Tuesday, 19 February 2008

RAMming It Home

This week saw the completion of our group collaboration with the Royal Academy of Music. While we were all granted the clemency of an extended deadline, I found myself having to move to a new apartment during the project's final week, which made for a fairly hectic post-production process. With perseverance it came together in the end, and while there is still room for some tweaking before it is shown in June for a London screening at the RAM, it's a neat little film.Using Abbie Davies's illustrations to create a simulated paper cut-out set, I timed the animation and camera motion path to James Williamson's (of the RAM) score. While it is technically an abstract film, a narrative of sorts could be interpreted. The viewer becomes the film's main 'character', floating ethereally through a landscape that incrementally grows more and more frustrating as the search for an exit bears little fruit. The one other presence in the film is an occasional ball of light which entices the camera's POV to follow.To accompany James's score and give the minimalistic visuals a bit more atmosphere I created a soundscape to heighten the mood. Combining a variety of wind effects for the exterior forest sequence and a hollow, distant rumble for the interior 'doors' section, the end result hopefully contributed to the film's overall sense of unease. For the shots in which the mysterious beam of light appears I added some layers of long-wave radio static to give it a distinct presence when onscreen. What really sells the tone of the film is James's strings/percussion/vibraphone score itself, which intermittently punctuates the piece in emulation of a varying heart rate as the POV 'character's frustration mounts.On the whole I am satisfied with the outcome, and interestingly my personal issues with some of the sloppier camerawork weren't shared by others when the film was shown along with the other projects. There was some discussion however about the lighting for one section and the suggestion that we opted for an ending which provided further resolution. I think that to aquiesce the latter point would undermine our original intention to have the film come full circle. There may well be a better way of achieving that though. As I mentioned previously, the film will be part of a later screening in June, and so once time has passed it may be worth it to watch the film more objectively and determine what fine-tuning needs to be done if any.
Meanwhile here's a little clip to give you an idea of how it turned out:

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Threesome On A Sofa

Just wanted to throw up some line tests to demonstrate how the production speed has changed, In about the same time it took to create this hop cycle several months ago...
...I’ve managed to get three sort-of-nifty line tests done this afternoon. They all take place against roughly the same backdrop, the Hunter’s sofa.

Here we see the Prospective Lay unsure of how to react when faced with the Duck for the first time, giving a little cringe and looking around nervously.

In a very short space of time they’ve grown close and here we see the Duck react with horror when told to leave.

From earlier on in the film, this is my favourite test of the three. I didn’t think the yawn would turn out this well, but probably by fluke the timing came out spot on. Okay, that’s a lie, I had to take a few frames out. The end result works well enough though. When I watch it on a loop like this I almost feel like I need to yawn myself.
So this afternoon was pretty productive. Yay, I say!