'Fresh out the Box'....

Well, I received feedback from my three story ideas from my Mentor (Cal Brunker, what a cool name, I know).... I was going between the new computer idea and the bored bus driver idea. My Mentor thought that the computer idea was better, and I have to concur. Thinking about doing to bus driver story would be really funny and fun to do, but technically I wouldn't be able to handle it. So I thought I'd go with the more simple of the two and run with it. I still have some work do in the middle to set up the gag... but I'll do that this week.

Here's the pre-production structure I submitted:
‘Fresh out the Box’ Pre-Pitch Structure:
a. Setting: opening shot is exterior of house, all the rest of the shots are interior in the man’s office.
b. Time of day: afternoon
c. Characters: There’s only one character, a middle aged man

Pitch Structure:
a. We open with an exterior shot of a house, the sky is blue and the sun is shining.
b. Until the door opens and the main (and only character) pops his head out, looks around with curiosity, he looks down and sees the box. He gets a surprised then excited look on his face, steps out, bends down, picks up the box and brings it in the house.
c. And then now we’re in his office showing his empty desk all cleaned and ready to put his new computer on.
d. And then he starts assembling the computer components onto the computer desk (shown with quick 1-2 second cuts).
e. And then he’s ready to turn on the computer. He presses the power button
f. And then nothing happens, he looks surprised, shocked and confused, he presses it again. Still nothing. He looks angry now with some frustration.
g. And then it shows him trying different methods of troubleshooting, looking at the owner’s manual, maybe on the phone with tech support, studying the front of the computer, lifts up the mouse, etc (there are going to be 5 or 6 different things he does, again all shown in quick 1-2 second cuts). Man is getting more and more frustrated with each shot.
h. Until finally he gives up by banging his head and fists on the desk. Meanwhile the camera is trucking back to reveal that the power cord isn’t plugged in, cut to a close up shot so there’s no confusion what to look at.
i. The moral/point of the story is sometimes the simplest explanation to the problem is the most obvious one, there’s no need to get so upset by it.

Here's some reference I'm going to use in the planning (not for the animation, just some the timing of shots used are what I'm looking for with mine):


Short Film ideas.

So I'm moving along (hopefully in the right direction) in pre-production of my 30 short film animation project, that will consume the next 6 months of my life. I had a slew of ideas that I've been gathering for years and had to trim a lot off the existing ones because of the duration of the film. I originally thought were going to be 1-2 minutes in length. Come to find out it's only supposed to be 30 seconds long. I posted five ideas and think that I have it narrowed down to 2... Because of my Maya abilities and lack of effects experience it's forcing me to get really creative in my story choice. One character, one set and limited effects.

Here are my two ideas that I'm leaning towards, probably going to go with the first one because it's a little more simple of an environment to create and work around.

1. 'Fresh out the Box': Intro credits play with the sounds of outside (mid day)ambient noise and a door bell ring. Fade out from black, exterior shot of a door step, on it is a computer box (Dell, HP, Apple). A middle aged man opens the door and pops his head out, looks around, then down to see the box. He opens the door in excitement and goes to pick up the box to bring into the house. The next shot is an interior shot of the man's desk, empty and shiny of course. He sets down his computer box and starts to assemble it on the desk, close up cuts showing him adjusted the monitor position, setting up the mouse and keyboard, etc. Finally it cuts a medium shot of him going to turn on the computer. He has an excited look on his face, when he pushes the power button, nothing happens... he sits there for a second and then his expression switches to shock. The next cut is him troubleshooting, getting more and more frustrated with each shot, reading the owner's manual, lifting the keyboard, etc... Until he gets so frustrated he bangs his head and fists down on the desk and lies there still, as if he's defeated. The camera is slowly trucking back to reveal that the computer's not plugged in, maybe even cut to a close up shot of the plug lying on the floor underneath the outlet. Cut to credits. Cut back from credits to a quick shot of the character super frustrated holding either the monitor or the keyboard over his head with his teeth gritting and eye twitching. Cut back to credits with the audio of a large crashing sound effect. The end.

2. 'Over Bored'. (still working on the story a bit). First shot mid morning, interior of a bus driver driving a bus. The bus driver has a very bored look on his face and in his every movement. Slow blinking and slow movements in general. Gets to a stop and there's no one there, he still goes through the action of opening the door waiting a second then closing the door to head back on his route. This goes on for a few more seconds to get the point across that he has a really monotonous job that he's really bored at. Finally he appears to get an idea (may even show a light bulb) and springs up. The next shot is him ramming all kinds of vehicles with the bus. (Now what I might do is have him see a bulldozer at one of the stops with the keys in the ignition and that's when he gets the idea and is ramming the cars with the bulldozer instead of the bus). Either way he's ramming the vehicles with something. The next shot is the same as the first shot, except now he look happy in his face and in his whole attitude. He gets to the stop (same as before) and now there a bunch of people waiting to get on the bus with disgruntled looks on their faces. Here I might have the people in casts and crutches and the camera pans back to reveal that it's a handicap bus..... cut to credits.

So there they are, a bit lengthy, but as the story develops in my head I like to get it down on paper....

I'm really excited to start production on this. Stay tuned as I'll be posting my progress as I go.

Till next time.


Class 5.... 6 more months left.

Wow, so I've officially been a student at Animation Mentor for one year now. I can't believe how much I've learned (and how much more I still have to go). I started my Pre-production to my short film last night and am a little intimidated by the whole thing. The two biggest things is going to be plan plan plan and keeping it simple. I feel like I already have a big head start because I'm always coming up with ideas and have about 25 in my journal. But I want to explore some more and come up with something awesome and original! The duration of the short is only 30 seconds (only, Ha!). Sounds easy right... wrong.

I have an idea using the Azary rig called 'Identity Theft', and one called 'Over Bored' (which has a clever play on words), and then 'Spring Time' is another one... I have to go through each idea I have and fine tune them. What I like and don't like about them...

Till next time.

I'll try and post more progress for my short film pre-production.