Friday, 30 January 2015

From Script to Screen Adobe Story Script

If there are any mistakes please point them out, or any flaws in the story that should be changed!

Scene and camera outlay for my Story From Script To Screen

Scene 1:

Medium shot on Shannon from behind, zoom out to long shot, show all of match.

Shannon stands with folded arms in front of a particularly curious piece in this gallery: it seems to be a very long and thin wooden stick with a gritty red top suspended above the ground.

Camera pans around so more of the background is visible, camera starts shaking.

 She just leans in to inspect it further when she notices a slight vibration of her surroundings that quickly grows stronger.

Shaky camera shows pieces of people running, screaming.

The sensation escalates quickly and the people around her break into a mass panic and run into all possible directions.

Camera back on Shannon, close up on face, her eyes pointing upwards, searching. (shaking)

Camera on object falling, slamming, shaking ceases.

Looking up to look for the cause, Shannon spots a heavy object falling very quickly from the opening in the ceiling and slamming into the ground not far from her.

Camera on Shannon, medium body, screaming.

Camera close on green ooze.

Shannon screams but ceases when she sees a green ooze dripping its way out of the object and burning the floor.


Scene 2:

Medium shot on Shannon from behind, pan around door when she looks through, follow her and take in scene.

Walking along, Shannon can hear clang noises and is drawn to them. As she looks around the corner, she can see people working on tracks.

Close up on her face, cut to where she puts the track down.

“Hey, come over here and hold this” Surprised she follows and helps putting down the next track.


Scene 3:

Camera sits on track as roller coaster appears and rides over very fast.

Close up on Shannon standing in front of heavy object, wind in hair.

Roller coaster is riding up red tube, the heavy object is secured in one of the wagons.

Camera on human face, heavy object flies towards camera then vanishes, camera still for human expression.

The heavy object flies out of human’s mouth, he looks surprised.


Scene 4:

Establishing shot on party in gallery, close up of floor that has fences around it and looks pinkish and rough, close up on Shannon’s face.

Big Party in the art gallery, Shannon is laughing happily, floor burnt by green ooze is healing.
 This is not the best writing but it's mostly for getting my ideas pinned down so I can transfer them to Adobe Story and start storyboarding!


Flash Line Character Animation

Finished Blob Animation

This is my full blob animation complete with intro, obstacle and follow-through bushy tail! Apologies to Phil for making something cute again, I will try and better myself.

Flash Exercise

Today we are using Flash for the first time.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Life Drawing 28/01/2015

Drawing Sharon was fun! Especially experimenting with colours and such, I feel like I'm starting to learn about anatomy :p

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

North by North West Film Review

North by North West

North by North West is a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and released in 1959. It is a fast paced adventure action film with Roger Thornhill as the main character, who gets his identity mistaken with a man called George Kaplan and leading him to be on the run for a crime be never committed.
While on the run, he meets Eve Kendall on the train to Chicago who then covers for him when the police search her cabin. Later on she arranges a meeting for Roger which leads to the iconic crop-duster scene which is used to illustrate Roger’s vulnerability and defencelessness. After which he returns to Eve in the hotel but she leaves to attend an auction – with the antagonist who mistook his identity in the first place, Mr Vandamm.
Roger decides that he is better off with the police and starts behaving oddly, but even though he is successfully captured and identified as the claimed murderer on all newspapers front pages, the police release him – and Roger ends up in South Dakota where Eve, to save him for the moment, initiates a fake shooting in front of Mr Vandamm. She returns to Mr Vandamm but Roger uses his first opportunity to seek her out and rescues her, as the others have by now discovered the true nature of the shooting. Both Roger and Eve flee but end up in another iconic scene at Mt Rushmore where they climb down the faces until they are rescued.

Figure 1. Crop Duster (1959)

As the film is very action laden, it has left a legacy and some would even call it a predecessor to the Bond films; as Shariatmadari states: “It is a rollicking, old-fashioned adventure, laced with excitement. Cary Grant is a leading man so assured he makes James Bond look insecure, and Eva Marie Saint a love interest with more charisma than Tippi Hedren and Kim Novak combined.” (Shariatmadari, 2012:2) This accurately describes the nature of the film which has several plot twists and excitements that make the audience laugh while keeping the sympathies for Roger main priority as his fate is truly an awful one, but he still tries to make the best out of it. He becomes the sort of tough action hero that audiences expect and what possibly as Shariatmadari states was the basis of many iconic action heroes to follow.

