Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Update on Class 5 (it's a long one)

It is now week 4 of Class 5 and I am FINALLY updating my blog. As you may know, this is the short film pre-production. Here we create a story that we will work on until the end of class 6.

Week 2 we had to submit three story ideas. From the mentor's suggestions, we narrow it down to two stories for week 3. We also had to submit a video pitch of the two stories.

So here are the original three stories I came up with:


BISHOP is a bookseller working at a bookstore. He is putting some books back on the shelf and straightening them. He all of a sudden hears a loud snore. It startles him. He looks around a little trying to figure out where it came from. He goes back to putting away a large book when he hears it again. This time he realizes it is coming from behind him. Here we see OTTO asleep in a big comfy chair and snoring. Bishop gives a little chuckle at the sight of him snoring and decides to go wake him up. With the book in hand he pokes Otto on the shoulder. Otto does not move. Bishop is surprised that didn’t work so he pokes him a little harder this time. Otto only squirms a bit but is still asleep. Finally Bishop is determined to wake him, by any means necessary. He takes the large book in his hands and raises it up over his head. He then slams it down on the ground right behind Otto. It does nothing! Now Bishop is annoyed. He once again raises the book higher, and with all his might, slams it again on the floor behind Otto. He is STILL asleep! Bishop finally gives up and stomps away.


THEME: Man vs. Man - Determination
MORAL: Let nothing stand in your way, even if it’s a great nap.


BISHOP is moving into a new house. He is carrying a box and is walking through the hallway. He sees something out of the corner of his eye on the floor. He does a double take when he realizes it is a mouse. The mouse’s eyes are bright pink. The mouse is just sitting there watching him. Bishop is startled and drops the box. He quickly looks around the room and sees a broom resting on a nearby wall. He tiptoes back to get it, then raises it over his head getting ready to strike the mouse. As he gets nearer and is about to swing, the mouse runs away. He runs underneath the hall closet door. Bishop runs over to the door and prepares to open it. His hand grips the knob with his left hand, the broom is in his right hand ready to strike. He throws open the door and, at first, sees nothing. It is pitch black. He looks down and sees the pair of pink eyes from the mouse. Bishop is about to strike when he notices another pair of eyes pop up, then another, then another and another. There are now a lot of eyes stacking up to the top of the closet. Bishop, unable to believe what he sees, drops the brooms and runs out of the room.


THEME: Man vs. Nature - Fear of the unknown.
MORAL: There is strength in numbers.

--STORY #3--

BISHOP is in a library, studying and working on his laptop. His eyes glance up and he notices a beautiful woman (ROOK) a few tables away from him. She is also working on her laptop and facing Bishop. She then looks over the top of her screen and smiles. Bishop looks to see if there is anyone around him and realizes she is smiling at him. He then smiles back. Rook smiles and gives a little wave. Bishop sheepishly waves back. Rook is now pursing her lips and throwing kisses in his direction. Bishop cannot believe what she is doing. He is now smiling from ear to ear. He then decides to go talk to her. He gets up and slowly walks over to her. As he approaches, he is realizing that she is STILL looking at the screen and not at him. He continues past her and looks back over her shoulder at her laptop. On the screen we see her husband holding their baby in front of the webcam for her to see. This whole time she was making faces at the baby and NOT at Bishop. He quickly continues around her and, with his head down out of embarrassment, heads back to his table.


MORAL: You never know what is around the corner, but you still have to take a chance.

My mentor Kenny Roy decided to throw out the "Moving Day" story. So for week 3 I focused on "The Sleeper" and Story #3 which I later titled "Looking For Love." Here are the rewrites for the two stories:


Setting: Coffee Shop / Cafe
Time: Mid-day

We open in a coffee shop. We see our hero, Bishop, staring at his laptop. He is on the internet looking at his profile on a personals website. We see he has zero matches and zero profile views. He gives a big, sad sigh. Bishop looks to the side of his laptop and there are book on dating. A few possible titles are: "How To Talk To Women", "How To Pick Up Women" and "Dating for MORONS". He gives another big sigh of desparation. Just then he glances up over his laptop and sees Beth. She is a few tables away. She, too, is working on her laptop, and it appears she is smiling at Bishop. He gives a little smle and sheepishly looks away, but he quickly glances back at her. He then sees Beth waving at him with a big smile. She appears to be mouthing the word "hi." Bishop's eyes get real big and he sits straight up. He looks to his left to see if there is anyone behind him. He does not see anyone and realizes she MUST be waving at him. He then sees her vaving and blowing kisses in his direction. By now Bishop is getting nervous. His heart is pounding. He has a huge grin on his face and that dreamy looking in his eye. He then takes a moment to gather himself together. He looks at his profile. "0 Matches. 0 Provile Views." He looks over at the books. He decides he is going to take a chance. He closes the laptop, takes a deep breath, and gets up and starts to slowly walk over towards Beth. He is strutting with confidence. As he arrives right next to her he is finally going to say something, when all of a sudden we hear a baby's giggle. That freezes Bishop in his tracks. He looks at Beth and realizes she is not even looking at him but staring at her laptop. Bishop looks at her laptop and sees what she have been looking at the whole time. On her laptop, via a webcam, he her husband holding up their baby. Bishop is surprised. He now realizes she was NOT making those gesturs at him but at her baby. Bishop quickly turns around and returns to his seat. He feels a bit embarassed. When he returns to his table, he takes a moment to look at his books. He feels it was a stupid idea a pushes them away. Just then he hears a little giggle. He pops up and looks to his right. At the next table was Mary. She had been sitting there quietly, reading her book, and witnesses the whole thing. She thinks Bishop is kind of cute and gives him a little smile. Bishop smiles and scoots his chair closer to Mary.


