Sunday, May 11, 2014

Production overview: Part 1 - The Story

Hello again everyone.

Following our previous post, today we want to share with you how our story came to be.

As we began our work on the project, we were asked to come up with an idea for a movie. the instructions were simple - make it fit into a 2 minutes film. we came a long way since then.

Finding an idea

Working as a part of a creative team, every team member has his own unique ideas and vision for the project. as we were both super excited about creating a serious project, we blasted off with many ideas, with floating islands, magic notebooks, ghosts and what not, but failed to agree on anything.

We knew we had to cut it down to the basics and start from scratch - together. we set off ground rules for our story:
A dramatic-comedy that takes place in a fantasy world. and there had to be magic!

While this is all nice and dandy, we had no idea HOW to write a story, let alone a script for a short animation. in our trouble, our friend Shlomi recommended of a book called “Ideas For The Animated Short” by Karen Sullivan, Gary Schumer and Kate Alexander. The book introduced us to numerous principals required to make a story work. So now we knew about heroes and supporting characters, journeys, climaxes, turning points, story beats and more.

We came up with a story about a wizard who tries to teach his son the creation of some potion, but the son messes things up due to lack of skill and puts them both in danger. however, his lack of skill proves to be a hidden quality and eventually everything is solved by joining their skills together.

However, something didn’t feel right about this and we decided to explore more options. we did agree we should use the formula of a father and son -> son messes things up -> son’s inability is actually a hidden power -> day is saved by joining powers together.

Describing the world

Now that we had a formula, we needed to find an interesting setting, which led to some quirky ideas, such as a pair of magician dam-constructors who need to save the town from a collapsing dam (this one actually got pretty far, but proved to be quite a challenge to execute, so it was dropped), a couple of cave explorers looking for precious stones trying to find a way out of a collapsing crystal mine, a couple of sculptures trying to build the greatest statue ever made, and more. we also explored some super-heroes, monks, magical creatures and more.

Eventually we decided on a simple setting -  a farm.

Making ends meet

So we had our formula, and we had our setting, all that was left was to sew it together.
And so we set down and wrote the story of a farmer who tries to teach his son how to plant tomatoes, but as the story progresses the young boy creates such havoc that brings his father down to his knees until father finds a sophisticated way to solve the whole situation. at first we thought we could use the boy’s imagination as a helpful trait, and then we thought of using his creativity, but eventually, well, you just have to wait and see.

But still, while the foundation was there, a lot have changed. more on the subject in our next entry where we discuss storyboard.

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