Figure 2. Mt Rushmore (1959)

The essence of the film is that Roger Thornhill’s identity has been taken from him and that while he flees from a murder he did not commit, he occasionally pretends to be the mysterious George Kaplan whose identity has been accidentally forced on him by a Mr Vandamm and finds easy access to hotels in various cities he comes across while on the run. The idea of a fluid identity was not common when the film was shot, as Levy states: Yet a closer look reveals that it’s not only a quintessential Hitchcock film, but also one that deals way ahead of its time with such postmodern issues of the fluidity of identity, ordeals caused by accident or chance, the effects of spatial arrangement and confinement on human conduct, and rhythm and pace as crucial variables of movies—and existence.” (Levy, 2009:2) This indicates that this film is ahead of his time in many ways, as fluid identity with questions of existence are more common in the postmodern world which has its beginnings around a decade later. It may also mean that Roger Thornhill has never heard of such a thing as fluidity of identity and brings his own confusion into the film, which lets the 59’ audience for the first time experience a delicate topic like this with a character who perhaps deals with the situation not much differently than they would.

North by North West has certain scenes that seem to focus solely on the characters point of view; very early on Roger gets induced a full bottle of Bourbon and is then put into a stolen car, where Vandamms henchmen hope he would accidentally drive off the cliff but instead Roger musters enough focus to drive down the road in the darkness while being chased by the other car. The camera in this scene keeps showing close ups of Rogers face who is trying to concentrate and not panic and onto the road or rather the obstacles like corners, other vehicles and the sheer drop by the side. Levy states: “Take, for instance, the drunk-driving sequence, with Grant shown in mega close-ups, which recalls a similar drunk-driving scene in “Notorious,” (which co-starred Grant), with Ingrid Bergman as the driver, and Janet Leigh in “Psycho.”” (Levy, 2009:2) This illustrates that this might be a pioneer way of shooting a chasing scene which has been used again, as it shows the emotions of the characters very openly and puts the focus on the danger they are in with the time pressing on their back and helping audiences to relate to the character in a much more clear and direct way.

Figure 3. Drunken Car Chase (1959)

Overall, North by North West is a film that combines many iconic scenes with issues that are ahead of their time but also the light-heartedness of an action thriller that occasionally startles the audience by humour that can only be met with laughter. The combination of close ups on the main character and new concepts of its time make this film almost iconic, possibly lending certain aspects to other successful films to follow such as James Bond.

Illustration List:
Figure 1: Hitchcock, A. (1959) Crop Duster [North by North West Still] available from: (accessed: 27/01/2015)
Figure 2: Hitchcock, A. (1959) Mt Rushmore [North by North West Still] available from: (accessed: 27/01/2015)
Figure 3: Hitchcock, A. (1959) Drunken Car Chase [North by North West Still] available from: (accessed: 27/01/2015)

Levy, Emanuel. (2009) available from: (accessed: 27/01/2015)
Shariatmadari, David. (2012) available from: (accessed: 27/01/2015)

Story Idea revised

Ok what about:

Shannon stands in a beautiful art gallery full of curious objects (scissors, pen knives etc) when the whole place shakes like an earthquake.
She sees people building a roller coaster from piano pieces, asks to come along (ground is still shaking).
They ride up the throat, into the mouth, quickly chuck a shiny bit of metal, close up on humans face, surprised.
Big party in the art gallery, the ground stopped shaking, a cheerful melody is being played on a piano, everyone is happy.

I think that would fit into a minute, but I feel like I'm missing something important! Any help is greatly appreciated :)

Maya Tutorial Camera Shake

The camera shake will be very useful in future to make scenes believable.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Maya Tutorial Contra Zoom

This tutorial shows a quick trick to let the audience believe that the corridor moves, not the camera.

Maya Tutorial Camera Coverage

In this video, we have manipulated two cameras (with three others already being in place) and put a little sequence together in Premier Pro.

Story Telling New Idea

The idea I posted up for the ogr would probably be long enough to fill a 30 minutes animation so I realized that I have to shorten it down quite a bit.
The new idea is still set in the sword swallowers stomach and the main character is a little girl that is looking for her lost toy and runs around crying. When she finds the art gallery full of curious swallowed objects she finds her toy piano behind a pen knife / scissors or similar that is hanging from the ceiling(and huge from her perspective), is overjoyed and starts to play a melody.

Would that be enough of a story?

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Psycho Film Review


 Psycho is a black and white thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock during the 1960’s in which the leading lady Marion steals a large sum of money from her work and during her escape, comes upon a motel with a lonely manager of the motel, Norman, and gets murdered in an iconic way in the shower. An investigator is sent in search of Marion when she fails to make contact with her family or workplace and after the theft. After the investigator speaks to Norman, the motel manager, he tries to seek out the mysterious mentally ill mother Norman keeps mentioning, but instead ends up getting murdered, at which point Marion’s sister decides to investigate for herself and drives down to the motel with Marion’s former boyfriend.

