Sunday, 6 December 2015

PBC Foundation

Last project I have to mention is the PBC foundation project.

I really like this charity they're small they're excited by what we're doing and I'm looking forward to the project. They're looking for something to describe to the children of the people effected by the condition what it is that the are going through. They were really pretty flexible with it all but we haven't managed to make many inroads into this project yet because those involved have been on annual leave which means we only managed to meet with them the first time a couple of weeks ago. 

Before we had gone however, Abby, Amanda and I had agreed that we should prepare as much as possible before we met them to compensate for the lost time. We agreed between us to take a look at how many films we felt we could make from the information we were trying to convey and we decided on three. This was brilliant because they had also reconsidered the original number they had asked and were now sitting at about three logical films as well.

When we attended the first meeting they had asked us to bring along some examples of visualised versions of the symptoms of PBC. I created a few more literal versions to start off with and then moved into some more simplistic linear work. I couldn't help but feel like there was no need to create a metaphorical version of symptoms you see easier like fatigue because they are evident enough. But symptoms such as swelling and fluid in your stomach are not necessarily obvious. They had previously told me they liked the information videos produced by the RSA which are a bit like hand drawn illustrations. While we felt collectively as a group that we wanted to do something a bit more we obviously took their initial stylistic preferences into account;

These films bore me a bit but I think when they asked us to look at these they were more focused on the metaphorical element. But I knew if I was bored by these films then children definitely would be. This got me thinking about the type of films that keep children's attention. Bright colours and bold movement. While I am aware this is a not a young young audience. They will be somewhere between 8 and 1, I still think these elements are in play. Just more so joint with the a more complicated narrative. 

So the drawings I produced for them look like this:

In addition I showed them my showreel and they very much liked my digital elements especially one of my 10x20x15's with the moon and the astronaut. 

I was very pleased to hear that as that meant all the pieces were falling into place pretty simply. I didn't need to convince them that this was the right decision as they were easily happy with the things I was thinking. Drawing on what I was saying before about the colours and the movements I was leaning towards things like the oreo advert and the american express adverts when thinking about this film. Because it all works in metaphors I would like it to move nicely from scene to scene because otherwise I am scared there will be a lack of movement within the piece and it could become very boring very quickly so I was looking at films of those styles as references. When I showed them at the meeting on thursday he was excited by the idea and liked the flow of them which was what I was hoping for. So for the moment I have a good direction to head in.

(American Express)

(Vampire wonderfilled oreo advert)

Which just meant that from here we needed the narrative. We have discussed and agreed on a deadline in which to retrieve finalised audio for and until then there will be some backing and frothing between us as we develop material around their developing audio. Our deadline is finalised because they have to take the films to their funding body and begin to get it finalised so that is an absolute so we are all concerned about sticking to this deadline. So we will be sent some audio as soon as possible and we can begin on the films from there.

At the moment the only thing we know for sure about this project is that there will be three films. The themes of which will be;

  • What is PBC
  • How your guardian is going to feel it
  • What you can do and where to get help

Friday, 4 December 2015

Christmas card 2015

Well this year like every year I decided to make a christmas card for this years advent calendar. To begin with I just felt like it. I like making them and this year so far I haven't actually gotten to do any animation itself because I've been to busy in meetings and planning films that the actual making process has alluded me. So I thought if I made one I would get the chance to animate something this year. It was then also pointed out to me that if I handed it in to this years advent competition it would meet the requirements set by this years externality project. So after that it was pretty much settled. Get the christmas card done and in on time for this competition.

It's becoming a bit of a pattern for me for my films to be driven quite heavily by style and this film was no exception. When it gets to this time of the year I love some vintage. I love a christmas card that looks like it's from the 60's or the 70's. I think it's a style that lends itself perfectly to the season. It uses soft colours and straight lines and it just shouts christmas to me. I love retro christmas cards. 

So one of the first things I did was put together a pinterest board full of pins of various vintage christmas cards;

I love the colours and textures of these cards which I wanted to mimic in this film. I love alternative framing and I've only every used them in one other film. I was inspired by this further as I sat and watched the films that thursday we were invited to the 4th years focus group. He used a lot of alternative frames and it made me realise just how badly I did want to use them.

So I planned to have this digital card styled very like a real card. A real card with a rough around the edges vintage 60's feel.

(still from the beginning of my chrsitmas card)

I made sure the whites are much creamier than real whites and all the colours are across the same pallet. It's a very limited colour pallet so I am using pretty much 5 colours. That blue never features again hahaha.

So Jared already knows much of the plot to this card because he helped me out with it when I was stuck. Initially I knew I wanted a shop display and characters packing up for christmas day, all of them going home for christmas. Mainly because I wanted a gingerbread house and gingerbread men in there. I was really feeling those this year. And it seems that they are in this year as well. As I've seen lots of them this year in shops and in adverts. 

