Friday, 30 January 2015

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

FSTS: Story revised?


Alien fisherman vs intelligent space fish.


An alien fisherman who lives on a space station is fishing one today and spots a rare catch, he pursues the space fish and attempts to catch it. His methods become more elaborate and props such as dynamite are used.

Step Outline

Act 1
The fisherman is fishing outside the space station when he spots the fish and immediately wants to catch it. As the Fisherman reels the fish in his rod snaps and the fish comes hurtling toward him, slaps him in the face and falls backwards into the spacestation. The fisherman chases it and this could leads to him slamming into some of his gear which is floating about.

Act 2
Frustrated the fisherman opens his cupboard of gadgets which includes an anvil but they float because of the lack of gravity, as the fisherman goes to collect them the fish turns off the gravity and the anvil falls in his head. This however means the fish can no longer swim because gravity is turned on. The fisherman takes the opportunity to throw a net over the fish.

Act 3

The fish manages to break free of the net, the fisherman getting frustrated fires his weapon at the fish but the weapon is faulty and blows back in his face. While the fisherman is dazed the fish flops around to the gravity button and turns it off again. The fisherman saves his biggest trick for last the huge stick of dynamite.  It doesn’t go off at first but the fisherman inspects and then the dynamite creates a huge explosion. The fish escapes. 

I'm still not sure about the transition between act 2 and 3, I found it hard to come up with a solution for after the the gravity is turned on to the time between the final explosion. This hopefully is a lot more comedic than my first story! 

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

FSTS: Revising story ideas

After my OGR I've been at work researching more visual gags to make a more committed comedic story. I've watched cartoons and also roamed the internet to find out what makes cartoons so funny.

The first thing I learned is that timing is key in being funny, well timed gags are funny gags. I also learned that providing a twist in which an object doesn't work for example is also funny. The best way however to show visual gags is through slapstick and defying logic and showing characters alive after being beaten down with explosives and firearms.

Here's a list I made of common visual gags:

  • Getting Slapped
  • Using firearms
  • Anvils to the head
  • Objects to the feet
  • Chase scenes in which someone slams into something (This could also lead into a pinball gag)
  • Non-fatal explosions
  • Characters saying they're okay after obvious pain
  • Characters pulling things from tiny spaces or nowhere at all
  • Painting a tunnel, summoning a real train
  • Mouth used as a hoover

From those ideas I then came up with these ideas:

  • Theres a giant stick of dynamite which only lets off a tiny bang at first but then as the Fisherman inspects it creates a big explosion
  • The fisherman is using a ray gun but it becomes blocked and it blows back in his face
  • The fisherman chases the fish but slams into something

I then had a little chat with Chels on Monday and I said it'd be funny if I could include an anvil to the head in my story. She came up with the solution that the space station doesn't have gravity and the fish could turn it on therefore the anvil would drop on the fishermans head. 

So far in my head I've revised the story to go like this: 

  • The fisherman is fishing outside the space station when he spots the fish and immediately wants to catch it.
  • The fish somehow gets inside the spacestation which causes the fisherman to chase it and this could lead into a slam gag. 
  • The fisherman opens his cupboard of gadgets which includes an anvil but they float because of the lack of gravity, as the fisherman goes to collect them the fish turns off the gravity and the anvil falls in his head. This however means the fish can no longer swim because gravity is turned on.
  •  The story ends with the huge stick of dynamite that at first doesn't go off but when it does the fish escapes. 

The problems I'm currently facing are trying to figure out how the fish gets into the station and what would happen between the anvil drop to the final explosion. My current idea for the fish getting in is for the fisherman to get the fish on his line but then as his pulls backwards the fishs tail slapped him in the face and the fish is propelled backwards into his home. If anyone has any advice it would be helpful! 


Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960)

 Figure 1. Psycho Poster

Psycho has an impressive yet misleading story. As Carr says in his review “The brilliance begins with the story, which was adapted upon and improved over Robert Bloch’s original novel. It’s a very simple story that still holds up today with some of the more twisted realities of people’s psychoses.” (Carr, S.D). The story starts with Marion stealing a large sum of money and driving away in her car, various things happen along the way until she reaches the Bates Motel. This is where the story takes a turn and really gets interesting.

Psycho is an extremely manipulative film, every part of is purposeful and pieced together marvellously. As Gibron says in his review “the director laid the fear right at your own front door - in the most private and vulnerable of places within said home.” (Gibron, 2010), as Gibron mentions Hitchcock cleverly creates suspense in a place which otherwise should be inviting and free of harm. When we are first introduced to Norman Bates we are shown a kind and considerate man who runs the Motel but it’s not until later on that we start to discover that he is not what he seems. The suspicion of course starts when the real tension arrives in the shower scene when someone brutally murders Marion in the shower stabbing her with a knife. It’s then that we realise that the Motel and the house are not safe places for the characters to be and immediately worry for their wellbeing. This is shown excellently in a later scene in which Marions sister approaches the house to speak with Normans mother. The scene is comprised of shots of the sister walking to the house from the front and from the behind, this composition of shots makes the audience wait a little bit longer and ultimately feel tense.

