20 June 2010

Animatic - Version 19


This is version 19 of the animatic.
A larger version of the Animatic can also be seen on my website: http://www.sapphiredragonstudios.com/artpages/g1.html

I have made some major changes to the film based off of several alternate versions of the script/storyboards and critiques. The main differences include:

1. Cain searching for the Crystalin is a newer addition, though not completely new. This is meant to show that Cain doesn't know where the place is, or what state it is in. He is concerned and urgent. This also includes the cat in the story more thoroughly, as the cat becomes the camera transition from Cain to Cyrus.

2. Cyrus' entrance is completely different. The first shot is meant for two purposes - to show that Cyrus is looking for something, and to show that he has empathy. Also, I used this scene to address the complaint that Cyrus seemed too angry from the beginning. In this shot, he's annoyed but not yet angry, and his primary focus is looking for his cat.

3. Cyrus' Point Of View shots have been added throughout the film. These are to better establish his empathy. It will use a combination of animation (in the establishing POV shot where you look into/through his eyes the bystander's mouths will not be moving), color (each person may have an aura) and sound (the thoughts will have reverb)

4. Cain Transitions - There are two short shots of Cain in between Cyrus' scenes. They are both meant to show passage of time, establish that Cain is still looking for the Crystalin, that he is polite (weaving between people instead of mowing them down) and that his search is becoming more and more urgent.

5. Watermelon scene. This is meant to be the bridge between Cyrus simply being annoyed and looking for the cat, and Cyrus being angry, in pain and searching for the cat more urgently. The watermelon salesman and his wife will be both talking and thinking, and with two separate strong emotions (the salesman is angry while the wife is frightened).

6. Cyrus' Build Up/Crowd Scene. This shot is meant for several purposes: To show that Cyrus is becoming more and more agitated/overwhelmed and his search is becoming more and more ridiculous. Also, it isn't added yet, but the bystander thoughts will also be at a hum, getting possibly louder and louder. It comes to a head when he hears someone thinking a stupid question and he barks out a snarky answer. When it draws everyone's attention, he gets overwhelmed.

7. Cain/Cyrus Collision, or lack thereof - They also no longer physically collide. Instead, they stop right before the collision. This was done for a few reasons - 1) Humor/Unexpected 2) Establishes that Cyrus' anger is not because they ran into each other physically 3) I've tried several versions of their collision and it just wasn't something that could animate well. I ran into problems with how it would look/what angle and this version just seems to work better.

8. The Argument - The prior shots and this one are used together to fix the problem of Cyrus' motivation for the fight. Instead of being angry at Cain specifically, he is merely focusing his anger of the entire situation and of all people onto Cain. This is emphasized in some of the newer dialogue (Cyrus referring to Cain as "You people!") Also, in the older versions Cain seemed too calm and appeasing so some of his dialogue has been adjusted to add more confusion ("You people?"), more anger ("What do you think you're doing?!") and a little more snark.
- I'm still playing with some of the dialogue in this part, particularly with Cyrus' answer to "What do you think you're doing?!"
- Some suggestions for his possible answers have been: "Screw you!" (too directly angry. I'd picture him answering with more snark), "Shut up.. just shut up!" (In character, but possibly too out of control for this situation), "Kicking your ass." (Has the snark but I'm trying to avoid expletives and "Kicking Your Butt" just wouldn't sound right), "Your sister" (Cyrus doesn't do sexual humor), "I'm looking for something important" (Humorous because he says this right before attacking Cain, and apparently not looking for something at that moment. It's what I'm using now, but I've had the argument that it's too passive - that he wouldn't give Cain the dignity of answering his question.), "That's of no concern to you." (Snarky/confrontational but considering that he's being asked why is he's attacking Cain, it's a strange answer), "You want something to worry about, I'll give you something to worry about!" (I like this one, too.) Any other suggestions would be great because I'm far from the master of dialogue.

9. The Fight - The fight now starts during the argument, and has been shortened to both accomodate the extra time that was given to the introductory town scenes, and to give a higher sense of urgency.

10. Fire Inside the Crystalin - I've changed the shots and pacing for the Crystalin scene. Cain no longer drops his sword and there's much less of a delay before he goes in for the attack. This version hopefully shows a greater sense of urgency. I will likely add a few quick shots of bystanders reacting to the fire.

11. Final Fight - I've added a Cyrus POV shots during their final clash, when he's getting pinned to the table. Through his eyes, I plan to make Cain's aura look distorted and monstrous to help emphasize that Cain is almost causing his own vision to happen. When Cain backs off and sees what he's almost done, I've tweaked the flashbacks and extended the music so it stops after the flashbacks are done.

12. Ending - I'm still playing with the final camera angles, but in this version, Cyrus reacts more quickly to the cat, saying "There you are!" right away. Cain is more incredulous ("What?!") and Cyrus simply ignores him.

Overall: The main changes I made to the film were meant to address three major arguments: Cyrus' empathy/motives overall not being clear, Cain and Cyrus' motivation for the fight and their motivation for stopping the fight. I addressed this by:
Introducing the cat much earlier
Showing that Cyrus is looking for something much earlier, spending more time building up Cyrus' anger so that it could have time to reach a boiling point by the time he collides with Cain.
Making Cain more urgent and more emotive. The sacrifice was making him less passive/less polite, but I think he still comes across as polite and sincere.
Cyrus fights with Cain because he loses his temper and is taking out his frustration on him.
Cain fights with Cyrus both because he is defending himself, and because he sees the scythe and considers Cyrus responsible for the fire he sees in his vision.
Cyrus stops fighting both because he technically lost and because he was reminded of his objective when the cat comes in.
Cain stops fighting because he realizes he's going to far and that through his own actions he's causing the vision to happen.

Also, I've been adding some humorous elements to the film, mostly in character quirkiness. The earlier versions were being too serious. The main story that this pilot is based off of is serious, but also has a mixture of comedy, and that aspect wasn't showing in the film as much up until now.

Ultimately, though there are still fine tune adjustments to be made, I think the pace and overall flow of the story is finally ready for production!

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