Monday, December 12, 2011

Story Bored?

I'm going to take a moment to get serious. I usually try to save my furrowed brow for when I'm pointing a camera at something, but since that doesn't happen much around the holidays, I think I can safely expend a little now.

First... I'd like to apologize for all the nothing we've been showing you, in contrast to what we said was coming. I was excited by the thought of showing you guys a little daily behind the scenes, but the deck was stacked against it. It seemed that we were starting to show too much of what makes our film unique, blowing our cinematic load. And it seemed that the interest level in this material was ever-diminishing. Plus it's just a lot of extra damned work. I will make an effort to journal more frequently than this, but last month wasn't great for that kind of thing.

Second in the series of serious... Just a piece of friendly advice, in case there are any budding film-makers among our readership. Budding film-makers who crave tips from nobody amateurs, anyway. If you're going to pursue a film project of any kind... love the mother-frelling DREN out of the story you're going to be telling. Because it's inevitable, it's going to happen, you are GOING to get bored with it, and you're going to want to move onto other things. It's happened to professional film-makers, and it's happened to me a couple of times this year. But if the project is the right one for you, it won't last too long, and something will come along that will remind you why you loved the story in the first place.Thus reigniting your enthusiasm. You just need to be able to push through that period of disinterest.

But you didn't come here for apologies and lessons. You came here for stream-of-consciousness immaturity and stupid captions. Or, more probably, you didn't come here at all. They say that a website has three chances with its readership, if they check back three times and there's never any new content, they will give up on it. Guess... Guess we're pretty well screwed. So, how about an update, in a likely vain attempt to win people back? Might be nice, you don't know. Stick around, read on.

You may remember the whole pre-viz image caper. I was going to go through scene by scene and do up these rough composites of key shots, to aid in the effect work that will be coming later. Well I did a couple scenes, and I sent them to Drew. To be discussed. The discussed discussion yielded this decision: Clayton, do not do what you are doing.

What!?!? Why would ANYONE want to stop THIS!?!?
Drew said that the images would be helpful, but that they actually provide more information than is strictly necessary to move forward in the VFX work. More information for the shots that are covered, anyway. But as I said, I was only going to do four or five key shots a scene. Which means less than half the total shots. Which means there would be a surplus of information on about a third of the shots, and NONE information on the rest. And it was going to take me a good ol' while to get this done.

More discussion was had, because I'm nothing if not trepidatious, and a decision was reached: storyboards. Which is kinda what I'd been hoping to avoid this whole time. I didn't do any before shooting with Mare, because I wanted it to be spontaneous. We got to do a lot of fun, improv-y stuff when filming Dorothy. Which means there can be no more fun improv anywhere else. I'd outrun storyboarding for as long as possible, but it was finally time for the running to stop. Storyboards provide an adequate amount of information, and for all the shots, so they were clearly the best bet.

Yessir, this is DEFINITELY where the smart money belongs...
I don't really love drawing, and I don't consider myself very good at it. I'm a vain guy, so what you're seeing in this journal entry is the cream of the crop... Most of the drawings are worse.

Storyboarding at this stage is kind of weird. I've got to watch through the Dorothy footage as I go and pick out the good takes of each shot, drop shots I don't like, essentially editing it in my head. And then editing it with a pencil.

"HAHAHA, famine is AWESOME!"
I'll pause a take I like of a shot I'm keeping and sketch my sketchy Dorothy, and then fill in the environment around her.

If we're defining "environment" very loosely, sure.

And then I ink it and erase the pencil, because I figure they'll last longer that way. And we wouldn't want to lose gems like these...

That's dear old Aunt Em, coming to you directly from a 90's hip-hop music video.
I have more fun coming up with shots for characters that haven't been filmed yet, or for effects shots. I'm still drawing, but at least that's kind of creative work.

I'm actually kinda fond of this shot, so you'll have to go elsewhere for snarky commentary. Might I suggest any other website ever?
Based on the number of pages I've done versus the pages of script I've covered... My calculations indicate I've got about 200 more to go... So I better buckle down and get used to it.

And that's what I'm up to, folks... Apologies and storyboards, huzzah! Who said depressingly independent filmmaking wasn't glamorous? I should note, this is just what I'VE been up to, because I'm an egomaniac and it's MY blog, dammit. Drew continues to work his own particular brand of magic, and Sean... Well... He's been one helluva bronie.