This week’s project is to plan how we are going to tackle a 90 second story board for our world (still on the Dragon Tree), including all the work on it so far such as the colour schemes, the compositions of the world with it’s characters, the lighting and also the camera itself will have to be discussed. I’m on the same team of Caitlin, Michelle and Rebecca.
The first thing we did was consider the speed as it can drastically affect the mood or message. We’ve agreed that our world is quite a dark, scary and warm place so if we use a fast-pace approach then everything will seem erratic and wild but if we use a slower more deliberate approach it will feel much more intense.
We could use a static camera or let the camera be it’s own character (by using POV – point of view). I quite like the idea of the camera being ourselves and we explore this world by hiding in it. Instead of panning around the forest we would jolt left and right and occasionally get down low and have the environment cover some of the screen as if you’re hiding in a shrub, almost like in gameplay.
Our lecturer also mentioned some other areas to explore including stop-motion animation which I’m quite a
really huge fan of (Wallace and Gromit <3), I’ve even had a few silly attempts before:
We were trying to come up with different ways to present this to our class and I thought about light puppets. Basically shapes cut out of paper, on a stick, using their shadows to express our world. It reminded me of the video we watched in class before…
Insanely Twisted Shadow puppets by Michael Gagné is done with a computer but I’m sure you can get an equally creepy effect by hand, if not more.
My team (Michelle, Rebecca and Caitlin) got together again and brainstormed ideas for this task. We thought about how we could use the camera to enhance the dark and scary atmosphere (as well as to look at the different areas in the world) and create a style that would compliment it all.
We decided that our storyboard will be a journey taking you, the viewer, through the Dragon-Tree. Caitlin knows a lot about camera techniques and was able to tell us about all the different methods such as static cameras, POV (point of view), hand held and impossible shots (as if you’re looking through a wall). Here’s a great video with different types of cinematic techniques:
I really liked the hand held camera effect. Some examples to look at are “The Blair Witch Project“:
We also thought of this shot from “Cloverfield” where we look up at the monster from beneath it and that we could use a shot like this to introduce the dragon:
WARNING: this clip contains extreme gore and uncomfortable images from the start.
and safe to view from 0.40 to 1.12)
Both the world and it’s inhabitants are supposed to be scary. An effect we could add to the camera to suggest this is that it shakes the closer a character gets to it, a bit like in the game “Slender Man”:
(Relevant from 12:55 to 13:37)
So our story would start with you (the camera) walking through a forest (unaware it’s the dragon’s back) and suddenly the ground starts shaking and the dragon lifts it’s head up and turns to look at you on it’s back. Instead of just being eaten as a means of getting inside, Michelle had the idea of entering through the dragon’s eye – this would make more sense as you could then go through the brain then the mouth and into the chest cavity instead of entering through the mouth first and backtracking through the eye and brain before heading to the rest of the caverns. Michelle and Rebecca liked the idea of using a static camera (like on a rig) for entering the eye. I thought it would be cool to give it an alien abduction feel to it. Michelle mentioned a shot from Limitless (“unlimited zoom” which is shown in the first video, 7:10 to 7:30) that would be awesome for this!
Once you’re in the eye you would make your way through the optic nerve and into the brain, a bit of a mix between a hand held and a static feel. Then you would trip and end up falling down the throat and past the mouth. We were thinking of doing a slow-motion shot when you pass the mouth and it would be cool because instead of looking into the mouth, you are looking out through it from the back of the throat. Rebecca was thinking about styles and mentioned using sepia or grunge because the interior of the dragon is brown anyway and it would de-saturate the bright colours and create a darker atmosphere.
Landing in the lungs, you are running around dodging the bird creatures that live there and get chased into the heart where you spot the fairy. Suddenly you will get pulled (rigged camera) from the heart and into the belly past the fire creatures and straight into the fire (you end up being the fuel for the dragon). Michelle suggested that we slightly pull back the camera a couple of times to show some resistance
when getting dragged to our burning death. I think this is great!
However, this week we are just planning our storyboard so all of this could change. These are some links that could be very useful for our next task of actually creating the storyboard; Storyboards, Multimedia storyboards.
We’ve got a range of concepts for our story:
- A story from the dragon’s perspective, like the movie Meet Dave
- A moral struggle between the characters of the heart and mind
- A journey through the dragon, shot in P.O.V (point of view), meaning you are the main character…
Michelle had written little extracts of possible stories and they were amazing, she definitely has a knack for this!
We were also thinking about the best way to express our storyboard visually. I stumbled upon this display at the Ulster Museum yesterday:
Dragons made from willow! Unfortunately I couldn’t find a name of the artist or any info on their sculptures. I took some videos of the dragons and edited them using the Ghost Lens app on my phone just to see what I could get, these could be handy for the visual storyboard.
Rebecca also found this clip from Harry Potter:
This would be awesome to do, it’s got that scratchy Tim Burton feel which would work with our world nicely as it’s made from twigs and branches and has a scratchy quality to it also.
We decided to go with the story of Mossi (the teeth creature) falling out of the mouth and trying to get back.