Thursday, 29 September 2011

Lip Syncing part two - lip movements

This lesson was once again interesting, I found it amazing how just one move of the lips on the character could improve the who speech.

 In my improvement, I tried to sort out the "Your" and "Sometime".

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Lost in La Mancha

FIG. 1

Lost in La Mancha (2002) - Directed by Keith Fulton, Louis Pepe.

Lost in La Mancha is the surviving on set documentary of the uphill struggle Director Terry Gilliam went through trying to film his version of "The man who killed Don Quixote". While showing his torment in making the film, it also shows the audience the possible problem when creating a movie. Unfortunately for Gilliam, everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. In the documentary Gilliam says, "If it's easy , I don't do it; if it's almost impossible to do, I have a go" (Gilliam: 2002). This sums up his whole ordeal when making this adaptation of the film. People told him it would be near impossible, yet he tried it anyway because that's how he's worked his entire life.

The documentary became almost impossible to watch by the end of the movie because Gilliam went through so much pain. The finance for the film was lowered to a near unworkable amount, he got his actors late, the extras hadn't been trained, the weather was always against then, the last sound set in Madrid was awful and what finally killed the production was his main actor, Jean Rochefort, who became too ill to continue the film.

There is one other problem that Gilliam had to battle when creating his movie, and David Loftus expresses it like this, "As a film project, Quixote already seems to be cursed"(Loftus: 2003). This is because the project had been taken up by Orson Welles in 1957, the project stayed with him for 20 years but finally ended when his main actor Francisco Reiguera died before the picture could be completed.

Even though the Gilliam project was never completed, he still gave something to the audience; through Fulton and Pepe's editing of endless hours of pre-production footage, they all finally came up with something that can live in the memory of every audience member. Phil Stubbs described this as "The editing process played like an autopsy, in which moments that had seemed insignificant at the time now revealed themselves as clues to the death of Gilliam's production." (Stubbs: 2003) By the end of the documentary we all have sucked into the world of the director and the heartache of losing your movie, which we can all learn from and develop to make sure it doesn't happen to us.

Bernard Bouix, Executive Producer of "The man who killed Don Quixote" expresses, "The battle of Don Quixote is a battle against reality, and I think Film making is a battle against reality. But in this case, reality has been stronger than the dream." (Bouix: 2002)


Gilliam. T, (2002), Lost in La Mancha

Loftus. D, (2003), Documentary Films, Available at, [Accessed on 28th September]

Stubbs. P, (2003), SMART, [Online], Available at, [Accessed on 28th September]

Bouix. B, (2002), Lost in La Mancha

Illustration Bibliography

Fig. 1, Lost in La Mancha Poster, 2002 , [Photograph], 

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Lip Syncing Part One

I found this task relatively easy, nothing difficult in the process. I'm looking forward to the next step and refining the two steps together.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Ed Wood 1994 Review

Ed Wood 1994 Review

Ed Wood Poster

Director - Tim Burton

Ed Wood - Johnny Deep

Bela Lugosi - Martin Landau

Dolores Fuller - Sarah Jessica Parker

This movie is about a Director, Ed Wood who was voted after his death as "The Worst Director of all Time". Prior to the film, I hadn't heard of Ed Wood or his career, so I watching this with a fresh idea of the man. I thought that the man was seriously underrated, it was clear that he loved what he was doing. Although it wasn't clear in his movies, he had an extreme dedication to finish a film to prosent to the audience.

