Thursday, November 25, 2010

Prepare to Board!

Animatic for my concept

In a nutshell, Student Service Piggy is engrossed making calculations of his ‘student finances’. He has to maintain a balance in major expenditures between his housing costs, tuition fees and his social life (movies, parties etc). 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Visual Spark!

In order to get some conceptual inspiration, I find stock images really helpful in triggering some great ideas. After all, a single piece of imagery can be worth a thousand perceptions. Below are some interesting images that helped catapult my idea to the next level.

MAJOR PROJECT - Student Services Live Brief

Having gone through the given brief and after vital background research(through leaflets and pamphlets) on student services, the 'key objectives' of my concept are:

- Recognizing major student expenditures.

- Wise budgeting by understanding priorities and irrelevant spending.

- Learning to organize student finances.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

TASK 4- Story structure & Theme


My Pick- A Christmas Carol (1983), which is my personal favorite since I was a kid. A lovely Disney adaptation of Charles Dickens masterpiece.


1) The archetypes in the characters
- The story mainly revolves around Ebenezer Scrooge, a miser who is a perfect prototype of a wealthy and greedy individual who eventually turns over a new leaf caused by a chain of harrowing events.
- Bob Cratchit, an overworked but underpaid employee of Scrooge whose character arc remains consistent throughout the film as a blue collared employee who works in fear of his boss but yet a sober personality.
- Isabelle, who plays the former love interest of Scrooge, devotes herself to Scrooge for years but is unfortunately shunned by him over his love for money.
- Another archetype would be Fred, who plays a brief role as Scrooges' jovial nephew.

2) The character’s personality traits, life and motivation
- Scrooge is manifested as a person who doesn't give anyone a reason to appreciate him but despite that is never judged by others. As a stingy individual, he overlooks the misfortune of the poor and needy. Even at the time of Christmas which is the season of giving and merriment, to him happiness is reduced to 'humbug'. His motivation prior to encountering the christmas spirits was to dwell in his own wealth-driven world of selfishness. However, the confrontation by the 3 spirits and Jacob Marley, his deceased employee, brings about a major alteration in his life. Bound by the chains of greed, Marley's ghost heeds warning to Scrooge about the adversities of his selfishness. It is during his confrontation with the 3 spirits that brings him to realization the need to turn over a new leaf in order to make life better for everyone around him by learning from his bright past and oblivious present that is likely to follow up by an ill fated future.

3) How does the film keep the audience engaged? What do you think the key factors are?
- The message conveyed by depicting Christmas, the season of giving, holds great moral value which makes the movie a learning experience. Also the character arc of Scrooge holds great appeal. The journey of his transformation through a look into his past helps the audience to penetrate into Scrooge's background followed up by his present which leads to speculate about the possible outcome of his future. It is the visit of the 3 spirits which act as the catalysts for Scrooges' realization which draws empathy from the audience.

4) What are the elements or patterns repeated throughout the film? At what points? And what do you think is the purpose or intention?
- In the lines of colors, theres a very stark contrast between the beginning and towards the resolution of the film. The constants use of various dull shades of blue indicates not just a suppressed environment at the counting house and Scrooge's home but it also explains his state of mind which is that of a cold natured person. However, from the moment Scrooge is awakened to a new dawn after his nightmare, the colors illuminate to pleasing shades of yellow manifesting his realization and drastic change in heart.
- The phrase 'humbug' is used by Scrooge throughout the first act of the film, which shows his ignorance and depiction of anything pleasing or related to Christmas is insignificant and rubbish.
- Another element used to show the the passage of time is the clock.

5) Throughout the form of the film, try to establish the plot and sub-plot. How does the revelation compare from the beginning to the end?
- The main idea carrying the story forward is the journey of Scrooge who is in the process of learning from the self-destructive mistakes of his past and present in order to eliminate the unfortunate events likely to occur in his future which also includes the ill-fate of Tiny Tim, the youngest son of Scrooge's underpaid employee, Bob Cratchit. 
It is the heart-rending sub plot of Cratchit's impoverishment that runs parallel to Scrooge's conflict. Unless Scrooge fails to concur with Cratchit's deprivation, he will be single handedly responsible for the untimely death of the incapacitated Tiny Tim. However, the resolution ends on a positive note when Scrooge is given a second chance in his life to reconcile with his temperament and change his negative outlook towards the less fortunate.

Friday, November 19, 2010

TASK 2 Contd- Conceptual Referencing

Right after a countless series of looping my sound clips day and night, I finally narrowed down to a genre for my concept. I decided to go with horror comedy. With that in place, I clearly knew what my references would be...
- Things that go bump in the night
- Monsters Inc
- Courage the cowardly dog
- Coraline
-The Nightmare before Christmas


TASK 2 Contd- Visual treats

To get into the rhythm of this task, I decided to look for some inspiration to ignite that spark (Rhyming sheerly unintentional!) . Below are some of the videos from which each gave me something to critique and think about.

What I love about this short is the interpretation of the 'bumping' sound from 2 'extreme' points of views. The protagonist (child)  comprehends it as a paranormal source, whereas the storyteller makes the revelation of a 'raunchy' activity. Therefore, I enjoyed the contrasting interpretations.

One cartoon which always had a marathon of sound effects and follies.

One of the most brilliant stop motion animation short  I watched at a screening back in India. I couldn't imagine how beautifully an inorganic object like that of a 'sock' or a pair of 'jeans' could emote without dialogues but just sheer mumbling! 

TASK 2- Developing narrative through use of sound

Below are snippets of the sound clips that have been provided in class. On the basis of these sounds, we have to develop a story idea following up with a proper screenplay narrative supported by storyboards and an animatic as the final output.
NOTE: Unfortunately I can't upload all the sound clips provided as the formats are not supported by DivShare.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A fresh start towards the end

It's been over a month since I've joined the Birmingham Institute of Art & Design and to be honest, adjusting to the system wasn't surprisingly a cakewalk. Unlike my previous Film Institute in Mumbai, which I attended 7 days a week during my 2nd year, BIAD and the city itself has it's own unique functionality. University is shut over weekends, lectures run only 2-3 times a week which gives us ample time for 'self directed' study, shops start closing around 5 pm and yes, I've started chasing buses! But all in all, it's been a learning experience every single day and I hope to adapt wholly to the independent lifestyle.

 Living in a student household with my brother and other friends, I walk a tightrope of responsibility between daily chores( cleaning,cooking etc) and college assignments. It's a laborious balancing act specially after being really pampered but it's the only way one can learn to be self reliant at times. Of course, I've been homesick very often when the day and city seems bleak at times. But thankfully, home is just a 'skype' away! 

But coming back to my purpose, University has been fun in terms of work. The assignments are constructive to the extent I'm likely to break open my head like a Spanish 'Pinata' which may or may not always produce the goodies. Like today for instance, the creative juices just didn't seem to flow. So in order to feel less guilty of having wasted my time, I'd rather do something else productive that could help accelerate my thought process. Hence, I decided to update my blog. Now, that's another story. It was only after a few weeks of and adjusting to the college system and sleepless nights that I realized the importance of a blog...yeah, today of all the days when I have a submission due about almost 4 weeks from now. But better late than never! I'm glad I took this night off to organize my 'ancient but not so extinct' blog. It's been a long night and I have an early day tomorrow, so might as well crash in! Work in progress to be updated A.S.A.P. Yallah bye! :)