Paul Mc Veigh Blog

The Story

Advertisements

THE BEGINNING.

As we brainstormed we came up with a general idea of a live action or animated Benji excited for bedtime (Unlike most kids). He carries a copy of the book “Wee onezies” under his arm as he climbs the stairs, we see plants grow our from the floor and ivy creeping down the walls, this being a symbol of his imagination beginning to grow.

HOW DOES HE GET TO THE OTHER WORLD?

  1. As Benji enters his bedroom, his room has become overgrown with vegetation and elements of magic. We see the source of the growth coming from his wardrobe and along the wall, showing that this is the source from where the vegetation is coming from. As he hops into bed he pulls the covers over himself and turns on his torch, the viewer experiences a flash of light and Benji is now a 3D cartoon character. After he transforms into an animated character, he hears a giggle and see’s a tail made of fabric attached to something run into the wardrobe, as he follows it and opens the door he sees a forest.
  2. As he hops into bed he pulls the covers over himself and turns on his torch, the viewer experiences a flash of light and Benji is now a 3D cartoon character. He hears birds and wind ruffles the duvet over him, as he pears out through a small hole he sees a beautiful forest (live action).

HOW DOES THIS CONCLUDE?

  1. Benji is in the forest exploring his surroundings until he notices a figure peering from behind a tree. The figure knowing he’s been spotted, runs away and Benji follows him, skipping over lakes and beautiful surroundings. Until finally we come to a group of Dark Hedges and Benji finds the person he was chasing to be a scared dragon named Dexter. Benji notices Dexter is shy and afraid, so welcomes him as a friend which results in Dexter showing Benji his world of the beautiful Dark Hedges in the evening sky.
  2.  As he comes to a clearing he peers through a bush, to his amazement he sees that he has been chasing other Onesie characters in different costumes. They all exist in their own environments or homes that he has created from his imagination. We fade out after seeing his expression of wonder and excitement.

 

The Story Changed…..AGAIN!

Start (Full Animation)

He gets into bed a read’s his book.  Falls asleep.  From behind his cupboard there is a beaming flash of light and shrubbery begins to grow from the sides of the cupboard along his walls.  He wakes up and see’s his bedroom now transformed.  He opens the cupboard, to reveal a forrest behind.  Curious he climbs through his cupboard.

Middle (Character CGI, live Forest)

He is now in the forrest. he is amazed and looks around at his surroundings.  He then hears a noise and decides to investigate.  As he walks off the screen, we see either 1) Another onzie character op his head out from behind a bush or 2) A magical colourful flower growing in the grass.

We then go back to our character (Benji) as he follows the source of the sound (we may see a wing going around the corner of a bush).  Along the way he see’s magical and beautiful things (i.e. flowers growing, mushrooms growing, a waterfall as he skips along the stepping stones).  All along the way, we see small heads of other onezies popping out, initially they are frightened of whatever is creating the sound, but then they are curious as to who this person is that is chasing after it.

End

Until finally, he pushes away bushes to reveal Dexter, the Dragon.  Everyone thought he was some scary dragon monster, but infact he was just a lonely onezie who wanted to have friends and be loved.  It then ends as they reach out their hands together, to show a sense of friendship.

Story – Pixar Theory

So this is our story place into the Pixar story theory process:

Once upon a Time there was a small child who loved reading

Everyday he went to bed at night looking forward to reading his book (Room will be full animation)

One day while reading under his covers, forest starts to creep in through his wardrobe.  He comes out from under his covers to investigates.

Because of that he opened his cupboard and was transported into a fantasy world (live action forest with elements of animation making it look magical, character will still be animated)

Because of that he explores the fantasy world

Until finally he discovers another child in a dragon onezie who is hiding.

Story Inspirations

The Lost Boys are Peter’s companions in Neverland, and he is their leader. As pre-teen boys lacking any adult supervision, they are often ill-behaved, and enjoy the freedom their wild lifestyle offers, but they usually have a hidden (or not-so-hidden) desire for a “mother” (even when they don’t know exactly what those are).

A nice story (where they are all wearing onesie type pyjama’s).

Pixar Story Rules

Pixar story artist Emma Coats has tweeted a series of “story basics” over the past month and a half — guidelines that she learned from her more senior colleagues on how to create appealing stories:

#1: You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.

#2: You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be v. different.

#3: Trying for theme is important, but you won’t see what the story is actually about til you’re at the end of it. Now rewrite.