Ed Wood image 2

It was also clear how much he wanted to protect forgotten talent, for example when he meets the character, Bela Lugosi. Everyone thought he was dead because they had forgotten about him. But because Ed Wood Cared about the people he was with, he brought a dream back to a dying man. Matt Murray says, "Ed's failure wasn't due to a lack of caring, want of effort, or any of the normal hurdles we're all told repeatedly that we can overcome if we just keep at it." (Murray, 2006)


Murray, M (2006), 

Illustration Bibliography

Ed Wood Poster,

Ed Wood Image 2,,

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Cartoon Synopsis

A quick little synopsis to give an idea to what the cartoon is about:

"Chief Kalugoo has been terrorising the planet Pride with his evil plans for centuries, harming the people that inhabit its magnificent surface. The people's only hope is their Sheriff, Sheriff Elliot J. Hampleton and his noble two- headed stead called Fundder and Lightnin (Correct spelling for the characters). The Sheriff is strong and couragous. His steed?..... not so much, they are as dumb as a saloon door, but together they make THE UNITED FORCE"

Friday, 23 September 2011

Alien movies Research

The Alien design movie I have found so far are:

  • Mars Attacks
  • Invasions of the body snatchers
  • The Thing
  • District 9
  • War of the Worlds
  • Independence Day
  • ET
  • The Abyss
  • Alien
  • Predator
  • Alien Raiders
  • Critters
  • The Day of the Triffids
  • Evolution
  • MIB
  • Invadors from mars
  • The Mist
  • Pandorum
  • Plan 9
  • Quatermass and the Pit
  • Species
  • Star Wars
  • Starship Troopers
  • X-files

List of Westerns to take a look at for character design

I have been researching around for some good western movies to get the look and styles of those films. Once again Youtube has come in handy, some of the films I wrote down were:

  • The Great Train Robbery
  • The plainsman
  • Stagecoach
  • They died with their boots on
  • Billy the kid
  • The outlaw
  • Tall in the saddle
  • Red River
  • The Gun Fighter
  • Winchester 73
  • Gun fight at O.K.Corral
  • Rio Bravo
  • The Alamo
  • The long Riders
  • Barbarosa
  • Silverado
  • Young Guns
  • Dances with Wolves
  • Unforgiven
  • Dead man
  • 3:10 to yuma
  • Tombstone
  • The Good The Bad The Ugly
  • Once upon a time in mexico.

So that's a LARGE list to get through over the weekend, some I will watch only the trailer and some I will watch the whole thing. Hopefully from these I can get a good idea for some of my characters. Then I can cross reference them with Alien designs and the 80's cartoon designs.

80's cartoons

For a bit of research into 80's cartoons I looked at the following videos on Youtube;


There are a lot of cartoons that I have never thought of, or never seen before and I especially didn't realise there was so many. A list of the ones that caught my eye from the videos is the following;

  • M.A.S.K (1985-86)

  • Centurions (1985-87)

  • Defenders of the Earth (1986-87)

  • Transformers (1984- 87)

  • Dungeons and Dragons (1987-89)

  • Wheeled Warriors (1987)

  • Bravestarr (1987-89)

These caught my eye the most because they all seemed to have the same style. Extreme actions, Sci-fi, fantasy and the use of primary colours. I like how all the character are designed in a way that they have no bounderies, for example "Transformers" and "M.A.S.K", where all the characters can transform into anything. The genres of "Bravestarr" have such a contrast and link with my my genres that I think it would be smart to watch and futher research into this cartoon.

Narrative - Idea Process

The last couple of days the group have be tossing ideas to one another and hitting them back with much needed feedback to develop those ideas. Those ideas have all been up in the air and they consist of things like, what if this happened here, what if we enlarged this and made it attack this place or what is it that comes from the centre of the earth that comes up. So far they didn’t have any solid grounds because by the time we all liked something, we’d follow on from that with something that has reminded us, and we would forget all about the idea.

Originally my initial ideas were the following:

IDEA 1 – To have the planet as a living “Brain or control network” and give it the ability to control the crude oil that has been taken from it by man, which in essences is being used and destroying the planet with the waste. Crude oil is used everywhere, everything from the petrol in cars to the gas in on the stove. I thought it would be cool from the planet to control this to destroy man and return the planet to its original stat in time. If we were to set this in the Second World War period, we could use the old war planes and maybe turn the war into a man vs. machine war, (Too much like Terminator? Okay). However if the time period was in the future, then Daniel’s Plane a day project that he did over the summer would be able to play a beautiful part in the designs and development. I think B-Movie mixed with a Sci-fi genre would look really nice with this idea.

