Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Holiday Progress


I’m a little frustrated with some of the things that I’m reading. It’s no one’s fault, but I can see that we’re in dire need of some organization if we’re going to get anything done over the holidays. I don’t have all the answers but I figured in the midst of chaos, I’ll get the ball rolling with some order. It seems that right now we’re all doing a lot of complaining, with no one offering any solutions. So let’s get together as a team and attempt to fix some of the problems we’re experiencing. I’ll try not to rant, but I do want to hit on some key points. Overall, I think we need to focus on practicality and communication.

First of all… Idealy, meeting in person at the school over the holidays is a great idea but I think it’s impractical for most. IF school meetings are going to be held, then I think we’re going to have to face the facts that 3 people showing up may be the best we’re going to get. Even if there are only 3 people, is that not still enough to at least get something accomplished? Other things have gotten done with even fewer than 3 people contributing. If anything, the best opportunity to get some work done is individually, and then displaying and discussing it on the blog.

Which brings me to my next point; The blog. We have such an incredible tool right at our finger tips. If we organize ourselves, this blog will make everything so much easier for us. We need to start using it for the right reasons….to display and discuss work and deadlines. It’s such a practical tool. Why even bother meeting in person for 2 or 3 hours when we can have people contributing to the blog at their own convenience around the clock.

Structure. Nothing will get done without some deadlines. Strict deadlines are ideal, but again, It’s the holidays and people are running around doing a million other things. So we need to have tentative deadlines with a window of a few days for completion. If someone’s late in contributing, we shouldn’t wait for those people and have them slow us down. They lose their say. We move on.

Finally. Kayla touched on it and it's a very important point. I want to elaborate. Dedication. Ideally we’d have all 13 people contributing equally. I now believe that’s extremely nieve. I dont think it's realistic to expect everyone to be on hand to work all the time. I've missed meetings, we've all missed meetings. we're all guilty of it, and that's ok so long as it doesn't hinder our success. That's why we have 13 people. Power in numbers. I don't expect everyone to sacrifice their lives for the sake of the film. But i do expect, and the GROUP expects everyone to do the albsolute MOST they can, to the best of their ability. The fact is, the only incentive for people to get work done for the film over the holidays is personally driven. If someone doesn’t have the personal motivation to contribute, what can we do? It’s the harsh truth. I urge everyone to contribute their work and ideas. We have a strong, talented group and great potential to create something that we can all be proud of. I know this doesn’t mean as much to some people…but you know what? We’re not here to nag anyone to do their work, we’re not here to look over someone’s shoulder and be their parent. Man, our group doesn’t even have that problem as bad as some of the other groups do. So we need to accept the fact that some people will do more than others. It’s just the nature of the beast. All I can offer as an incentive is reputation and personal growth. Everyone knows who contributes and who doesn’t. I respect all of you, and at this stage in our careers no one is BETTER than anyone else but there are people with better work ethic, and that gets noticed. Also, I know it sounds corny, but it’s true. I’ve learned so much from collaborating with all of you, and I’m continuing to learn from each of your styles and talents. By contributing we’re teaching each other whether we know it or not. I’ve learned more from you guys and this group film experience than any of our classes this semester. I know a lot of you will agree with that statement.

So, in conclusion I would like to get the ball rolling by putting some deadlines out there.

First off…the revised leica reel. I hope everyone had a chance to see it. I want you all to post your critique. The general consensus seems to be that it was a lot stronger than our initial attempt. We still need to cut some time, but that’s not the most important issue. The main issue is death’s characterization. Is it worth it too change? Should we contine with what we’ve got? Your thoughts?

We will make a decision on this by FRIDAY THE 21ST. That’s more than enough time to make a decision. We’ll base it on everyone’s comments, and if need be, a vote. Therefore, if you want your opinion to be heard and considered, make sure you post on the blog. I encourage everyone to comment on people’s posts and get discussions going.

