Our introduction to narrative and story telling involved this initial concept:
You’re day is normal as usual until a meteor strikes Victoria Square.
My team and I decided that we’d take a whimsical/ sci-fi approach to this concept. We decided ‘The Spirit of Belfast’ (A sculpture by Dan George at Victoria Square) would come to life and face the oddities of living in an alien planet. Below is my initial planning page and study of said sculpture. One of my main problems was turning this character into something which could emote and was practical.
Below is an image of the actual Spirit of Belfast Statue.
My team and I decided to fit our story into the hero’s journey. Here is an example of this work below. We treated our sculpture character as the hero and explores a universe in which he had died in a previous life and his spirit landed in the rock that eventually found it’s way to Earth; Earth’s environment made it possible our character to live again whilst his spirit inhabited a one in-animated sculpture. His conflicts would revolve around trying to understand Earth’s inhabitants whilst also coping with this event. His mentor would be an old lady who had a personal connections to the sculpture previously. His journey would be understanding his purpose on Earth.
Below are some images of our initial character designs for this concept. As we felt that the character would be quite endearing and innocent, we decided to look and see how we could convey this physically whilst working with quite a difficult design; this lead us to look at such characters as the Giant from ‘The Iron Giant’, Wall-E from ‘Wall-E’, Groot from ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, and Bay-Max from ‘Big Hero 6’. Additionally, we decided to look at popular directors such as Steven Spielberg,and Brad Bird to attempt to capture their typical, whimsical, fantasy style of film-making.
As we were told to focus on a particular scene to storyboard, we decided to focus on our ‘Meeting with the Mentor’ which meant we had to decide upon a design for our old lady character; this character posed as a moral mentor for our character. Below are some of my studies for this particular section.
Below is another character design that I drew digitally for our sculpture character.
Story Boarding Research
In order to construct a story board to best I could, I decided to research through the book ‘Exploring Story Boarding’ by Tumminello. This book thoroughly explained the different shots within a film, and their use; I found this thoroughly useful. To make note of this information, I draw out a majority of the pages consisting of different shots.Below are the results.
Additionally, I looked at the work of Brad Bird (mainly due to his work within ‘The Iron Giant’ and ‘The Incredibles’) and how he constructed storyboards; he explained how composition was crucial in interesting an audience (straight on composition was boring and juvenile). Whilst story boarding, you must create dynamic sketches illustrating different angles and perspective within a scene.The results of this work can be seen below.
Making a Basic Story Board
Below is my personal, very basic story board I used to illustrate the events in our chosen scene. As we had not finalised a character design, I used basic shapes to represent our character. This scene illustrates a tender moment for our protagonist; hopelessness, loss. The rubble around the character almost matches his emotions at the time (the rubble was the result of the asteroid). To convey the protagonist’s emotions, I decided to show multiple different close ups of his face, but also insert shots to convey what events may make our character feel the way in which he does. The initial long shot conveyed the setting and the events which were occurring within the scene. I later used several frontal shots to convey the humour and whimsy in the scene in the later shots.
Before creating my basic story board, I decided to create a script to understand the scene further. In this script I thoroughly included the setting, actions of both characters and dialogue which matched the characters personalities (this would further help visualising the scene). This work can be viewed below.