Figure 2. Shower still

As mentioned earlier the shower scene is a heavily important part of the film. Kermode mentions in his review that “Dispute still rages as to the provenance and power of Psycho's notorious shower sequence, which has become perhaps the most iconic murder scene in the history of cinema.” (Kermode, 2010). This scene can mostly be called iconic because of the modern way in which it was made, even today over 50 years later the scene still feels heavily modern. The scene is a montage of various shots implying that Marion is being stabbed, this however works amazingly in Hitchcocks favour, not showing every detail and using a moderate amount of violence means that an audience can elaborate in their head how bad the murder is which can be a lot scarier. It’s also an unexpected turn of events as Marion was a lead character most of the way through, this clever decision for her to meet a grizzly end shocks the audience massively.

Figure 3. Norman Bates

Norman Bates is an extremely interesting character within the film. It’s clear from the start that he has a strong attachment to his mother and Vasquez Jr mentions this in his review saying that “There are many Freudian themes present within Bates, who has a bit of an Oedipus complex and longing for his mother he aches to stay loyal to, but doesn’t dare leave her side.” (Vasquez Jr, 2013). When you look at the film you can see little hints of Bates possessing motherlike qualities in his attempt to stay close with his dead mother even when he’s not pretending to be her. As shown in figure 3 when Marion arrives at the Motel he brings her food and water and begins caring for her almost like a mother would. This could suggest that Bates in his attempt to feel close to his mother has picked up her mannerisms in his own personality. Also later in the film we see another sign that Bates is holding onto the past. As Marions sister is exploring the house there's a room full of old toys, this could symbolise Bate’s desperation to be his Mothers child again.

Psycho is a film that was ahead of it’s time, extremely modern and manipulative with impressive camera work it’s a gorgeous film that can quite easily be enjoyed by even todays audience.


Vasquez Jr. F (2013) (Accessed on 23/01/15)

Illustration list

Hitchcock, A (1960) Figure 1. Psycho Poster (Accessed on 23/01/15)
Hitchcock, A (1960)  Figure 2. Shower still (Accessed on 23/01/15)

Hitchcock, A (1960) Figure 3. Norman Bates (Accessed on 23/01/15)

Monday, 26 January 2015

FSTS: Initial Thumbnails

Just been playing around and sketching some stuff out to help me start designing. 

These are some faces that I sketched out quickly. I quite like 1 or 5, I'm hoping I can keep on developing and get a good mix of stereotypical but also also new.

I also sketched out some hands, I quite like 6 and 7, I'll keep these in mind when I design.

I also started to think about environment. The first 8 are possible backdrops for the spacestation and the last 8 are  possible shapes of the spacestation itself. I think a green or orange background would work best and I think 9, 15 and 16 are the most interesting shapes.


Sunday, 25 January 2015

FSTS: Influences

After my OGR I collected some of the influences Phil suggested to me. I'm really loving the idea of retro sci-fi influencing my production design, and I think it would really help me build a successful environment. I might start thumbnailing out my character and environment ideas though I don't want to finalize anything until I have my step outline re sorted out. Hopefully watching some old cartoons might get my comedic brain going! 

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Animation: Blob

The first test is the blob entering the scene and jumping over the blocks, after speaking with Meg she said to add more anticipation to the blob before it jumps and to be careful with the consistency. The second test was me testing ears on my blob which I though was pretty successful. I'm currently in the process of making changes to it.  

Friday, 23 January 2015

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Condensing ideas down!

After speaking with Phil I've condensed my ideas down into two very different ideas. 

Idea 1

A captain of a space station which is humans last hope plans to blow up the space station with a stick of dynamite. Another character trys to talk him out of out saying that there is hope and that he should think about his happy memories on earth. He thinks back to when he is a boy and went fishing with his dad, this then in turn helps him realise that he should keep hope.

Idea 2

An alien fisherman who lives at the space station is going about his everyday fishing routine and spots a large space fish. He immediately goes after the fish hoping it will bring him money however as the fisherman tries the catch the fish it outsmarts him. The more it outsmarts him the more elaborate the devices the fisherman uses. This goes on for a while until the fisherman begins using dynamite however this goes wrong and the fish wins.

Right now I prefer idea 2 but I'll research into both and see where it leads me! 

Monday, 19 January 2015

Friday, 16 January 2015

Character workshop: 7/1/15 & 14/1/15

Workshop 1

In this workshop we looked at changing a characters style and shapes. I changed the style of scott pilgrim and tried to make him a little more realistic. I also changed the shapes of winnie the pooh.

Workshop 2


I was given a soldier and was told to consider his costume and props. I choose a WW1 costume and choose a young boy to wear it, I wanted to make it seem like it didn't fot the character. I also added some props that show that the boy wasn't there by choice, his hobby to make animals out of wood and to read show this. I was also given a music room and got told to turn the rooms objects into characters.