#4: Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.

#5: Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You’ll feel like you’re losing valuable stuff but it sets you free.

#6: What is your character good at, comfortable with? Throw the polar opposite at them. Challenge them. How do they deal?

#7: Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.

#8: Finish your story, let go even if it’s not perfect. In an ideal world you have both, but move on. Do better next time.

#9: When you’re stuck, make a list of what WOULDN’T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.

#10: Pull apart the stories you like. What you like in them is a part of you; you’ve got to recognize it before you can use it.

#11: Putting it on paper lets you start fixing it. If it stays in your head, a perfect idea, you’ll never share it with anyone.

#12: Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.

#13: Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it’s poison to the audience.

#14: Why must you tell THIS story? What’s the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That’s the heart of it.

#15: If you were your character, in this situation, how would you feel? Honesty lends credibility to unbelievable situations.

#16: What are the stakes? Give us reason to root for the character. What happens if they don’t succeed? Stack the odds against.

#17: No work is ever wasted. If it’s not working, let go and move on – it’ll come back around to be useful later.

#18: You have to know yourself: the difference between doing your best & fussing. Story is testing, not refining.

#19: Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.

#20: Exercise: take the building blocks of a movie you dislike. How d’you rearrange them into what you DO like?

#21: You gotta identify with your situation/characters, can’t just write ‘cool’. What would make YOU act that way?

#22: What’s the essence of your story? Most economical telling of it? If you know that, you can build out from there.

Gruffalo’s Child

I love this piece!!! It has such a lovely and touching story to it (I wish we had a few thousand pound to create our own sets and have beautifully lit lights!)

 

The Story changed……Again

Ok so we have changed the story again, but it is for the better.

Going by the feedback we have been given, people thought that our original idea was to similar to our Ember Lab inspiration and also our RTE piece.

So the story has changed again.

Basically we stripped away about 30 seconds of our original piece so that it will come to around 1.30 seconds and the other 30 seconds, we are going to create a teaser trailer, similar to the Toy Story 2 piece below.

It is simply done with just a white background, but it is effective.

This is the story boards we came up with, Lauren and Cricky are drawing them up properly over the weekend.

The story will be explained in a later post with the proper storyboards.

Story/Research

So the story has been changed…..again again.  This is the part of a project that i hate.  Waiting around waiting for the right story, however I have been able to go ahead and build some assets, such as the bedroom.

Conann spoke to us yesterday about going further into the story, yes we have a nice story idea, but it doesn’t mean anything. We aren’t using our imagination, we are playing safe. The escapism/ safe place idea is one that we like but we are not sure if we want the purpose of our animation to be highlighting real world issues as that could be very heavy for a child’s TV show. We like the idea of keeping it light and fun and whimsical.

Lauren found this lovely piece which is quite powerful and almost chilling to watch. All of these are my own perceptions of the animation as there is no narration or dialogue. I think this is another good example of how we need to think about what we want the viewer to feel and what we need to do to achieve this.

Lauren found a really useful resource called Kidscreen Global Pitch Guide, it is a brief overview of what each of the big networks are looking for and who to contact with a pitch. She found the latest version of this guide for 2015 and summarised it focusing on only the networks that would be relevant to us if we were to pitch. They also are interested in new and exciting animation styles and ways of telling traditional stories. Lastly attention to music/sound is also important and something often overlooked.

What makes a good TV series aimed to delight and entertain children? Wee Onesies has the imagery to become a potential TV series, but for a 2 minute final year project how do we go about this?

Kids TV Shows with groups

Conann said that we are playing it to safe with just 2 characters, especially when there is a lot of them.  Why not have maybe 6/7?

What other kids tv programs is there that also have large groups?

The FINAL Story!

So the story has been changed again, and we now feel that we have it nailed on the head.  Lauren came up with the ‘idea’, but to do so, she combined all of our idea’s together into a lovely piece which will be approximately 2 minutes or just over.

Andrew found this beautiful piece for the ‘Fedex’, which was based around an enchanted forest.  It is lovely and something similar to what we are trying to achieve.

Source of Info: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIuL6seeQ-4

However, this piece really is driven by the extra ‘stuff’ in the forrest’. We dont want the forrest to be magical, we want the story to be driven by the character’s as opposed to the magical forrest!

Lauren then came up with a lovely story which is what we are aiming for – a character driven story.

