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Intro development work

The voice-over for the intro section talks about the disappointment arising from the Copenhagen climate conference in 2009. As it’s the first animation section, I wanted to do something fairly hard-hitting that will hopefully grab the audience’s attention. I’d considered doing a spoof of the Olympics, with different countries kicking and smashing the world around the place with rackets and bats and feet and so on. In the end i decided that starting the film with a spoof wasn’t strong enough. So i decided on the idea of a wrecking crew; The scene will start with a symbolic and fairly fragile looking glass globe in the centre. Different screens on the globe will be playing different natural and environmental scenes. A crowd, representing the world leaders attending the conference, will wonder up to the globe, take a look, and then basically beat the crap out of it. Heavy handed and crass i know, but if as most agree, the Copenhagen climate talks were a catastrophe (Especially measured against the burgeoning hopes that preceded them) then it’s not a bad analogy at all. Here’s some loose storyboards with direction i wrote for Cristobal Infante, the 3D artist who will be building the globe (Don’t bother reading all the direction, it’s a bit dull):

We’ve also been thinking quite hard about what this glassy globe will look like. It doesn’t really represent ‘the world’ as much as the case for urgent action to avert man made climate change. In as much, I wanted the globe to look quite weathered and fragile,  a bit of a metaphor for the state of the cause itself. Here are some mood boards i developed for Cris:

So that’s what we’re aiming for with the globe. As for the characters themselves, well I’m still rather fascinated with working with oil-paint on glass and it seemed to me that juxta-posing a real looking cg globe with abstract paint characters could work well. Whenever thinking about characters the first problem i always hit is that I am no  character animator, so for this shot it’s roto-scoping all the way. In order to rotoscope i had to set up shoots for all the actions and positions the characters would be in. Shoot 1 was for the opening and closing wide shots, this took place in the hall at the school where my wife works. Whilst i looked through the camera set up on the stage, she walked round the hall marking spots where characters would walk to to surround the globe. I then combined the shots in post and masked out the characters (In this case, me):

I shot all the tight shots in the yard at Clapham Road Studios with the help Christophe as the actor in this case. Since then i’ve been rotoscoping away. Here are a couple of work in progress stills of paint on glass development work:

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