Saturday, 28 February 2015

Writing for Animation vs. Live Action: The difference (28/2/2015)

So while there´s still some down time till the next major chapter in the series' journey (still chasing people up over at CCR), I figured I´d stop and answer a question that is probably on the minds of many in my position: okay, so I´m a writer, and I want to be versatile, so I´ll write for animation. What´s the difference from live action?

In all honesty, not that much. Most of the basic rules, like structure and format, are identical. Really, it´s more dealing with the nature of the medium i.e. animation has to do everything from the ground up. There´s a really great article by Ducktales and Muppet Babies veteran Jeffrey Scott on what the differences are, and he's pretty thorough about what you need to do if you want to go into the world of toons.

Go check it out here, it´s really good stuff:

Saturday, 21 February 2015

'Very Strange Things' - Recording Delays (21/2/2015)

Sadly, due to personal circumstances beyond the control of me and my collaborators, the much anticipated recording of the pilot script, Town of Miracles, has been delayed. A genuine shame as, if you recall from earlier posts, we were aiming to be rehearsed and recorded around this time of this month, and it was just not to be. Unfortunately, issues came up and meant that the redrafted script could not be completed, rehearsals could not be planned, nor could an agreement be reached with Camden Radio to sort out recording space, mainly down to a lack of time.

However, I´m still amazed this even got so far as to have such a committed collaboration and options, and I greatly look forward to getting things back on track now that said affairs are starting to settle down. Fingers crossed, we should be up and running again in the next month or so!

Saturday, 14 February 2015

'Very Strange Things' - Series Pitch dry run (14/2/2015)

So on Wednesday, as part of a class exercise on my BA Film course, we were tasked with doing 5 minutes pitches. Originally, I was due to pitch a short script I had been working on, but since there was no restriction on the subject of the pitch, I decided to conquer some of my anxieties and do a practice pitch for the first season of Very Strange Things. Armed with only a few basic notes, I set to work before my classmates. I won´t regurgitate much, since most of the main information is available in past posts, so instead, I will outline how I went about my pitch:

  1. Quick hello and introduction to the audience, as one must. The title, premise and style.
  2. A lengthy discussion on the basic outline of the show and its characters. This covered the overall story arc, as well as the journey of our two leads.
  3. A brief bit on the ´why this and why you?´ Basically, why I felt so strongly about the show, and why I felt I was the best man for the job of bringing to written life.
  4. Short QnA, mainly focused on how I intended to bring this show to life, and how I would present a show with several themes and an emotional arc to the children who would make up its primary audience, trying to find the right balance of complex and accessible.

It felt really good to do a dry run of the pitch for Very Strange Things in class. Aside from the kind and rather receptive audience (bearing in mind these are university students and young filmmakers. Not always the most welcoming of balances....), it was the first time in a while I had to do on the spot improv and public speaking, which is always a good adrenaline booster and keeps me on my toes. However, I feel this test was more important because it finally gave me the means to exorcise a few anxieties I had about ´Wow, how the hell am I going to make this sound semi-reasonable or sensical when put into spoken words?!´ As you can imagine, pitching a mystery-fantasy-adventure series dealing with all sorts of weird and wacky things from alchemy to cybernetics to immortality to underworld freaks, and even pirates and cowboys for good measure!

It´s quite a relief, really, and it did help bolster my energy and confidence in the project as I feel that now, I know I can present it as well as it having legs beyond just my own desires and tastes.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

'Very Strange Things' - Expanded Character Profile: Rucard (7/2/2015)

And much like the past few weeks, I offer yet another expanded profile. This time, for the last of the programme´s key players: Dan´s twin brother and the main antagonist of Season 1, Rucard.

Age: 30.
Gender: Male.
Species: Fox, Green.
Description: Suave, sophisticated and well dressed, Rucard is Dan's classy, as well as deadly, brother and archnemesis. He is a supremely intelligent and conniving criminal mastermind who is also rather unnerved by his brother’s lack of ‘remembrance’ in Town of Miracles, and decides to set that straight in his own vicious, cruel way. As evidenced also by Town of Miracles, he is a dab hand with technology, a fiercely commanding showman, and utterly ruthless in pursuing whatever his goals may be.

Conception: Every worthwhile hero must have an equally worthy villian, and Rucard filled that role out nicely. While Dan is very dynamic, direct and yet still caring, Rucard is more educated, reserved and incredibly manipulative. I wanted him to serve as an inversion of Dan, and when their backstory is revealed later, that becomes all the clearer and more interesting. Furthermore, once their history is revealed and explored, it also allows for the opening up of a new dimension to their relationship, and how they, in the end, ultimately serve as a perfect counterbalance for each other and what they value. Rucard in  particular has  a very interesting view on his brother, and what their constant duels mean, which should be a lot of fun to explore and contrast as the show evolves.