I really can't figure out what to do for next year. I haven't got a single idea that would work for a student animation film (unless I worked unbelievably hard), and even then I don't really have a plot sorted for any of them, just titles and imagery which might work.
Here are some of the pictures I've saved, as visual stimulants to get my imagination going. (Note, I don't want the animated piece to look like I filmed it through an indie photo lens, but these kinds of photos are probably the best for inspiration, as they bring about so much in a single frame)
You can kind of see what kind of look and feel this thing is gonna have. After Toil and Trouble, as much as I liked it and am really pleased with the finished piece, I want to do something on a bigger scale. For one thing, it would probably have to be outside. And feature realistic human animation, and maybe even voice acting (if I can get my hands on the appropriate talent. There's nothing worse than a student film, no matter how good, with terrible voice acting). It's a lot to consider, but this is going to be my final, graduating piece of work. I'd have been pleased with Toil and Trouble if I was graduating with it, but not overly thrilled. This year, I really want to do something which pushes my limits. (Not that Toil and Trouble didn't, after all, I had to learn everything more or less as I was doing it).
Thankfully I've got all of three months to come up with a solid plan (and with that concept sketches and maybe even early models). I did this CAT-rig suicide video, where a rig plummets to her supposed death, which I think I linked a few posts back, as a jumping off point (no joke intended, but it really is quite a fortunate one) to an idea. Sadly, nothing really manifested there.
In other news, I'm ten pages into the comic, and still not past the first part. Still a long way to go before I finish it, but if I do it by the end of July I'll be a happy man.
Also, I'm looking forward to the new announced American Gods TV series HBO are planning. Neil Gaiman himself is writing, so it can't be bad at all.
Allow me to play you off, with this classic gag from silent film legend Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle
By the way, Paul Merton's Birth of Hollywood on the BBC, currently running, is a really great watch.
It seems I've done nothing all week but do comics. No, that's not meant to be in the plural. Comic. Just one, and I've only done 7 pages for it so far. It's taking an insane amount of time, but I'm really happy with the way it's progressing.
If you want, you can check out these 7 pages in the downloads page, at the bottom. I don't really have any proper comic online publishing thing set up on this site yet so it's just gonna be thumbnails you click on like a normal image.
I'm hoping to get it done before I head back to Cornwall, so that there I can focus on other things, like my animation project for next year. I still have no idea what to do for it, and even began modelling and considering doing this story (the one in the comic) for it. In fact, a big reason I'm doing the comic now is so that I can forget about it becoming a short. I want to do something big, but there's no way I'll really be able to do something like that. Not for a long time and not without a team.
It's really helping me work through different Photoshop techniques, though, and am improving my tablet skills more, as well as my colouring (I went for black and white for this, both for a more manga-esque feel, but also so that I wouldn't have to worry all that much about getting the colours right).
Stylistically, I've been looking at the work of the legendary Naoki Urasawa - the brilliant mind behind the unbelievably epic 20th Century Boys, about a group of childhood friends who find the fictional Book of Prophecies they wrote are coming true under the command of the terrifying Tomodachi, the films of which I'm rewatching and the manga I've started to read. It's such a huge story though, this might take me a while to get through.
It's not the only piece of work by Urasawa I'm checking out. I've (finally) started watching Monster, which a lot of people have been recommending me for a while. And I have to say it's really living up to the hype. If you haven't heard of it, it's a bit hard to explain in a few words without giving anything away. But it's a really well paced, thrilling mystery, and I'm learning a lot about storytelling simply from watching it.
I'm enjoying working on side projects. You know, the things you never get the time to do until you're on holiday or unemployed. The things you can never really finish because everything starts up again far too soon.
But we'll see what happens.
For example, I've begun work on a comic. Here's what I've done so far, a page of half and we've already got nudity and blood.
I've also been working on my modelling, such as this Kappa. I wanted to do it in animated short format, but this clearly isn't going to happen - too many characters and sets and plot for me to do.
I leave now with this interesting link from Phil McAndrew about really obvious things you should have been taught in art school. Really interesting reading