So the plot for this film, thanks Jared for the help, goes that there is this tree in the window of the shop and at the end of the night when the lights are turned off and the shop is closed, the ornaments on the tree come to life and head home for christmas. The snowman and the reindeer both jump from the tree and head home. Following this the gingerbread man tries to dismount the tree and go home as well but finds he is tangled in the tree and can't release himself from it because of his lack of fingers. He becomes upset and eventually is helped down from the tree by the reindeer. Then he can finally go home for christmas.

Really this card to me feels a lot more like a moving illustration but it gave me a chance to stretch an animation muscle I never get to because I could digitally draw this one. Having said that it took me far longer than I thought to teach myself to affectively work in photoshop as I was having some issues. I was following the basics of a youtube tutorial I was sent on how to use photoshops timeline tools. But like is typical of everything mine did not look or work anything like the version in the tutorial and I had to pend a long time trying to figure out how to work the timeline in my version of photoshop. Which unfortunately compromised the end result of my card.

Initially I had much bigger plans for this card. I considered having it narrated a bit like the night before christmas but I didn't have the time once I'd figured out the photoshop timeline to record the audio before I could think about animating. Plus I had an idea of breaking the 4th wall with this narrative and in the end I didn't know how to continue the narrative and figuring it out would have taken more time to figure out. So I scrapped that element.

In addition from scene to scene I had intended to have the frames move as if a page was being turned but because of the way my time worked out I couldn't get Mikes help with that which meant that the labour was going to be to intensive for me to continue to consider it.

I mean all in all I think the film turned out fine and I'm still glad I made it I just think I haven't quite managed to figure out how much I can achieve in a certain length of time. 

In the end the only thing about it I would definitely change is there is a scene where the gingerbread man is looking down at his hands because he can't get off the tree. I don't think it's obvious enough and if I could remake the film I would cut in a longshot of him looking at his hands as well as his closeup.

Anyway here's the final film!

Gay Man's Health - Idea approval

So Not long ago we met with Gay Man's Health to discuss what they thought about our ideas and where we should go from that point.

I showed them my idea and they very much liked it. To begin with they had very few issues. They only wished for the character at the bar that had a stop sign next to him already to be removed from the film because they felt sorry for him and they didn't want the message to be if someone has HIV you shouldn't be sleeping with them because that's wrong. And I didn't realise you could look at it like that before so I agreed to remove his character because you know that's not the right vibe at all! Like I may have mentioned a thousand times before with this project Gay Man's Health are all about blatentness and one of the things included with this is an acknowledgement that if you have HIV your life is not over and as long as you are careful then no doors are closed to you. So from this point onwards I am going to be very careful to avoid singling out anyone who has HIV. Really what we are going for here is an awareness thing. Like it doesn't matter what your results are just that you know them in the first place. Gay man's health can help with things once you know what's going on but if you don't know that's when you're at risk. So I feel a little clearer on that issue now that the meeting has happened.

Slowly as the meeting progressed and we'd gone through the rest of the films we kept being drawn back to mine. Something about it wasn't right. The Alistairs began to realise that many of the same films covered similar subject matter and as they stood the films being made were overlapping each other. Which they decided were fine but in the end we decided that my film was better suited to a different more generic sexual health message rather than the current message "Get Tested' which was specifically looking at HIV. It was felt that the message I was sending was more generic and they they would have liked something more specific relating to HIV for the HIV film. After further discussion they had decided that they wanted a film that would remove the stigma surrounding HIV as people tend to only focus on the negative. While they didn't want to glorify HIV they also didn't want people who had been diagnosed with it to feel like there were huge sections of their life closed of to them. Once this decision was made it was simple enough for me to hand my initial message of "Get Tested" Over to Shannon who had yet to begin work on her final film which was the message "Go to A Clinic" Which was more of a generic sexual health message. They were pleased with this outcome because they very much liked my film and wanted to keep it if possible.

So that was that settled. I will be making some minor adjustments to my film to make it suitable to any sexual health issues and Shannon would be making a more specific HIV film.

This is about as much work as I have done on they film at the moment. My nest steps will be to revise my storyboard and take a better look at the shots I am using to tell the story and make sure I have picked the most suitable angles before I move on to the animatic.

I have informed Alistair on our operation progress from this point so he knows what to be expecting the next time we meet him. I will be emailing him a revised storyboard before I continue onto the animatic because it is easier for him to check the story is working in its basic from while it is a storyboard even if I will probably be making several animatics anyway. So that's it for gay man's health just now because of several other commitments I've had since the last meeting.

Since then I've been very busy with what actually feels like nothing but I have actually not stopped. I am completely knackered!