Once we make this decision, we will assign sections of the board to be re-boarded. We’re almost there in terms of story. For our next run through of the boards, we NEED to focus on getting entertainment value and humour back into our film. I think that this it detrimental to a successful reception of our film. Enough already with the sappiness. It’s Death and a 110 year old Dare Devil. They’re cartoon characters. Let’s forget about trying to make the audience emotionally connect with a cartoon skeleton that has feminine tendencies. That doesn’t make sense to me. It’s a ridiculously absurd story. Let’s present it as such. The focus shouldn’t be on deep rooted emotional dilemmas. YES, we need those factors present in a small dose, but they shouldn’t be the focus. We’re not trying to make a gut wrenching Oscar winner here. We’re trying to entertain an audience in 4 minutes. We’re animators…cartoonists. Our job is to observe real life and caricature it…exaggerate it. That’s the beauty of this art form. If we want to make something that’s 100% logical and true to real life with characters that are entirely relatable, why waste the effort of animating it? Let’s hire Johnny Depp and Jack Nickelson to shoot this thing as a live action. Alright…that’s enough of my tounge and cheek rant…you get the point.

As it stands right now, I would like to have a fresh draft of the script with any new ideas and gags/jokes ready for Saturday the 22nd and have everyone re-board and post their sections on the blog from the 23nd to the 29th.

I think a realistic goal for us during the break is to come back on the first day of second semester with a finished, revised story board that’s scanned in and ready. From which we can take the first few days to update the leica reel and re-record some dialogue. We have all the SFX, and music…basic timing. The foundation for the leica reel is there.


On a side note, I know the tone of this post is a little harsh, and I’m not trying to step on anyone’s toes, or trying to put myself and my opinions above anyone else. I don’t want it to seem like I’m going off on a power trip. I’m simply passionate about this project, and more than anything want to see us succeed as a group. I’m just trying to be as honest and straight forward as I can be while still being constructive. My intent was to restore some order through this post. I hope I have. Please offer some feedback to this post, I would love to hear everyone’s opinion and I’m excited and anxious to see what you all have to say. Everyone’s opinion counts…we’re all creative, and all full of great ideas. Let’s put them out there. We’re alone to work on this over the break. We’ve received great feedback and guidance and about a million opinions from a million different people. Now lets take all that and use it to make the film WE want to make.

Thanks guys.
Have a good one.

PS...Overall, let's not kid ourselves...we're doing a damn good job so far. Let's continue on that path. As long as we do...everything will work out.


Tracy said...

Hi there! First of all, I offer my apologies to Kayla and the ones that were there, that I didn't show up, though I did note it ahead of time. Unfortunately, it just didn't work out for me, and I don't think meetings over the break are going to, as some car issues are going down.

I really agree with what Frank said about the blog. it's a really useful tool, and individual work is also fantastic.

That being said, I will do my best to get some stuff done over the holidays. I feel like I get so lazy once I come home, so I'll have to occasionally kick myself in the ass to produce.

As for the story, I am just about split down the middle. I gotta say, I'm a flexible person. I can go with the story EITHER WAY. My thoughts.

Story 1) Death <3 Evil Stevil: This can work! Our second leica proved it. I still like this idea, however I also like what Frank said, this does not need to be an emotional gut wrenching rollercoaster. I think Death being sad at the end can still make it work.

My two cents? The parachute does not work. Ignoring the leica, storyboards, just thinking of it in my head, it feels like it cuts into the story.

2.) Death h8's Evil Stevil (yeah I loves me some chatspeak):

This can ALSO work. In my mind we can come up with almost two EXACTLY the same stories, with a mild character change.

Hmmm. Gonna go make a post now. :D

Kayla McIlwaine said...

Hi all. I just want to start off by saying thank you Frank, I completely understand your viewpoint, but I think through the fact that this is text and not a voice speaking that the tone of my post was lost. As I said I’m not trying to rant and make everyone feel bad, I just wanted to make a point. I knew of 2 people who could not make it, you included, and that's fine, I never expected everyone to be there. Of the 3 of us that showed, we agreed that because we did not make 60% of the group, decisions could not be made, so we broke. This is why the meeting never commenced. I think in the end it personally came down to dedication and a lack of respect for other peoples time. Trust me I’m not mad, and I’m not looking for peoples apologies, I just thought that is was about time I'd bring the issue up because it's not the first.

But in any case, as you said we're all not perfect, and we've all missed meetings, so let bygones be bygones. I’m still really excited and so proud of this group. I can't wait for the New Year when we get to bring it all to life!

I’m gonna go write a post in response to all the great ideas.