Sunday, 16 January 2011

Pre-Production starts NOW!!! aka 2 months ago!

Woah! I've been WAY behind on blogging so I better get my ass into shape and get going with showing everyone all my stuff!!

Sooooo for pre-production me and my buddy Joe O'Connor are working on a VFX action sequence together with aliens and soldiers and spaceships and explosions and everything!! We want a strong piece of music to contrast the war that's going on between the humans and the aliens. All the designs have been done, some may be tweaked a bit, and the final Animatic is ready ... but let's start from scratch shall we?

This is basically what Joe said on his blog. He's better with words so I'll just copy and paste most of it here as well since we are directing the same film:
"We were inspired a lot by the Halo Reach Advert 'Deliver Hope' and wanted to create a piece with a similar focus on atmosphere and mood. We want it to be epic and want to have a strong soundtrack to it, as this seems very important. Although we are focusing a lot on the mood and feel of the piece, we still need a narrative to give meaning to the visuals. We have made an animatic of our first draft of storyboards which I think gives a pretty good idea of what we are going for. We have chosen a piece of music that has inspired us but we will not use this in our final piece but I think it helps to set the scene. Bare in mind that no character designs have been done at this stage." - Joe O'C

Here's the Halo: Reach 'Deliver Hope' trailer we were inspired by, just to give you an idea of what we are going for with our film and to help visualise our animatics:

Here's what we came up with for our first animatic (mine are the crappy looking drawings ... Joe decided he wanted to make his look amazing for even the first animatic, so now you can tell who did which ... I reckon he was just trying to make me look bad haha!):

VFX Animatic 01 from Aled Matthews on Vimeo.

Quick explanation of story:
First shots show some establishing shots to give an idea of what's going on, but not showing too much so we can build some tension/atmosphere. A war is going on between humans and aliens as they've come to dig into earth for resources. The story follows a loan soldier who's been injured in battle and reawakens to find himself stuck in the middle of it. His aim is to get to the giant alien weapon that shoots down the Fighter Jets so that he can reprogramme it to shoot at and destroy the alien Mothership. The film follows his struggle to get to this weapon and to save mankind!

For our 2nd Animatic we cut a lot of it down because it was too long and a lot of it didn't need to be included for it to still be readable. We also redrew some of the shots and coloured the main character yellow as some people found it hard to understand who to follow through the film:

Major Project Animatic 02 from Joe O'Connor on Vimeo.

For our 3rd Animatic we rethought some shots and thought of ways to make them more action orientated, basically to make them look more dynamic and interesting for the viewer. We also changed the action sequence on the roof so instead of bashing through the door and shooting the 3 aliens at the control panel, the Hero throws a flash grenade from the stairwell and blinds them before running up the stairs and shooting them point blank. This gives it a bit more change of pace and gives a bit more variety in the film rather than always only shooting the aliens to kill them:

Animatic 3 from Joe O'Connor on Vimeo.


These are pretty hilarious!

To get some of the camera angles and poses for the characters right for our animatics we took photos of each other and collaged them together to draw the shots

Here are some pretty funny examples to show you, just for shits and giggles:

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