IDEA 2 – There’s a sudden earthquake in our location that causes a giant crack in the ground. The crack unlocks a chamber that holds a giant monster of some kind that has been locked away for thousands or millions of years. With that much time with yourself as company, you’re going to want to get out there and make an impression. So this creature rises to the surface and causes destruction. The creature could be Plant-based, Animal-based, Element-based or perhaps a mix of all three.

IDEA 3 – This idea came about while I was watching “War of the Worlds – the remake” and is the reason from the idea. The link with the film is that there’s something buried underground (possible in the very centre and it’s what the earth was formed around). Then alien life forms come down to retrieve it up from the ground and destroy. (Okay it’s pretty much exactly like the film, maybe I was watching it a bit too closely). But perhaps we could make it a bit more horror and B-movie like than what the film is like, although that’s more like the original. – I think it’s safe to say that this idea wasn’t going to get much attention....

IDEA 4 – This idea is like the first idea, but instead of the planet controlling the crude oil, it controls the nature. I think the idea of the trees attacking the buildings to knock them down, or the vines and other plant life, pulling a car to pieces. Then the animals can come in and once again attack man (this would be like the birds but on an extreme level!!)

IDEA 5 – This idea starts off with a group of humans searching a new cave, and via some wrong turn, or fall or something, they awaken a creature that has been down in the cave for a long time. Then that creature comes onto the surface and wreaks havoc. This idea once again would be a B-movie approach with either sci-fi or horror genre or possibly both.

Sum up of the ideas

What I noticed with the ideas that I initially started with, is that I definitely prefer the B-movie approach; I think that it could be a very interesting way to go. I also seem to favour the destruction of man and Earth having its revenge for what we have done to it in some form of way. I knew that these ideas were only my own and wanted to hear what the others had so we could determine a cross reference or a link or a new idea completely.

Kolade and Daniels ideas were really good, they were diverse some were well thought about. Kolade had a beautiful idea about an army of Golden Ants, Daniel had ideas about an evil genius’ base in the centre of the earth and it’s that character that causes destruction. We had plenty more ideas together as well, but as I said, they were all in the air waiting to be served.

However, we had a chat with Alan, and he helped us cement some things down for us in terms of where to go with these ideas. He depicted that most of the ideas sounded like they were more in the sci-fi genre, with a little horror thrown in. He also pointed out that the ideas were leaning more to the B-movie approach. He made us all realise as well that a giant beast of some kind destroying some sort of city or location, could look very interesting. Alan gave us some ideas on how to make it look like a B-movie, with his ideas of having a slight shake from the set, or make sure the creature looks like a puppet and show the strings that control it.

This meeting seemed to be all we needed to really get cracking because great ideas started to flow and were eventually set in stone. We all agreed that there should be a creature destroying a famous landmark in America because as Daniel pointed out, America is the only place B-movies are made in or set in. The two locations we came up with was the Hollywood sign and LA or New York City. We decided New York City would be the best location because of the water that surrounds it; it gives us a wider range of story positional.

So that’s all agreed on, next thing we wanted to come up with was the “What if” situation. Basically, how did the creature become the size it did? Where did it come from? Etc. The idea that kept cropping up was nuclear waste dump into the water and infection this creature in it normal stat. There was also an idea of an evil scientist dumping some chemicals to create something on purpose.

However, are titles is “Invasion from the centre of the Earth”, so we need to have something coming up. This lead to an idea of having an earthquake or general crack in the ground that infects something down there and its mutated self comes back up. Then bang we have our monster.