The story she came up with is below. If we were to settle for this story we would only have three environments which would allow us to get into nice detail on them. It would also mean we would have nice challenges with the character animation trying to show each of their personalities in their actions.

The map in the story which appears when they are moving between areas in the forest would lend itself to a TV series because in my head different parts of the forest or surrounding area could be added to the map each time.

Story idea

The ordinary world: Benji is at home in room (bedtime routine 3D animated)

The call to adventure: Benji hears a noise outside his bed canopy which makes him get up and leave the tent around his bed.

Refusal: When he gets outside his tent he is a forest, it is getting dark and we hear / see he hedge rustle and sounds of feet. We can see Benji scared he cowers down looking around him.

Mentor Helper: An owl swoops down from a tree (kid in owl onesie) and we see Benji jump and push himself backwards a little. The owl walks closer curious to see who Benji is. He flaps his wings and lots of little butterflies fly out one landing on Benji’s nose which makes him laugh.

Crossing the Threshold: Benj allows the owl to help him

Test/Allies/Enemies: As they begin to walk into the forest they find a shiny shell lying on the ground which they lift and look at and then put in the owls satchel. The owl takes benji to a clearing where a lot of little onesie characters are sitting around a camp fire and doing various things according to their character. (playing music, playing games, dancing etc.) The owl leads Benji over to the Bee Onezie who is reading, they show the Bee Onezie the sea shell and a rolled up map appears in the bee’s hand which he hands to the owl.

Approach: Together they set of into the forest to return the sea shell and find out who was in the bushes. [close up of a 2D map tracks there way through forest- Different parts of the map could be filled in each episode]

Ordeal: They are at the river edge where they skip across the stepping stones and finally find a small empty beach. The owl starts to play in the sand. Benji however notices footprints are marked across the sand which he starts following until they come to a bush which is moving slightly.

Reward: Benji moves back the hedge and see’s a little dragon onesie cowering inside. Benji holds out the shell to the dragon and he smiles and comes out of the bushes.

Road Back: As they start to walk across the beach the owl jumps out from behind a sandcastle he has built on the sand. [looks funny to Benji but scares the dragon] This scares the dragon and he reverts back into the bushes. The Owl Onezie realises what he has done wrong and turns to Benji to work out what he should do to make him come out again. The owl perks up as he has had an idea. He waves his arms and lots of candy falls out of the sky into a pile on ground (could be something else that falls or appears)  in the clearing convincing the dragon to come back out. They all smile and continue the journey home. [We see the 2D map again track the journey back to the clearing]

Atonement: Benji the Owl and the Dragon walk back into the clearing Benji then sits down with the other onesies around the fire.

Return: The camera cuts and we see him back in his bed again in his room with a shiny shell sitting on his bed.

We then discussed this idea on Wednesday and we all agreed on it.  Conann showed us the ‘Hero’s Journey’ cirlce and we placed this idea within that circle and we feel hat it fits really well.

We intend on making more than 2 characters, infact we are aiming for around 7 characters.  There will be 3 main characters with a couple extra pieces, such as the shell.

We have done quick storyboards (which Andrew is in the middle of drawing up, nicely). But at the moment, we have 40 shots planned, which will be cut down to around 35 shots.  That is a lot of animating and compositing, but it is very achievable.  One of our biggest challenges will be modelling and rigging the 7 characters.

Characters:

Benji, Dexter, Owl, Onezie #1, Onezie #2, Onezie #3, Onezie #4.

On RTE we used the pixar story theory, which goes as follows

  1. Once upon a time
  2. Everyday
  3. One day
  4. Because of that
  5. Because of that
  6. Until Finally

This is the same idea we are going to go with for this project.

Source of Info: http://pixar-animation.weebly.com/uploads/8/7/6/3/8763219/1564717_orig.jpg

Source of Info: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vABa7mZHpq4

Source of Info: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VbOLGJZNWk

Source of Info : https://vimeo.com/59230893

Source of Info: https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/hi/P1CBlog20132014-LochardilPrimarySchool/files/2014/05/Magic_roundabout.jpg

Source of Info: https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=clangers&espv=2&biw=1506&bih=985&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjev9L79urKAhVJtRQKHQ1sDHQQ_AUIBygC#imgrc=3t_K_V9NmwTRaM%3A

Source of info: http://thewritepractice.com/once-upon-a-time-pixar-prompt/

 

Advertisements