Moral: Love is out there to be found, you just need to know where to look.


(quick recap)

Bishop is trying to wake up someone who has fallen asleep in the bookstore.
pokes once.
pokes twice.
third try, slams book on floor.


(1) The Sleeper opens his eyes, looks up at Bishop. Bishop angrily points as to say he has to leave NOW! The sleeper just rolls over and goes back to sleep. Bishop is furious and shakes in anger. The then reaches down, grabs the chair and flips it AND the Sleeper out of the scene. Bishop is standing there huffing and puffing.
(A) We then hear another snore off screen. Bishop snaps his glare in that direction and storms off. [FADE TO BLACK. WHATEVER SOUND EFFECT WAS USED FOR THE CHAIR FLIP, WE HEAR IT AGAIN.]
(B) Screen goes blurry and camera pans down. When it comes into focus, we see Bishop asleep with a huge grin on his face. He is asleep in the employee breakroom. We wakes up, checks his watch and realizes he has to go back to work.

(2) The Sleeper is severly startled by the loud noise. He grabs his ches and flips the chair on its back. All we see is the bottom of the chair and his legs sticking straight up. Bishop is shocked. Did he just kill this poor man?!

(3) The Sleeper is awake and he is not too happy. he stands up and it is obvious he is much larger than Bishop. Bishop starts to cower and shrink a bit. With his left hand, the Sleeper grabs Bishop by the neck and brings him nose to nose. The sleeper growls, Bishop's lower lip is quiverring, then WHAM!! The Sleeper punches Bishop right in the face which sends him flying back. We hear a crash and see Bishop in a pile of books.

The moral of #3: Let sleeping dogs lye.

I am still trying to figure out a good ending to "The Sleeper." The ending I went with is in my video pitch:

I was extremely nervous when I did these pitches. I tried to get in as much information as possible as quick as I could. However, I think that was the wrong approach. After viewing my e-critique, Kenny said I need to cut down on the extra info and just go for the story. He liked "Looking For Love", but he said the characters would be sitting down throughout the whole thing. If I could incorporate some broad gestures, that may help it out from an animation standpoing. He also liked "The Sleeper" but gave a few suggestions for the ending.

He also said "the stakes" need to be higher for both heroes in the shorts. In "Looking For Love" he suggested that when Bishop goes over to talk to the lady that he brings her a cup of coffee. He suggested that the lady DOES see Bishop and realizes what he was trying to do. She then shows him the laptop and what she was ACTUALLY doing. This increases the humiliation factor. For "The Sleeper" he wants Bishop to be more forceful on trying to get the big guy to stay awake. He did like that I said that the big guy happens to fall right back asleep after Bishop wakes him up. This suggests that he can fall asleep anywhere and at anytime. So when he gets up and is angry, he punches Bishop and knocks him out. The big guy then sits back down and falls back to sleep. Now that Bishop is knocked out, another bookseller comes to wake him up. He looks at him/her with sleepy eyes, the bookseller points to the sign, Bishop looks at the sign, can't believe what has happened and falls back asleep/unconcious.

I really like both stories and I can see both becoming something great. One thing I wanted to do in the short film was some more "cartoony" animation. My last two scenes had some subtle acting. There were a few broad gestures here and there, but nothing too crazy. So I am wanting to do the animation for "The Sleeper" but I really like the story of "Looking For Love." This week I need to decided which one I am going to do. Kenny said he leaves that decision up to the student.

As I was typing up the above paragraph on "Looking For Love" I came up with another idea on how to raise the stakes. Bishop will have his laptop, his coffee, no books, but there will be a small vase with a flower at his table. We will see the other tables with vases and flowers as well so it does not seem that out of the ordinary. When he decides to go talk to the lady, he picks up the flower and holds it in his teeth. When he sits down, he gives her that "Don Juan", dreamy look with his eyes. She sees him and seems a bit upset and turns her laptop around to reveal her husband and baby. The husbands face goes from happy to confusion then angry in a matter of seconds. The baby has no idea what's going on. Now Bishop is REALLY humiliated, goes back to his table, and then the other girl/waitress comes to his table. Happy ending.

That's a possiblilty. I just need to finalize these stories and I need to do that now.

Well, not right now but soon.

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