07 February 2009

Eamail between Phil and me, trying to sort out my direction for major project.

Sounds as if the juices are flowing nicely; but keep your creative focus; remember, you are looking for material that has environments etc. that encompass contrast and distinctive styles so you can demonstrate your ability to adapt; look for set-pieces/money-shots - organic vs. man-made environments - environments with strong colour identities/textures; essentially, opportunities for you to impress; do you know Gormanghast by Mervyn Peake - check out the first part of the trilogy, Titus Groan - it is full of the most wonderful descriptions of incredible rooms and interiors; the beeb did an adaptation a few years back with Jonathon Rhys-Meyers, but it's never been a movie... Peake did a few illustrations of his own, but it's rich, deep and very dark - you should take a look...

In regard to the 'show and tell session' - we've got your three environment films, but you might want to put together some kind of presentation that shows your process and creative development - from the story that informed it, to the process thereafter...

Thanks Phil,

I have digested what you kindly pointed out, i don't know why i have the urge to work from the ground up, i think it might be an attempt to create a new story, and i guess not that very post modern.

So with a fresh burst of energy have come up one story to transcribe. its by H.G.Wells and its called The Sleeper Awakes, I can assume you know it if not abrief wiki synopsis follows:

The Sleeper Awakes
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from When The Sleeper Wakes)
Jump to: navigation, search
The Sleeper Awakes (1910) is a dystopian novel by H. G. Wells about a man who sleeps for two hundred and three years, waking up in a completely transformed London, where, because of compound interest on his bank accounts, he has become the richest man in the world. A fanatical socialist and author of prophetic writings, the main character awakes to see his dreams realized, and the future revealed to him in all its horrors and malformities.
The novel, originally published as When the Sleeper Wakes in 1899, was re-written in 1910, its original form having proved unsatisfying for Wells. "Like most of my earlier work", says Wells, "it was written under considerable pressure; there are marks of haste not only in the writing of the latter part, but in the very construction of the story".

[edit] Synopsis
The story follows the fortunes of a late nineteenth century Englishman identified only as Graham. After a struggle with a highly unusual case of insomnia, Graham falls into a strange coma referred to by Wells as a "trance." He awakens two hundred years later to find that he has inherited sizeable wealth. During that time, his money was put into a trust which managed Graham's money in his name. Over the years, the members of that trust used Graham's unprecedented wealth to establish a vast political and economic order that spans the entire world.
Upon first awakening, Graham is extremely confused and suffers from severe culture shock. The individuals who had been charged with minding him during his sleep react to his awakening with surprise and alarm. No one had seriously expected Graham to ever arise from his slumber. Somehow, word spreads to the general populace that the sleeper has awakened. This leads to a great deal of distress among Graham's stewards which only increases when large mobs begin crowding around the building housing Graham. They shout and chant demands to see the fabled sleeper.
All of this confuses Graham and his naturally inquisitive nature is compelled to ask questions of everyone in sight. The people around him are reluctant to give him answers and act in a very evasive manner. They only explain that the society in which they live is beset by troubles, and elaborate no further. They keep Graham from leaving and insist that, for his own well-being, he stay in the quarters provided for him.
Graham is effectively under house arrest, able to understand the society of the future mainly through books and other media in his quarters and by what little information he can get from those allowed to see him. Eventually, he has a brief audience with the White Council, the trust that rules the world in Graham's name. He learns around this time that he is, by the order of things, the legal owner and master of the world. He also learns that a rebellious figure known as Ostrog seeks to overthrow this established order.
After returning to his quarters, Graham is liberated by individuals who identify themselves as agents of Ostrog. They briefly explain that the people of the world are preparing to stage a revolt against the White Council and require his leadership. Uncertain about their story but unwilling to remain a prisoner, Graham leaves with them.
After a perilous journey over the rooftops of future London and a mad flight from aeroplanes searching for him, Graham arrives at a massive hall where the workers and underprivileged classes have gathered to prepare for the revolution. It is at this time that Graham meets Lincoln, Ostrog's brother. Ostrog himself, Lincoln explains, is busy making the final preparations for the revolt. The assembled workers chant the Song of the Revolution and begin to march against the White Council. Graham is caught up in the mob, which soon engages in a battle with the state police.
In the ensuing confusion, Graham is separated from the revolutionaries and wanders the streets of London alone. London itself is in a panic as the revolt spreads across the world. The power is cut and order begins to dissolve as the fighting intensifies.
Eventually Graham makes his way to the mysterious figure of Ostrog, who explains to him that the revolution is a success. All that remains is to accept the surrender of the White Council, which appears to have been caught completely unprepared for the revolt.
Graham is hailed as the savior of the people and is nominally restored to his rightful place as master of the world. He is given comfortable quarters and his every pleasure is fulfilled on a whim. The governorship of society is left in Ostrog's hands. Graham contents himself with learning as much about this new world as he can. He especially takes an interest in aeroplanes and insists on learning how to operate the flying machines.
His carefree life soon comes to an end when a young woman named Helen Wotton explains that the people are suffering as badly under Ostrog as they did under the White Council. For the lower-class, the revolution has changed nothing. Inspired by Helen's words, Graham begins to ask Ostrog questions about the condition of the world. Ostrog admits that the lower-classes are still dominated and exploited but defends the system. It is clear that Ostrog has no desire to change anything, the revolution was merely an excuse to toss the White Council out and seize power himself, using Graham as a puppet.
After pressing Ostrog, Graham learns that, in other cities, the workers have continued to rebel even after the fall of the White Council. To suppress these insurrections, Ostrog has used African shock troops from Senegal and South Africa to get the workers back in line. Graham is furious to learn of this and demands that Ostrog keep the Africans out of London. Ostrog agrees and promises to help Graham assume direct control over the world's affairs. In the meanwhile, Graham decides to examine this new society for himself.
Graham and a valet travel through London in disguise and examine the daily life of the average worker. London is portrayed as a dehumanized, industrialized quagmire caught in perpetual darkness. The lower-classes are forced to work day and night in the factories, having nothing more to look forward to than some cheap amusements. As he examines this grim scene, Graham learns that Ostrog has ordered the African troops to London to disarm the remaining revolutionary workers.
The workers rise up once more and Graham makes his way back to Ostrog, who attempts to subdue Graham. With the help of the workers, Graham escapes Ostrog. He runs into Helen who, it is revealed, was the one who learned about Ostrog's treachery and made it public. With her by his side, Graham oversees the liberation of London from Ostrog.
Ostrog himself manages to narrowly escape London. He joins the air fleet carrying the African troops to London. While most of London is secure, Ostrog's men still hold a few staging areas that can be used as a rallying point for the African soldiers. The workers find antiaircraft guns Ostrog had built for his own use and intend to turn them against the African air fleet. However, they need time to set up the weapons. To delay the air fleet, Graham decides to fly the one remaining aeroplane in possession of the revolutionaries against Ostrog and his air force. He bids farewell to Helen and departs.
Over the skies of London, Graham uses his aeroplane as a battering ram to knock down several of the aeroplanes in Ostrog's fleet. Down below, the revolutionaries manage to get the antiaircraft guns in place and begin shooting down the air fleet. Graham successfully manages to take down Ostrog's personal aeroplane, causing it to crash in a fiery explosion. However, Graham's aeroplane is critically damaged in the process and he plummets to earth, confident in the knowledge that the people's revolution will triumph. As the story closes, Graham's fate is left uncertain.

