Third Year: Deadline.

Today was the day that we hit our first deadline. This post will be an evaluation post which goes into the work done so far, the ups and downs whilst working towards the first deadline of this year. 

For our first deadline we had to focus on the pre-production of our thesis film.  It’s pretty much like cooking.  You find the recipe and plan out when you can actually cook, you go to the store, buy your groceries and bag it up, pay and go home.  So for the film, we had to think of our story, plan out what we need as in if it’s going to be 2D or 3D, what colours we want to use, what we want to show, plan out how long it might be etc.
For our first deadline we had to submit the following.

  • Storyboard.
  • Character designs.
  • Environment designs/backgrounds.
  • Colour palette.
  • Shot list.
  • Animatic.
  • Schedule.
  • Evaluation form.

My plan of approach was to first settle on the story.  In my case it’s Eclipse.  The story of the Sun and the Moon personified.  A love story, where Sun watches Moon disappear and he goes to find her.  During their meeting their astral bodies (so the actual Sun and Moon) create an eclipse before they’re forced to their own realms of night and day again.

Story development.

I had the rough outline of my story just before our first term of our last year started, however, when it comes to creating a film you’ll have to ask yourself questions and look at the story in a different way than when you’re actually verbally tell it.  Once it’s set on paper or in this case.. is filmed, you don’t have the opportunity anymore to answer questions that people perhaps may have after they’ve watched your film.
During my first draft the story was very simple.

With the sun rising, Sun wakes up for another day where he watches the world go by.  Then he spots the darkness and sees a small bright light at within it. It wasn’t like he had anything else to do so he lets his curiosity take the best of him and he leaves his observatory to check it out. As he emerges into Moon’s world, he’s amazed by all that surrounds him to eventually find Moon and they dance their dance, the eclipse happens and that was it.
I dropped this pretty fast after our first feedback session. Even though I could explain everything, I wasn’t happy with the intro as it wasn’t showing a good reason for the Sun to leave his station.  It was too immature for the persona that I had in mind for Sun.

The second draft of my story was something I was much happier with.  It gave him reason and purpose. I kept the rising sun in the intro scene and him walking into the observatory.  But in this story, Sun and Moon were already known to one another rather than in the first draft where he was unsure what her little light in the darkness was.
The second draft shows how Sun is in his observatory and watches out over the planes of Earth. There, on the horizon is Moon’s realm, and as he watches her she’s slowly disappearing (A moon cycle happens) He panics as he watches her disappear and leaves his observatory to enter her realm and hopefully find her there. The transition between 3D to 2D remained as that was something I wanted for my learning curve. He meets her in the realm and as they dance, they create an eclipse and that’s where it ends.  Here, I didn’t like the ending.  It was too unfinished, abrupt.

During our last feedback session (Which was a day before deadline)  I went over what I’ve done so far and one of my classmates came with a great ending which fed perfectly into the feeling I want to relay into my film.  Therefore, this is the ending to my story and with that I have my final story set in stone.

Everything remains the same as in the second draft, only the ending is different.
Here, they still dance and the eclipse still happens, however, the eclipse ends.  The rays of the sun cast their rays into Moon’s realm and it’s time to say goodbye.  Sun turns back to his 3D world and Moon remains in her 2D world.
This answers all questions that I have faced, throughout my whole story, start to finish.
It gives the eclipse a meaning, it’s the moment that Sun and Moon are together, for those few minutes in so many years they are in a blissful moment.  Together, and we on earth are all able to witness this.

My progress on the story was with ups and downs.  I mainly feared that I was to discard the story like I have many times in the past with other projects. However, I am super motivated by this film, and I think it’s because I have all the freedom to create something to my own vision and hopefully will be able to create a certain feeling whilst also doing what I like most which is to create things I find beautiful.
The downside of the story ‘s development was that because I haven’t been in class that much, the story’s development was far too slow.  I wasn’t able to gain feedback and outsider input when I faced issues such as not being happy with the first act or the ending of previous drafts. Thankfully, I don’t see reason why I can’t be in class the upcoming term, and so by actually being in I will be able to get all the influence /feedback I need right then and there.

Character designs.

Whilst previous posts show some of the designs/concepts I’ve made of Sun and Moon, the final product of Sun isn’t done yet whilst I’m currently refining the reference sheet of Moon. By the end of this weekend I want to have finished both of their designs so I can submit these by monday.
I’ve no downside regarding the character designs other than I’ve been messing around with time again and for the second term I really have to create a schedule and stick to it.

Environment designs/backgrounds.

So far I’ve counted 3 background/environment scenes for Moon, one of those has been finished. However, by Wednesday (so 4 days from now) I want to be able to submit all her backgrounds, but in order to do this I will have to finish the storyboard completely so I have the final count of how many backgrounds I still have to do for Moon.
Concept art for Sun’s realm will be done by Wednesday, as they will simply be sketches before I start to work in 3D.  I want to have finished the 3D by the end of this term (so 2 weeks left) His count is also 3, but all 3D.
Again, timing is the downside.  Due to the lack of storyboard, I don’t have a final idea of how many scenes I have to create. However, I am very happy with how the first background for Moon’s forest has turned out as it translates the aesthetics I have in mind for it. Even though it took me around 8 hours to create, I didn’t want to cut back. It’s a one time long sit through, but the hard work paid off.
moon environment3

Colour palette.

By the end of this weekend I will have the colour palette done.

Shot list and Animatic.

No storyboard so also these two are missing.  By the end of term I want to have these done.  The Animatic I want to have with some simple sounds whilst my request to some of my more musical friends is currently pending.


All in all, time management. I knew I was going to be away from uni for a few weeks, but for a pre-production it’s pretty much suicide to do this. I could have gained feedback so much quicker.  For the new term I want to be completely done with the pre-production and have started on the actual production of my film as I have done some rough animations already.




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