Doing some reading around loglines for series, books, movies basically any narrative-based entertainment and I’ve discovered that the logline isn’t only a tool to hook your audience and help you stand out but it can also be used to lay out the entire structure of your story.
“A properly written logline describes a screen story uniquely. Using three key story elements, it triangulates a film so effectively, it will differentiate your project from every other film made, or story told.
Using the power triangle of main character, inciting incident and story goal, you lay the basis of the logline – and that of your film’s 3-act structure.”
Using a logline as a guide, you can constantly be asking yourself how whatever you are doing links back to the essence of your idea. You can use it as a yardstick to keep your series and project pulling in the same direction. I think in future I’m going to try and distil the series down into the simplest logline I can. Then use it the same way Yuan advised us to use our dissertation question.
“A properly written logline not only helps you capture the essence of your story, it guides you through the writing process. It helps you make tough decisions during development, and ultimately keeps you on track.”
I want our series to have something special. Something to set it aside from the competition. This quote sums it up well, especially when we’re aiming for online streaming to be our biggest platform. In short, we need to say it fast and say it well if we want this to have a real chance.
“In a world of instant gratification and where an alternative website is just a mouse click away website owners need to find ways to firstly grab the attention of a user, and then keep it for long enough to get your message across. If you don’t, their cursor will be heading to the back button and on to a competitor in the blink of an eye.”
The creator of Community and co-creator of Rick and Morty, Dan Harmon, has been working on story structure and has created a simpler and easy to digest “story circle”
Obviously using the “Monomyth” as a template he has created a frame that you can readily apply to not only stories but every aspect of life.
Another thing that we looked into for the character and narrative side of our story was making Character Trees. These would be instrumental in deciding how our characters will react in different situations. It would also be useful to have a Character Tree for the start of the series and the end of the series. That way we can plan out the changes of character in a visual, simple way
The overall ideas we have for our artistic direction have been relatively similar. We all love the toon shader look to get that soft appealing 2D look. I also feel that it would make the animation fit better into the demographic. We could still animate in 3D and have all the benefits of the pipeline but also appeal to the people who already love 2D animation.
A stunning example of this is “Avacado Man” The simple backgrounds and gorgeous texture work give this animation a different yet comfortable feel. It’s still undoubtedly 3D but the more tactile quality that the 2D gives it really drives the appeal that we would love in our Minisode.
Another Gorgeous example of the aesthetic and look we’re leaning towards.
Below is a mood board Natasha roughed up as we discussed style
So I took to Pinterest for inspiration to try and find more examples of landscapes and compositions for the environments. Id love to get a huge sense of scale in the environments. Like the characters are almost stranded in this huge world. A huge wold that is directly proportional to their task. I don’t want it constantly suffocating them but I think it could really help set up the scope of the series if the last shot of our minisode had the feeling of wonder and the promise of epic adventures.
Since I heard from Sorcha that there was going to be magic in this world all I could think was how I couldn’t wait to get into making the magic effects. I’d love to experiment with really stylized fluids and shaders within Maya. Pushing towards the aesthetics of the bugs and explosions in this trailer for our short. The real technical challenge is going to be trying to match the simulation and renders to the style we’re going for.
Something like this would be ideal.
Next is what I would like to aim for in terms of animation. It would be great to look into incorporating smearing into our rigs so we can further blur the line between 2D and 3D in our short. It would be lovely to work on that free-flowing almost rubbery aesthetic
I found this plug-in that seems to give us exactly that. It’s definitely worth a look for getting that effect.
I would love to aim for this level of characterisation in the animation of the minisode. The exaggeration of the key-poses and the attitude put into them really help sell the character and you understand what he’s feeling even on mute. I’d love to push myself to animate characters at this level for the Minisode.
Sorcha has really taken on the mantle of keeping us all organised and on track for this project. She posts up goals and schedules for what we need to achieve each week.
My responsibility in the planning is to liaise with the lads a Glasgowburry and organise the sound design of the short. I’ve always gravitated towards the sound when working on projects in the past so it’s gonna be great to be talking to actual professionals at the mixing desk. Also, my father is an incredibly accomplished organist with a grasp of music I can’t begin to fathom. I plan to discuss scoring the minisode with him, or at the very least run through ideas about the emotional notes of our short and how best to use music to accent them.
It would also be great to involve local bands in the series. There’s a huge amount of talent in Northern Ireland and it’s just sitting waiting for a crossover with the visual arts. It would also be an interesting angle to play when looking for funding.
I really want to focus on the marking criteria this year and make sure everything I do is linking back to the area’s were being marked in. I want to nail this year and get the best launch pad possible for my career.