In case this doesn't rock my world, i have also ordered Philip K Dicks The man in the High Castle and Neuromancer by William Gibson, I have read The man in the High Castle, and the disparity between Japanese occupied US and the German occupied side. Neuromancer was the first real cyberpunk novel.

in regards to your comment about being artier the missus laughed and made a comment about being tortured:)

Be warned though that somewhere in my work will be a bulldozer.

thanks again


Hey Big Fella :-)

Am loving the 'Simon's got a blog' thing; I think it's the perfect crucible by which a person might 'apprehend' themselves - and it's clear that a love of light is an ongoing preoccupation. What I want to say is please don't constrict yourself into 'job-type thoughts' - I know you feel the tick of time and responsibility more greatly than your peers and you NEED THIS TO WORK, but please - relax; this is your chance to create something valid in its own terms too - and if it's interesting, innovative, personal and new, then people will take notice of it. In some ways, I think you're artier than some of the others - and this is most certainly a strength.

okay - environment design/digital sets/concept art - these are all valid 'sectors' of the industry (and they are all heavily lighting-dependent); one project I'd like to see you attempt is a traditional one; you take an existing text - a classic sci-fi text - The Time Machine/20,000 Leagues Under the Sea/Journey to the Centre of the Earth/The First Men In The Moon - and you give it the deluxe treatment; a project that travels from deconstruction of the original text; production design (via concept art and digital illustration - lots of it, a cornucopia of it!), and exquisitely modelled, lit and render walk-thrus of key sets - in readiness for insertion in green screen process, for instance; you're producing the 'backdrops' for a new 300-style adaptation... done properly, a project like this becomes very quickly about pure design - fuck me, what a joy - to just play at magicking never-before-seen landscapes/interiors/machines/organisms into life! Done properly - done beautifully - a project like this could create the perfect platform for your skills - the ability to see worlds in your head and then bring them to life; check out Rene Laloux Fantastic Planet for an example of how intoxicating a 'total world' design can be - and also, how wonderfully idiosyncratic; a project like this doesn't preclude your portfolio from being film or games relevant, right? Don't be afraid of taking an existing work - it's what happens to scripts/screenplays all the time - indeed, it must happen for the words to become 'flesh'. My instincts tell me you should spend your energy, not on finding some conceptual construct that lets you make a project about environments - instead, choose a text - something rich, classic, vintage, timeless that lets you conceptualise environments, mood, lighting, ambience and atmosphere; imagine week 15 - five short, but perfect animations - pans across, through incredible looking scenes, and supporting them, five dense portfolios of developmental and pre-production artwork - what a sumptious submission. Simon, you are more than capable of accomplishing a first - you know that - but trust me on this one - don't over complicate the pursuit of solid platform by which to show your skills; put simply, it should be great fun, an utterly addictive experience for you, not some heavy, conscientious bind. Trust me - look to the worlds of others, then take them, and make them your own.
and you can add this to your blog too!