We set ourselves a to-do-list to do for Monday, which was all of us create some ideas of what the creature could be and come up with a some sort of plot that we could put with what we already have. This will include finalising the “What if”. As well as this I will be setting my own task of watching some more B-movie films because my knowledge of them is weaker than in could be, plus it could spark ideas.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

First thoughts for the characters

We'll the genres from my characters are "Western" and "alien", I already have a couple of ideas for this without looking at much research. Obviously Western shouts out the Cowboys, the Indians, Saloons, etc. The Alien genre tells me I can do anything to make the character not look of this world. These combined is very interesting and will lead to many powerful ideas.

I was thinking of have the sidekick as a horse with two heads; those two heads could be both at the front, or one at either end. I like the thought of having the hero as a cowboy or an Indian and this horse sidekick is his noble stead. I can see this sidekick being stupid and clumsy, or for example one of the heads could be strong, courageous and comanding as a noble stead. Then the other head could have a stupid and clumsy personality. The combination together could make the whole character really funny.

At the moment the hero and villian hasn't had much thought given to it, but so far, I know that I want one character to be a Cowboy and the character to be an Indian. This is because the classic western conflict involves these sides.

Whilst looking through a book I got from the library, "Digital Art Masters: Volume 3", and the front covers shows this Cowboy with and extreme look and style to it, that makes it look almost alien. The image is "Jack Stern" by Patrick Beaulieu.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

So it begins.... Again..

So finally I’m back after a very long summer, fully refreshed and anxious to get developing. I have received my briefs for the next 10-15 weeks and it sounds like it’s going to be a hectic and commanding process. However I’m highly looking forward to that process and I’m excited about the new paths I’m going down.
The first brief I got was on Monday; the brief puts me in a group of three people, consisting of Daniel and Kolade, which I haven’t had the pleasure of working to closely with before this project. The project asks us to create a 1 minute 30 second trailer or teaser for the title we we’re given at the briefing.
The title we got was, “Invasion from the centre of the Earth”, which instantly screams out excitement and there are hundreds of different directions we could take on this. As an added bonus to the project we have to create the trailer in one of three specific approaches, and they are: “One foot in the past, One foot in the future”, “B-movie” and “The long lost film”. We also have fixed genres to pick from: Sci-fi, Horror and Film Noir. We could use one of these genres or combine two of them.
We’ve already got together and discussed a couple of ideas, which will be posted in my next blog post and on our group blog “UnderlordStudios
In the second briefing I met an artist from Walt Disney Studios, Justin Wyatt, who has over 18 years of experience to share over a 10 week period. It was very exciting to start learning the trick of the trade that he knows. The brief asks me to create a Hero, a Villain and a Sidekick in a mash up of genres. The genres I got were “Western” and “Alien”. These characters will the three main characters of rebooted Saturday eighties cartoon. Whilst creating the characters, I will be creating a Animation Bible that will consist of development, expression sheet and the general thought process of those characters. I’m really excited about this project because I think that Character design is an area I lack skill in, so it would be awesome if I could get some amazing tips and skills to help me in the future.
In the briefing we all had to create a mash up of two different genres, this time I got “Super” and “Cheerleader”. I was really happy with my first drawing, I thought I shouted out Cheerleader in a stereotypical way (long flowing hair, large breast and beautiful). I was also proud of the proportions and quality of the drawing. However Justin pointed out that although it’s defiantly a cheerleader, It doesn’t shout out “SUPER”.

So I had another crack at it, I knew that I had the cheerleader design in front of me, all I had to do was put her in such a position that it became clear that she had some sort of super power. So I came up with this, which pleased Justin and I much more because it screams out both genres.

 For 10 minutes at the end I had the opportunity to be given two more genres, this time I got “Goblin” and “Clown”, Instantly the following drawing came to mind, so I got it down as quick as possible. However when I was drawing, I was only thinking of putting a coloured wig and big red lips on a goblin two make the mash up. I thought this was strong enough, so I gave him a bike. However thinking about it now, I should have drawn the bike much smaller to make it more clown like and funnier, But that’s the ways of development. 

So I’m going to go and have a brainstorm and draw like crazy! It’s good to be back!!