 Figure 1. Norman offers Marion Dinner. (1960)

 As the film was shot in 1960, it was at the time unthinkable to show real violence or nudity in the cinema so Hitchcock had to get creative with Marion’s nude murder scene and made it more into a collage of details happening rather than a shot showing anything precise. As Jenkins states: “It offers perfect case studies of suspense, paranoia and montage for lazy film-studies tutors.” (Jenkins, 2010:3) which demonstrates the suspense and combination with collage work that occurred in this or other scenes. It also touches upon the paranoia Marion experiences while driving away with the money and being pursued by police for a prolonged length of time. This might show how much emphasis Hitchcock put into controlling the emotions over the audience, as many close up shots concentrate on the characters uneasiness or even nervousness and madness. These close ups really do help to emphasise the emotions and atmosphere Hitchcock is trying to convey.

Figure 2. Norman’s subtle madness. (1960)

 One of the special characteristics of the film is the ever changing sympathies towards the main characters, an example of this is when the audience is made to follow the main antagonist himself, the audience is fooled into believing the murderer is a twisted low level accomplice following the guidance of his mother.

 Harris states: “Although the remainder of the film beyond the shower scene involves the resolution of the events set into motion by Marion Crane’s theft of the money, in reality, what Hitchcock is doing is further exploring the psyche of Norman Bates.” (Harris, N.A.:3). Harris is referring to the shift in emphasis of the film from the leading lady to the killer. The start of the movie is completely focused on Marion’s point of view, but after her murder the emphasis and focus is pushed onto the killer. This is an effective way of evolving the plot as well as suddenly shifting the mood and atmosphere of the movie.

 Madness is a key element of this film as it seems to define almost the entire existence of the murderer who is lost in his Oedipus-esque mother complex which eventually leads him to murder his victims, dressed up in his mothers attire in an attempt to impersonate her after killing her and her lover because in his delude state of thinking, no one but him should have her affections.

 Hitchcock also during the film tries to get the audience to understand Norman. As Uhlich states:  “"We all go a little mad sometimes," the young man observes, inspiring Marion to renounce her kleptomania and take a cleansing shower.” (Uhlich, 2010:3) it almost seems that Norman tries to find an ounce of madness in everyone perhaps to rectify his feelings and behaviour and make himself at least seem more normal while Marion fails to feel alarmed after him claiming to live alone and then speaking of his ill mother who lives upstairs in the manor.  The audience is perhaps then more alarmed and shocked to find this strange individual becoming far more dangerous than first anticipated.

Figure 3. Marion in Car. (1960)

 Psycho has a spectacular ways to portray uneasiness in characters, one example being the widely spread medium of music which is masterfully used to emphasise growing paranoia as Marion flees in her car and also foretells the horror of the shower scene when it’s about to happen in the famous piece of cutting strings which grow faster and faster and louder and louder right up to the key moment where the high notes become low, the suspense is lifted and deed is done.

 The second medium is the camera, which every now and then goes on a wander and presents the audience details the characters are not aware of themselves or it angles in an unusual position, for example the scene where Marion’s boyfriend interrogates Norman and even though Norman’s face betrays no emotion, the camera is on a close up from below on his Adams apple and chin line which nervously bounce up and down in tact with the sweets he is chewing which might indicate his genius in venting his negative emotions around him as well as his almost odd lack of disregard for the questions he is being asked. Norman only starts eating a sweet after it is clear that he is going to be interrogated, after all.

 Altogether, Psycho is a production that touches upon the topic of mental illnesses and masterfully plays with sound, camera and plot to shock its audience with scenes of murder but also uses frequent change of sympathies towards the characters to rapidly evolve the story and build suspense. It manipulates the audience by using the media available at that time while trying to conform to the taboos of nudity and violence to deliver a film that was unlike anything audiences had seen before.
“Hitchcock even didn't use his trademark technique of building suspense and instead simply shocked the audience with totally unexpected plot twists, and depictions of violence and sexual innuendo that was very daring for its time.” (Antulov, 1999:3)

Illustration List:

Figure 1. Hitchcock, A. (1960) Norman offers Marion Dinner. [Psycho Still] Available from: (accessed: 25/01/2015)
Figure 2. Hitchcock, A. (1960) Norman’s subtle madness. [Psycho Still] Available from: (accessed: 25/01/2015)
Figure 3. Hitchcock, A. (1960) Marion in Car. [Psycho Still] Available from: (accessed: 25/01/2015)


Antulov, Dragan. (1999) available from: (accessed: 25/01/2015)
Harris, Will. (N.A.) available from: (accessed: 25/01/2015)
Jenkins, David. (2010) available from: (accessed: 25/01/2015)
Uhlich, Keith. (2010) available from: (accessed: 25/01/2015)