Two years later and my journey is complete… almost.
Graduation is on Jan 16th, 2010. And There’s still the short to finish.
I’m 50% done. many scenes are in layout,blocking, blocking+,refining, and only a few have received polish. it’s at 2:20 seconds right now, but I plan on cutting some of the slow stuff at the beginning.
Scoring the short:
So I put an ad on craigslist looking for someone to score my film with some Hawaiian music. Something simple – just a ukulele and a steel guitar. Of the hundreds of responses, there were some awesome candidates (sorry for not picking one of you guys), a lot of unqualified responses, a robot, and one supreme jackass who recorded some bad generic Hawaiian music, then tried to force me to buy it-without talking to me, without any direction, without my approval to begin work… He used a crappy synth to generate some lame 3 chord Hawaiian music with overdone drums and nothing flowed.Then threatened to sue me if I used it without paying.
So laying in bed shortly after this hilarious incident, I decided to pull it off myself with a ukulele! So I went and bought a tenor ukulele and started strumming. I’m hooked! This thing is so much fun to play. I’ve only had it about three weeks, but I can sing and play at the same time very easily. I’ve never been able to do that with any other instrument (I play bass, and used to play trumpet)! I’ve been learning a bunch of Beatles tunes to practice chords. I am addicted to it.
The best part is the sound will be exactly what I’m willing to settle for. I’m a control freak.
Why? Because DVD doesn’t have the resolution to do this film justice!
I recently watched Sleeping Beauty on blu-ray and it’s magnificent in it’s originally 1:2.85 dimensions. I don’t care if the colors don’t match the colors of the original 70mm print 100% or not. I know — blasphemy. Some have done comparisons in their reviews, but the color was amazing regardless. It’s truly dazzling. I also think this is better than the DVD because DVD doesn’t have enough resolution to show all the detail in the the backgrounds. and if you letterboxed a DVD to match the original dimensions, you would lose even more. But wait… there’s more. BACKGROUNDS: Eyvind Earle was the production designer and background painter on this film. His website has a great quicktime with him narrating his life story:http://www.eyvindearle.com/video_my_life.aspx watching it I discovered I share the same birthday as Earle’s mother. She was a concert pianist. — September 21st!
This was the first time Walt had put someone in charge of the whole look of the entire movie. Ironically, Earle had applied to Disney 10 years earlier and was not hired.There is a lot to put here about Eyvind Earle. He passed away in 2000 at 84 years of age but his work is even better toward the end of his life. but I’ll tell you…
How do I know all this trivia? Because of a great blu-ray feature called, Cine-Explore. it’s like a commentary, but with video inserts. John Lasseter,Andreas Deja, and Leonard Maltin explain all the ins and outs of this movie with never-before-seen documentary film and images from the Disney archives.. Lasseter and Deja both work/ed at Disney as animators and knew many of the animators who worked on this film. Deja lived a few doors down from one of Disney’s favorite voice actresses, the one who voiced the Malificent (Lady Tremaine in Cinderella), Eleanor Audley and she told him stories about how she first declined the role because of health concerns… etc.
In the Bob Thomas book, The History of Disney Animation, he only had a small 1 pager on Sleeping Beauty and how it was a financial debacle at 6 years and $6million to make. And considered a flop. Very little was discussed about the film in terms of the animation process. Sleeping Beauty was the last hand-inked film they made. Would you believe it took a whole day to ink a single frame?!? That’s why after Sleeping Beauty they went to the Xerox method, see 101 Dalmations. So this blu-ray was a wonderful historical peek into what I think was the most beautiful of the classic Disney masterpieces.
Everything I put in this post is in the Cine-Explore commentary. Just go get the blu-ray and watch it! Especially if you’re an animation geek like me.
Dean Wellins came to IMD to talk to the animators about story. He was co-directing Rapunzel recently and now is working on a short at Disney in Burbank. There were a few technical difficulties, but he winged it until we got the visuals working. He had some great lines about story like “Its about strong personalities and their traits or idiosyncrasies causing conflict”, “very few, if any, movies exist where the main character didn’t have a strong personality.” I can think of a Cohen brother’s film starring Billy Bob Thornton that comes very close, but I think he’s right.
He showed some clips from Road to Perdition and Amadeus that he thought were brilliant ways to introduce a character or show a character discovering something. From Amadeus he showed the scene where Salieri first meets Mozart as a womanizing lowlife that can speak backwards and how the truck into Salieri’s facial expression when he realizes ‘this is Mozart!?!’ was the perfect cap to the scene.
The Road to Perdition scenes were about the little boy discovering his dad is a killer for the mob by 1. seeing a gun and 2.witnessing a murder. He also showed the editing in the warehouse murder scene…how the pacing increases as if the heartbeat of the boy is accelerating. then during the first murder of some gangster it’s in slow motion and then we hear him take in a breath.
In all I wish we could have had him for about 3-4 hours. I think it’s very important for animators and filmmakers to think ’story’ all the time. I never received any good lectures at San Francisco State about story. wished I did….
I wish to thank Jimmy Almeida (AnimationMentor Alumni) and Oz Gani (Animator at IMD) for helping me out with filming some reference footage. I edited together the best bits IMHO. here they are. let me know what you think. the comments section is turned off so you’ll have to email me.
My only concern is that now it’s getting a bit longer… by about 20 seconds.
Now that A Christmas Carol is done, I can spend more time doing my final piece for AM!
just to keep in standing with other students at the school, I’ll post my stuff, but if you steal it, I friggen kill you. seriously. I will kill you. I watch Dexter; I know how to do it right. I would love feedback. but the comments section always ends up with spam so just email me some comments using the contact form.
Here is the layout stage as it stands now. the music is just stand-in for mood. I’m still looking for the Hawaiian themed music for each section:
I’m finally finished with my part in Disney’s Christmas Carol starring Jim Carrey. It’s going to be a great film.
I’m gathering my wits and hitting the gym trying to recoup. I start my final term at AM on Sept 28th. I have my short film layed out, but haven’t blocked much yet. I will be playing catchup as always.
As for Carol, it looks great! I think it’s going to be a great film. I was kinda weirded out to see the trailer in front of Inglorious Basterds, but at least my friends to to see what it was I’ve spent the last two years of my life on.
He was presenting a friend’s film, “Something’s Gonna Live“, at a special Pixar screening. Afterward we sat in the cafeteria at Pixar and talked silent film, Technicolor history, production design, the pressures of cost-cutting at animation studios, etc. Great guy. He gave us the standard tour, but his years of experience at Pixar meant he had insider stories — they were fascinating.