Tuesday 1 October 2013

This project ain't dead!

At this point I'm not sure anyone is still looking, but I guess I'm mostly writing this as a note to myself.

I have been very lucky since I finished University last year. I got a job straight after graduating, working as an artist at Lupus Films for the sequel of the classic Christmas animated film, The Snowman, that being The Snowman and the Snowdog. Short after that, I was contacted by Lupus about a few weeks job helping with the Snowman and the Snowdog Christmas ident for Channel 4, which was pretty exciting as well. After a break, during which I went to visit my family in Portugal, I got back to London to find positions available at Tandem Films and tested for that. Lucky me I got that job! So that's where I still am, since March.. was it March? I don't even remember anymore. I still have a few more months here before I have to go looking for something else, so that's nice.

Also on my spare time (besides playing games, practicing drawing and, of course, occasionally procrastinating) I am helping out with a project where I'm illustrating a small story written by another girl, in the form of a comic. This little comic will be put together in a book with comics done by a few other artists. I don't think there's much of a confidentiality thing going on in the project, but I rather not discuss the details at this point.

So with all this being said, I HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN ABOUT MY DEAREST SHORT FILM. I still REALLY want to do it and occasionally try re-drawing the characters. Sometimes I picture scenes playing in my head and try to come up with ways to improve my ideas. But I'm very busy and having a full time job that is also a creative one, can really drain my creative juices. I feel bad I haven't been posting anything, especially since I said I would on that last update post, BUT I am still thinking about this project. I will make it one day and I'll keep saying this until I give up on it for some extraordinarily good reason (such as me suddenly being hit by a bolt of illuminated lightning that will turn me into a super creative person and therefore make me have a better idea than that of this film).

If anyone read this far, I appreciate it!

Thursday 21 June 2012


Well, I thought I'd update this with a little info on what's been happening to me and what will happen to this film.

After attending a Portfolio Drop Event that Disney set up in London, I had the chance to chat with a Visual Development artist from Disney, Jeff Turley, who was really kind and encouraging. After this talk which set me on a path to building a portfolio/showreel focused on backgrounds and colour, I have decided that I will colourscript The Troll's Dagger. I think this will be a valuable key to getting the film to work much better as I really want it to transmit the emotions clearly.

I have thought of a few details, as well, that require me to re-do the storyboards and animatic, so the film will be longer than it was intended which was almost 4 minutes long. It will have a longer sequence of flashbacks which style I will also need to develop into something more finished than what is seen in the trailers. I will research viking art and the sort and try to adapt it to a style I like and have those sequences fully animated... or animated in cut out.

I might try to get something uploaded in the next month maybe.. I'm waiting to be contacted to see if I got a job or not which should happen next week, but considering I will want my film's colourscripts in my portfolio I will need to storyboard it at some point.

That's all for now.

Saturday 26 May 2012

Time to put it behind

I have finally gathered the courage to share the trailer (or trailers). The thought that people will see it on a (very) big screen on the Degree Show is very off putting, if I may say so myself. I know that it is a common feeling to not being pleased with one's own work, but it really bugs me how I get to the end of the year feeling so tired, and then look at the final product and it looks as though I've been doing nothing the whole time. I feel disappointed at myself, but unfortunately there is nothing I can do at this point but live with it.

Nevertheless, I did not make this trailer to use as a portfolio piece. The trailer was the solution I thought of to be able to submit a finished product in the end of the year, and there were a lot of good things that came with the process. I learned a lot about myself and my abilities. I have become quite interested in background painting, something I avoided this whole time before I started this course; and my liking for the director's work was heightened. Hopefully I will be able to translate all of this onto the actual film once I resume working on it. Many things will change, including the flashback sequences, which will definitely look more finished and less lazy... sigh.

This is the first edit, which I submitted two weeks ago or so. Flashbacks take over half of the trailer, pretty much, and come all at once almost. I really disliked that, plus the fact that only one 'present' shot interrupts them for a couple of seconds. The shots are all in chronological order, which doesn't really work, something I only noticed once I had the final product all put together. That's not good. Considering it wasn't my intentions to make the story of the film clear, with this trailer, the way the shots are set up make it look like I was attempting the opposite.

For the second edit I decided to randomize the chronological order as well as mix up the 'present' shots with the flashback shots. I ended up not animating the troll coming out of the house, because, for one, I did try to do it (many many times), but then thought that the effort was pointless considering that it would have not made the trailer any better. As I decided to change the order of the shots, that shot lost its significance. This edit is more like a teaser trailer, showing characters and emotions over story.

On another note, these are the line tests of the two shots I animated for Jamie and that I will be colouring over the weekend. I found animating on paper rather fun, actually, and probably easier and more appealing than doing so on the computer with the graphics tablet. Even though I'm well used to the tablet, it definitely doesn't conquer the precision one can get with the pencil, and animating straight ahead as I do, seems to come out more naturally. Still, there's some timing issues, specifically in the fist shot I show here; but as Jamie put it, 'there's no time to think, only time to animate!', which, with the very LAST deadline knocking on the door, is very true.

In this shot, the dead cat fish the two main characters had been fighting over through the film, falls into the river and lands on the head of a far greater and lively cat fish, waking him up (Jamie animated the little one after I animated this, so you'll have to use your imagination).

And in this shot, the giant cat fish rises like a shark and with a snappy bite, tears the boat the characters are on in half (again, use your imagination for the rest of the shot!)

Tuesday 22 May 2012

Getting there...

I am pretty much finished with the new edit of the film. I just need to tweak a couple of things to have the music finish with better timing.
Also, I have started animating one of two little shots for Jamie's film. To keep the style consistent, I'm animating them on paper, the same as he is. That will definitely be something different to post here. Hopefully I'll have the line test of those shots ready to upload tomorrow.

Friday 11 May 2012


After having submitted the trailer on Wednesday, I have come to the conclusion that I'm generally not pleased with it! I don't think I ever will, because being pleased with what I do is not something I'm usually  familiar with, but I think I can be not pleased with the trailer whilst at the same time think that some people might still enjoy it, and these aren't my current feelings concerning my project.

After having got some feedback on something I knew but didn't want to admit to myself, I have decided to animate the shot of the Troll coming out of his house, which I had cut from the trailer. Without this shot, the troll in the 'present time' is introduced in a wide shot, and when the audience finally gets to see his face, it's a straight up CLOSE UP, and that's just not right. A nice mid shot of the character appearing on the screen from behind something definitely works better, and besides, I already have that background done. I will probably tidy up the editing of the film and change the order of some shots also, essentially put all the flashback shots first, and the present shots after them. Hopefully... that will do the trick...

 As for uploading the trailer, I don't feel ready enough to share what I have so far, so I will refrain doing that until I'm told that I really need to have it here. Otherwise I will upload it once I have the (fingers crossed) better version of it to upload at the same time. Strategy!

Tuesday 8 May 2012

Here are some random concept drawings I did. The first two I did quite some time ago, and weren't necessarily used in the final film, apart from the roaring troll, which was a reference for one of the flashback drawings. The third picture has a couple of sketches I pulled off quickly plus the final dagger design (bottom left).