Alright guys, this is going to be a long post so I'm going to get right into it. This blog will contain everything you need to know about my short film ‘Quiet’. Enjoy.
*All images and animations are a work in progress and haven't been finalized*
The story behind the story
Around summer of last year, after I had started my book ‘100% inked’, I came up with two ideas for short films I thought were interesting enough to make. One of the ideas was a film called ‘anger’ in which the story would be about how little things in your life could build up over time and get you angry and how that anger could blow up in your face. It was an interesting idea at the time, and I was satisfied with the concept so I put it aside until I finished my book.
My art book 100% inked came out last November and was my first big project.
Back in December when I started working to flesh out the concept of the film, I began to experience some problems with the story. The simple story I thought I had seemed too hinged on technology inciting anger in a person, not about the emotion itself. With this suspicion I asked a friend of mine to critique my outline and to give me her thoughts. I wrote about this in the blog ‘kill your babies’. Essentially, she confirmed my suspicions and I had to make a decision. Spend time altering little pieces of the story and hope it works itself out (this never works for me btw) or scrap the main idea of the plot and start over.
Original Designs for the character in 'Anger'
'Anger' was supposed to have more character interaction and more color
A chair design for 'Anger'
The biggest problem for 'Anger' was its reliance on a single gag involving a cellphone.
I chose to start over. Shortly after a mild crisis about the status of my film, an idea popped up in my head and it made me smile and most importantly, felt natural to me. This concept touched the core of what the original idea ‘anger’ was trying to achieve but would do so in a smarter way, while allowing me to simplify the design style even more. I began making the storyboards/ animatic in January of this year.
So what is ‘Quiet’ about? Simply put, ‘Quiet’ is the story of some guy (more or less based off myself), whose trying to relax/meditate but outside forces are preventing him from doing so. In a sense it's a story about man vs. the world. Not to make it sound more larger than it is, but if you're to reduce to the core idea, that is what you would get.
Just let me meditate bro.
It's a cute and quirky film with a very simple style. The look of the film is black and white, technically everything is a light shade of grey, but you get me. The focus of the film is on character animation and sound design to tell the story to the audience. Since there’s no dialogue, I've tried my best to relay the characters emotions to you through his acting. While I haven't started sound design yet, I will be doing so in a couple of weeks. The animation looks nice enough at the moment to me, but the sound will really take it to the level that I want it to be at.
The film is mostly run-on animation which means there's really no cuts or dramatic angles. It's staged in one place all the time so I could focus more on how the character acts. This is completely intentional and I have a few reasons for doing so, namely points I expressed prior (focus on character animation) and the fact that I wanted to make a small little film. Now there are times in which there are cuts, but it's only to express a change in time. The film takes place at night and you see how his condition worsens over time so I felt the need to add time cards in to really push the point that this character is not having a good time.
Example of how the time cards look.
Next and rather bluntly, this film is 100% me. I've done everything in this film from start to finish. I did have critique from my friends and that helped me with the direction I needed to take in the planning stages, but as far as physical work and hours put into it, this is a ‘Kyle Samuels’ project through and through. I must say it feels nice after doing team films for the past 5 or so years. Yes if you didn't know this will be my first solo film in half a decade (now I feel old). I started fully animating in February while working a temp job at my college. I've been animating since and should be wrapping it up in the next few weeks.
Right now it's hard to tell how long the final cut of the film will be, but as of now the animatic is timed at about 3 minutes and 50 seconds. This includes ending cards so the actual film is about 10-15 seconds shorter. This is much longer than I originally anticipated it to be. I wanted the film to be about 2.5 minutes long; however, when I timed it to be that way, it felt way too fast. I'm still in the process of cutting and speeding things up so we’ll see what the final time will be soon.
Business is the new black
Now that you know a little bit about the film, I want to talk about the business side of what this film is about. There's a lot of important announcements in this section so I'd recommend not speeding through it.
Let's get down to business
The first point to be made is that this film is the first film that will usher in high quality animations for my website. This is me putting my animator hat back on and really diving into the medium in ways I haven't done in a long time. This film is also part of a new category, code named ‘A films’. I'm sure by looking at the name you can infer a bit about what I'm getting out. Well let me paint a clearer picture. ‘A films’ are what I consider to be the peak of my abilities as an artist and these projects are meant to push me past my own boundaries. ‘A films’ are a subclass of ‘A projects’. ‘A projects’ are large projects that I've worked on longer than 3 months and as stated before, meant to push me past my boundaries into new territories as an artist as well as to build my audience.
‘A films’ will debut and remain exclusive on my website to provide unique content that will drive traffic. Obviously there will be a small sample at the launch of ‘Quiet’ but eventually there will be a nice library of my work that you can only get here. I'm excited by this for a lot of reasons, but mainly I will be able to ween myself off from others website and be truly independent.
I am goaling myself to have at least 1 ‘A project’ a year. While on this subject, I will also say that there are subfamilies of ‘A projects’. First there's the ‘A films’. Next there are what I call ‘Mini’s’. I can't reveal too much about that nowadays I will talk about it down the line, but know there's a lot of good stuff in the pipeline. Lastly, this film will also set a new precedent for my advertising. I believing talking about and getting your film to the public is just as important as making it, so I've got plans on that end too. I'll refrain from talking about it as it's a bit of a boring subject.
One of the reasons I made this short film is that- as stated earlier, I hadn't animated a personal project in about 5 years. That's crazy to me. I have animated in between my last film, but it was never on projects that I would call my own. I felt that I hadn't been putting my degree to use so after I finished my book, I made it my goal to make my next project an animation. I wanted to also take on a large project I could get done in a few months. Now I didn't know how large this project would turn into, but that was my thinking late last year.
The other reason I chose a larger project is because I wanted to put myself in different situations to better understand tv paint. This way as I work on more elaborate projects, I'll have a better understanding of the program so I can work more efficiently. By the way, I've already learned so much starting with this project, I feel it has already validated itself in my eyes. There's a lot in the future I have to be mindful of, but I'm glad I learned it now instead of later.
Tvpaint is an awesome program and I learned it all by myself.
Lastly I chose to make this because I saw so many of my peers making short animations. I would see short 30 second animations or loops from very skilled individuals, and not wanting to be left in the dust I promptly decided I had to do something about that. Friendly competition has always been a big motivator for me when growing up and it's something I felt I lost while working as stellar. Now that fire has been reinvigorated and I'm not expecting it to die out anytime soon.
- Other facts
o This film will debut a new bumper for Dreamspace exclusive items.
o When the film launches, you will be able to donate to me directly through my website- any amount you want. No idea what Perks of doing so are right now, but will make a list for the future
o Even though the short is exclusive to my website, I will have clips of it on YouTube, Vimeo and other places to promote it.
o Planning on entering this film in as many competitions as possible.
o Originally was scheduled to premiere on my birthday.
o I made some pretty questionable decisions during the pre-production phase of this film and those mistakes have been rearing up as I'm finalizing the animation.
o The film was supposed to be on 3’s and 4’s but for some reason I changed it to 1’s, 2’s and 3’s.
I hope you guys are just as excited about this film that I am. I've really put a lot of heart into it and quit my retail job to finish it in a timely manner. This is the first film of many that I have planned to create and I hope you love it. That said, I'm going to leave some art here because the blog will be on hiatus until the film is complete.