Drop me a line when you've digested this... look forward to talking with you more!
Hi again Phil

Right I have got myself a blog space thingy sorted, and I,ve already started putting stuff on there, most of it is completely random, however there is some of the visual stuff that I started for my idea. http://corvusdesigns.blogspot.com/
At the moment I am sort of having an identity crisis. I understand that this should be a personal project, however having had a finger or two in many pies (from a design point of view) my mix to draw from is probably a little eclectic. and to be honest I want to produce something that I can visually love.
I think i explained it to AP that i,ve got mist and black sorted and that I need to explore the light side of the force. Also I'm finding hard to see "what I'm good at" or what my strengths are..... this probably has more to do with the anxiety of actually finding a job.
OK got that off my chest check out the work i got so far on my blog, i'll think some more about what i want from a show reel, probably will be more concept art using 3D applications.
Dear Simon,

I'm really pleased you emailed, as I needed to contact you about monday 16th February... my first years are in the middle of a story-making/story-boarding project, and I want a selection of third years to present their minors to them on said day, at 10am onwards in the baseroom; put simply I want the third years to talk openly and honestly about their fifteen week experience - show the work, show the process, and offer salient advice; I would like you to be one of the third years; I've asked Emily, Luke, Sebastian, and I'll be asking Kadir also - are you up for it? Let me know...

In regard to your provisional ideas, I'm going to be super-honest and come right out and say that I'm under-whelmed; admittedly, not being able to discuss them face to face does mean I'm probably missing out on some of the finer points, but, in truth, I can't see how these project ideas play to your strengths; now I know you like genre-specific stuff - vampires, horror, moody, theatrical stuff - something born out from the successes of your minor project. In terms of context, some of the playstation/xbox advertisements have been incredibly dark - mini-films, in which reality is twisted, the human body is deformed etc. I have no problem either with you just making a short film 'for the hell of it' - plenty of cg artists do. How about you spend some time grouping your enthusiasms/obsessions together, and then grouping the outcomes you want together (i.e., what kind of showreel you want, and for whom); have a look at 'what you do' and what drives you - look at your preoccupations, be they aesthetic, or content-driven; do that as an exercise, and then send the results on to me... In some ways, this should be your most personal project to date - and by personal, I really mean representative... don't be discouraged either because I'm not leaping up and down yet. Also, check out this first year's blog - he's uploaded some fabulous cg animations that exist 'just because they're great!'


Look forward to hearing from you soon, best, Phil :-)

Hi Phil
Damn duplicitous weather, thwarting our meeting yesterday.

Any how I hope you are well, I don't know if you have spoke to Alan since our meeting on Tuesday last week.

If not I will fill you in on what we covered.

My initial idea was a series of 3 short clips (30 seconds ish). These featured stereotypes eg. Housewife, manual worker, Milwall (sp?) / England supporter performing tasks more related to the computer game world and out of character for their type. Housewife driving Gran Tourismo/ Ridge Racer style car, fat footie fan doing some free running I can assume you get the gist. Before the meeting with AP I thought that they may have needed to be some form of context so I considered an ad campaign for the Sony Playstation or its ilk.
However during our conversation AP pointed out that Sony has defined boundaries within which to work and these may prove to be restrictive, also when trying to portray this sort of escapism advertisers tend to move from the real world, live footage, to the game world with its CG footage. Seeing as I want to cover the bases of character animation, design and build etc I have decided to scrap the ad idea (I think). AP mentioned that it is acceptable to create a short film purely for films sake, so onto idea number 2.

Why to people play games? 1. The challenge 2. Competitiveness 3. Escapism

Many of the games people play are fast paced or adrenalin inducing in some way, basically they provide the opportunity to experience situations and explore subjects that are unattainable in real life.
However what would an individual who does performs outside the regular envelope escape too?
So finally to my second proper idea, a racing driver comes home in high Ridge Racer style car after a hard day earning millions. Before going out socialising with the fair and good he decides to escape from the fast pace of his "normal" life by playing his favourite game: Junkyard Dog. A nice slow paced game of sorting and ordering scrap metal with your bulldozer.
Thanks for taking the time to read my rambling, (if you did)J . Next instalment storyboards etc.
Hopefully we can meet up next week, was going to come in tomorrow but have to wait in for a new phone.

Cheers Simon


No comments:

Post a Comment