18 May 2009

Old things unforgotten- A Post Graduation Chapter

So while I was preparing to move on (getting everything and anything not final quicktime of thesis out of sight and in storage) and unpack from all things SVA (as I just moved back to my hometown) I found some dated but notable thesis stuff...and even though they were all thrown in the chopping block at some point and one upped by other great contenders, I thought it'd be nice to share of what could've been had it not been for those many other great background choices.

note: image then below comments

HAND-MADE DRAWINGS---- distant lane of memory 

 COFFEE AND MORNINGS-  watercolors (I painted this in the evening too)

SPLASH-  watercolor with fan brush (I thought of 4th of July while I painted this)

COLOR WITH SCRIBBLES-  crayola all the way
(I LOVE this by the way. This is essentially me right here..the other visually...plus the best part of this piece is that I started this out as a spontaneous scratch pad until I decided to have fun halfway and create this.) 

LEAFY- brush pen (fun fact-I ended up using real leaves instead with the kid)

POLLEN ATTACK (1 and 2)- watercolor markers, ink.
(Of course this would've been the worst thing in the world for me..as the pollen hates me and I hate pollen...literally a living hell to live in these two drawings)
** All these drawings above didn't make it to the final product because my focus tended to stroll off to the real customized portions of the film and I basically just let my natural instincts take auto pilot halfway through because I wanted my film to turn out the way it wanted to turn out and let out any creative impulses that wanted out in my brain and on to visibility. 

I really just had way too much fun in the gathering process (pre-production related) and had an excess of both drawings and real elements for background materials. 

REAL ELEMENTS---- recent lane of memory

STICK-Y GUM CHECKERS-  2 sticks of trident gum on repeat 
(which I chewed A LOT of during crunch time)
***reason for the chopping block --somehow something didn't quite work out during the zoom out process so I had to use pink parchment instead (in the beginning with the green clovers)

SPITBALL MACHINE-  red bendy straws, crumpled newsprint paper and those wrapping papers you get with new shoes inside the shoeboxes
***reason for the chopping block --never was a contender...I created this because I was under a lot of thesis stress and who doesn't want a spitball machine to kill time with..

ASSORTMENT OF TINY JEWELS and MISC- pale green bg, different sets of :3 starlets, 6 ringlets, 2 buttons, 1 bead 
***reason for the chopping block --too much was going on for a bg scene I had in mind.

MINTY BG- started out with the classic green and red ones (with and without wrappers)
***reason for the chopping block --it was this or take out the pinwheel scene.

GUMMY WORMS- scanned whole and in half
***reason for the chopping block --none...it was hidden in one of my folders.. if it wasn't I would've used it for a transition scene


Now to get professional and somehow squeeze in with the real world crowd since thesis memory lane and college cushion of student status is almost over (almost because...I'm not fully unpacked from the college dorm life yet and I have piles and piles of boxes to go through so I think I'm going to say that it's a liable reason right now)

For some reason I don't have that same drive I had the past few summers with finding work. I just feel like waking up late...eating..and then facebooking all day until I fall asleep --- me being real. Usually I'm very diligent and eager to scavenge for work and engage myself in something, even more so in the summer. I blame the economy and the year long thesis process that just made my brain flip the off switch for a while along with my determination for anything. Hopefully by next week I'll be myself again. 

Oh and shorter posts...keeping it sweeter.

12 May 2009

A post!

A post that mentions my thesis film that screened at the 20th Dusty Animation Festival, along with many other very very very talented animators (I'm not even sure how I got to be on this guy's favorites list actually...but I'm just glad someone enjoyed my film enough to mention it)

And one of the many transition background contenders (back in the preliminary stages) for Clovered...

"Of mushroom, plants and allergies"
(watercolor, ink)

11 May 2009

2009 SVA THESIS FILM! CLOVERED! (HQ looks pretty sweet with this)


So I'm SUPER happy that my film is actually finished and in one piece. I never thought to see the day when I would finish my thesis film, see it on the big screen along with everyone in the audience at the 20th Dusty Film & Animation Festival (with a pretty dress and shoes other than crocs on) and live to tell the tale a few days before graduating SVA. It's still unbelievably amazing to me and don't really get how everything just turned out the way it was meant to turn out without me having this realization from the start (if that made any sense). I think I really took it to heart what one of the guest speakers in Dave Levy's Animation Careers class, Richard Gorey, said about letting your film turn out the way that it wants to towards the last few classes.


So the plot has changed at least 70 percent of what it first started out as but it was really worth the change. I think my final change with the story and aspects of the film was mid-January, a week or so after the winter break ended at SVA. I really thought I wasn't going to finish this film in time for the Dustys because I had changed at least 50-60 percent of my story during this break (this included the idea of making the clover red hence the title 'Clovered' = clover + red - r ) 
But the core idea of the kid encountering a four leaf clover with some negative force out to destroy it (potential chase scenes) with a greedy girl as the third party remained the same all throughout the few months of little by little drastic changes. Obviously those were really solid things because they never sifted off along with the rest of my original ideas during the changes.

