving, as not only this but my Frank Underwood drawing both look like their respective actors.
Harley Quinn (Played by Margot Robbie) - Tattoo Design - (Made 9th August)

 In case you were wondering what the Drive (2011) and Trainspotting (1996) designs looked like, here they are (before doing further work in Photoshop):

Trainspotting (1996) - Tattoo Design

Drive (2011) - Tattoo Design

Year 3 Project: Initial Idea development

I have been thinking a lot about what I want to do for the first project of year 3, and have gone through many different ideas, of various genres - ranging from creating something that centres around race, gender or sexual orientation, then to something quite dark and ambiguous. I have been thinking about what my strengths are and what genre best suits me, as well as looking at my past work. It is very clear to me, in my opinion, that my info-graphic has been my best final piece of work yet. It was something I enjoyed making and is something that other people seemed to enjoy - which is what I was really happy about. I, therefore, feel that the comedy genre may be the most suitable genre choice.

I am not a fan of stand-up comedy, but one such comedian who always makes me laugh is Rowan Atkinson. I've been watching a lot of his sketches/clips of him online, whether it's from The Thin Blue Line, Rowan Atkinson Live and, of course, Mr Bean. He seems to create comedy in the simplest of ways and gets the audience to laugh just through his movement and facial expressions. One such sketch from his Live show is where he plays the "Invisible Drums". What stands out to me is that it's so memorable and enjoyable, even without dialogue - It acts as a silent film. I could expand on this by having it act as a call back to the era of black and white silent films, starring the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, who we learned about last year.

I have not yet modelled a character, or even animated one, to a reasonable standard, and so this is a challenge I would like, and need, to take on. I want to create something that everyone will enjoy, but will demonstrate a clear style, which then combines with my "light meets dark" style of comedy, which worked well in my info-graphic.

Rowan Atkinson Live - Star of Mr.Bean - Funny Invisible Drum (2010) - - (Accessed 16/08/2016)