Thursday, 29 December 2011

A Very Busy Year Indeed

Activity on this blog has been pretty slow lately, reason being I'm on my final year of University and I'm now at the point of making a 3+ minute animated film which all of my time and work is going into. I have another blog on this account where I upload all of my progress, so if you wish to follow my film "Acorns" do have a look.

As 2011 draws to a close, I'm very excited to get into the production of my film. I'm just finishing pre-production now, so designs and story are still being tweaked until they are final for about mid-January. I'm animating, colouring and compositing by myself with assistance from a composer and my housemate who does sound mixing for the post-production soundtrack side of things. It's a lot of work so I'm anxious, but still excited!

So yeah, don't expect a lot here, but do see my other blog for production updates!

Apart from that, I had a fab 21st Birthday seeing the Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony in London... utterly fantastic performance and atmosphere, I have the recorded performance too from the special edition of Skyward Sword which is incredible, but only 8 tracks! It was a great night and I highly anticipate their return next year!

A week after I visited home to catch up with family after my Birthday and to see Tori Amos in Manchester who was stunning, not everyone's cup of tea, but an amazing singer and she did lots of classic songs including Precious Things which my sister did a fantastic music video of in college last Spring.

Then in November, I saw Lee Evans in Cardiff followed by Alter Bridge a week after, which were two more great nights. Lee Evans was hilarious and it was my first time seeing him so it was a great experience. And Alter Bridge were supported by Theory of a Deadman and Black Stone Cherry so that was amazing goes without saying.

Things settled down late November/December as work picked up. I was creating a detailed production bible for my first deadline which was far more work than I realised. It's a collection of my art showcasing what my film and characters would look like and contained my latest animatic, synopsis, schedule, budget, storyboard and other information that would be necessary to make my film. Basically it should be enough information about your film (visual + written) that if you were not able to make it, the bible could be passed to someone else to finish, so it has to be really thorough.

Fortunately I got everything prepared for the deadline after two weeks of non-stop work and then spent the next 3-4 days writing 4000 words for my dissertation first draft, which I so wanted to start in November but kept favouring other work instead. My dissertation is about the portrayal of men and masculinity in animation with examples to Tangled and Beauty and the Beast. It's based on an article by Susan Jeffords called The Curse of Masculinity which spoke about Disney's Beauty and the Beast and how the story was about focusing on the Beast instead of Belle by making him childish and selfish instead of sophisticated but not actually taking responsibility to change himself. All very interesting but I won't delve into it now!

Now I'm home for Christmas and New Year which has been lovely and flying past much too quickly! I've recently rediscovered a love of watercolour that I've been using to paint friends and family personalised Christmas cards. These are my paintings! :)

These are characters from my friend's films, excluding the direwolf 'Snow' and the Moshi Monster 'Zommer'!

These are for my family, the animals are originals (the bunnies and the daschund are based off pets) then there's Link and Zelda from 'Skyward Sword', Cloud from 'Kingdom Hearts', a dragon-esque 'My Little Pony' and a homage to James Hance's 'Wookie the Chew' crossover.
I'm using watercolour now for some of my film's concept art, which I can't wait to upload and paint more of. I've done an expression sheet for my character Amber and she looks very cute coloured... it looks like it would make a sweet children's book, so I might see about putting it together if I ever have time!

I've so much to read at the moment too, I got lots of art books for Christmas... The Art of The Lion King (amazing! My Mum managed to find it on eBay), Harry Potter: Page to Screen (a massive, in-depth look behind the art of all 7-8 films), The Art of Kiki's Delivery Service, Watercolour Impressions of NausicaƤ and then The Art of My Neighbour Totoro left over from my Birthday... they are the best inspiration I could ask for, I just hope I have time to read them all! My youngest sister got the art of Okami as well, which is the most luxuriously designed and presented book--utterly beautiful and may just have to get a copy myself! And on top of that, the Game of Thrones book series, so I'm set for the next year!

All in all it's been the best Christmas in a long time, it's been great to be home and I'm not really ready to go back to Uni yet! Hopefully I can get myself back into a working frame of mind soon!

Until then, have a great new year! Ta ta for now! :)
Love Gem xoxox