Time for a brief evaluation on the past 6 weeks. The past 6 weeks have been alot of hard work, but they have mainly been alot of fun. Not only have we created a sketchbook, a blog, a film and an animatic, but we have made friends, good friends, and for me being an awkward, small, knitting, comic reading, tea drinking 21 year old disney fanatic is a bit of an accomplishment in itself.
In week one it was really a week of bouncing off wacky ideas and post it noting them onto the window. We realised pretty quickly that the theme of perception was leading us down some pretty twisted, creepy ideas based around mental health. We quickly liked the idea of basing it around schizophrenia and the seven deadly sins. I also did sketchbook work and research on what exactly perception is and did a quick story board for an idea that never lead anywhere.
In week two we began developing ideas based on the seven deadly sins. We had come up with an idea of having a character or characters be each sin and give them torturous punishments for these sins, for example the glutton would be deep fried in oil. We realised that this would be impossible to accomplish unless it was animated and as Conann pointed out, we would drown in a 2 minute animation needing made in 6 weeks unless it was limited animation and we realised that wouldn’t be very effected for the ideas and imagery we wished to create.
In week two we needed to get our heads down and get a solid idea down and get to work with it. We liked the idea of judgement and how it affects people mentally and physically which is were schizophrenia came back into the picture. As Niamh from our team is a model we decided to focus on the life of a model. Megan came up with the idea of Niamh having a doppelgänger. We started sketching out rough storyboard ideas and specific shots we envisioned.
Monday of week 4 something great happened. Megan came in with an animatic created of how she envisioned the story, we fell in love and tweaked and worked it from there. We created the story of a young model who gets a letter in the post informing her she got a fantastic modelling job. She goes to the job feeling ecstatic and begins posing, the interviewer says she’s not good enough for it anymore. When Niamh turns around her face is awfully disfigured and wounded, to a horrifying extent. In the film we will begin to hear voices and thoughts running through her head from her doppelgänger ‘your a disgrace’ ‘did you eat today? i hope you didn’t’ ‘they aren’t laughing with you, they’re laughing at you.’ etc. The character turns to alcohol and in a moving scene draws pre surgery lines on her face describing the major alterations she feels she needs to make. She passes out drunk on her bed and when she rolls over to face the camera in her sleep we will see her face cut up and wounded once more. This sort of thing will continue in the film and the haunting voices in her head will get worse and worse until she cant take it anymore, grabs a scalpel and rips apart her face, she will scream more as the voices get louder and more over bearing and the film will end.
We began shooting by the end of this week.
Week 5 we spent a lot of time filming and began basic editing and searching for the correct sounds needed for the film.
The end is near! We worked our butts off this week editing and reshooting very early in the week with shots that hadn’t looked right when we saw them edited together. Early today we had what we thought a good finished film, but i feel we had gotten to engulfed in the work load that we couldn’t judge the film anymore like someone who had never seen it before and couldn’t understand what was easy to read and what was confusing. We got some outsiders perspective from Andrew of second year and Mike, one of our tutors. Andrew was honest as we had asked him to be and explained that he didn’t really understand Megan’s part in the film as the stalker/ghost/doppelganger. We quickly edited her scenes to make Megan appear ghost like and it worked very successfully.
Mike was even more critical and explained that he couldn’t understand or read a lot of it and that the sound we had worked on wasn’t working well. Since we were focusing on schizophrenia we decided to bring in even more voices representing the thoughts in Niamhs head. We spent all evening in uni fixing these problems, we didnt leave until after 8pm but i feel we have majorly fixed our problem. With our deadline in the morning, im glad we got the positive criticism today and got things sorted out.
I thoroughly enjoyed this project although it did have some exhaustingly long days especially when shooting. I wont lie, i’m glad its all over, but i did enjoy the project. If we were to do it again i would have asked for the criticism we got much earlier in the project and more often as it really pushed our film in the best direction possible.