There were lots of changes with characters which had an impact on many plot changes (elaborating on my previous blog posts earlier in the thesis story process)

First off all the kid with the clover was supposed to be friends with the greedy girl who was a clover-manic and liked/wanted only the prettiest things.....he actually goes up and shows this girl his discovery and the girl wanting this new pretty thing, distracts him with something scary in the distance while signaling to the scary thing to come towards the direction of the kid at the same time when his back his turned....eventually the kid is so frozen with fear that he doesn't even realize the girl stealing the 4-leaf clover behind his back and replacing it with a 3-leaf clover right there and then ...which results the kid running away from this scary thing without fully realizing what he was running away with...a 3-leaf clover

something scary in the distance ---> three bullies a.k.a triple negative force cloud monster (bullies are always a negative 'force' with a scary vibe/aura to the lowly victims) the three bullies essentially mesh into this negative force cloud thing during this chase scene with the kid due to them running really really fast to catch up to him and destroy his clover.  
They were clover haters and they had plans to destroy it with an anti-clover spray too (ended up cutting out because it felt really silly and not quite right with what I wanted to include)...which I got from my advisor, Matt Archambault, as he hated pesky clovers and somehow tried getting rid of most of them in his backyard at the time. 

Then slowly the changes happened...which started on a play on words/ideas on the word 'bully' ---> bully...bull-y...bull-like monster...bull-like monsters that obviously hates the color red and has a viable reason to hate and chase the kid when it is disturbed with a frenzy of REDS --> two clover monsters that are red and was chasing the kid in the first place because he "stole" their youngest friend of the three clover patch (so now the 4-leaf clover is red initially)

Of course by this time and far into the red clover development...the girl just gradually played off into the distance and ended up as a very minor character with little screen time whereas before she was one of the major ones that had a beginning intro all the way to the end...who, by the time the changes were made, seemed very appropriate to play those right place at the wrong time victims to make this story and film work and connect as a whole because I KNEW I wanted a change of situation somewhere to break off the chase scene cycle AND I knew I wanted to include the girl (because I liked that the girl essentially  represented my younger self --> I was a very mean sister to my younger brother --> who emulates the kid who finds this shiny new thing) Also little girls typically like any new pretty thing and gets greedy most of the time..even for a second.


1)  Lucky---> Ever changing story seemed to work around a central idea which didn't sacrifice all the previous work I've already done before any changes (character designs...few animation cycles...rough animatic to a point--when dealing with something to show for deadlines)

Unlucky--->  All the new bits I had to create and pretty much having to work with no real animatic until making all the new parts and having a mass animatic time waster on my hands for deadlines

2)  Lucky---> My backgrounds were essentially already or have been all colored because they were either mostly real live portions of actual things ( LOADS of candy..real clovers..other food assortments that the littler people like) or they were already made previously in the past during my free time or during my many procrastinating stages for when I was stressed with papers that I had to write for classes (watercolors)

Unlucky--->  I had to scavenge all around the city for certain potential background materials (including major kid central places like Toys R' Us and many candy shops) and piece backgrounds together from scratch which I think is way harder than just drawing the background and scanning in clean pieces of paper than having to scan way more objects/individual pieces (candy scanning was very tricky..to have it not melt on you during the process).

3) Lucky----> The music that I ended up choosing nonchalantly because it sounded peaceful and like the most generic cycle music ( I had given up hope at this point in the game) happened to play out and fit my film the way that I wanted to the very very very last minute and was able to get copyright free music in the first place from opsound.org because I had run into a friend one day that happened to know where to hook up with those dilemmas. 

Unlucky---> I had MANY trials and errors in finding that PERFECT song..the one you know that's the one as soon as you hear it. I had to rely on my gut feeling with the sound on this film because I just never made a film quite like this before with real elements in it which casted a very different feeling from the previous ones I've made. Half the time I had no idea what I was looking for so resulted in countless hours of just browsing through their archives of music/sounds...or stressing about it during After Effects/ compositing time when not spending time on the site still looking for that perfect music.

4) LUCKY---> LIVING AND NOT DYING... and graduating
      UNLUCKY---> LIVING AS A SHELL WITH NO SLEEP FOR MONTHS AND SOCIAL LIFE DYING...had to fearfully debate my way out of failing an elective class to graduate.

5) Lucky--> My dad is a Graphic Designer so I got professional feedback on my original Clovered postcard design for free after finishing my thesis film....then 900 Clovered postcards ...literally for free since he knows printing people. 
Unlucky---> Overload of postcards..I have to get rid of most of it.
     Lucky---> lots of people will get one.

6) Never found a green or a red four-leaf clover in my life.

I could go on forever with this but essentially all the stuff mentioned here is pretty much in the nutshell sense of things. Lots more to the original story to the now present story process but they might as well be associated with the bloopers fun facts now until I was asked about it more in depth in person. (this post is definitely way more in depth to people that aren't me)