So you want an iconic moment?

Here is a character I’ve come up with. She is still in the early stages of development and needs better line work, colour and shading, but basically this is the moment that turns her life around.

A Serial Killer Begins

She is a magicians assistant. She is intelligent, impatient with stupidity and very good at sleight of hand and magic herself. She is often quicker than her boss and does not enjoy having to play second fiddle all the time. She also has anger management issues from being talked down to all the time. This moment has taken place after she had a horrible night performing and was walking home. A man did something that tipped her anger scale like never before. She snaps and kills him by stabbing him repeatedly with her stiletto heel. After recovering from the shock she discovers that she isn’t upset or remorseful about what she’s done. In fact she finds herself relieved and content having just rid the world of one low life, idiot. In this moment she realises she can do a lot more and finds new purpose in her life by seeking out and killing criminals and people she deems unworthy of life.

Same Old Story Structure…

I have gathered from reading the set text ‘Ideas for the Animated Short’ that the reason people haven’t tired of the same old structure is that it isn’t the thing that draws people to see film. At their core, people are interested in film because of the stories that they tell. People love to see things that they can relate to, to escape to a different time and place, to see relatable characters with human flaws struggle through adversity and jump hurdles to achieve a goals. People can relate to that. And that is why I’ve found that after all this time, people haven’t tired of watching films. Naturally some types of stories go in and out of style, just as anything else e.g. the fashion industry. Some things have their hey day and won’t come back into mainstream for a long time. For example the “monster on the loose” type films of the mid 1900’s, involving Ray Harryhausen. Jason and the Argonauts and Beast from 20,000 Fathoms were amazing films but an audience needs diversity in subject matter and story to keep their attention and so at the peak of his career, Harryhausen’s work became a little passe to the public eye. As we can see now, though, with the Transformers franchise, Pacific Rim, and Godzilla soon to be released, we can see a resurgence in interest in these types of films and gives some truth to my conclusion about the rise and fall in popularity of different types of stories.  
What dictates this changing opinion? Who decides when it’s time for a new movement, and what it should be? Is it the public? Somehow I think not. Is it the producers and directors? Or is it just the case of perfect timing for someone who has just so happened to have a good idea and brought it to the attention of someone of note, and they say “hey, that’s fresh and different, let’s do that”? Timing is often a huge factor in these matters as I’ve seen first hand.
My uncle had an idea for a childrens television series many years ago. He had it all organised with two episodes written, fully rendered artwork for characters and backgrounds, two theme songs written. His agent got it read by a producer who optioned it and was quite sold on producing it for a major network. A new producer came in and decided that they it wasn’t what they were looking for at the time and gave it a miss.
How many other people with ideas and concepts out there have failed to show their work? Countless. It’s the nature of the industry. I guess we just have to do what we love and be good at it so we can take advantage of opportunity when it comes.

Writing Tips!

Greetings!

I was linked this article by my uncle. I think it has a few pointers which would be useful to keep in mind when writing.

http://www.wordandfilm.com/2014/02/10-essential-screenwriting-tips-john-ridley-ethan-hawke-more/

I particularly found good advice in the last point. It is so easy to veer off track or go on a tangent about a nonessential plot point. If it doesn’t advance the plot we have to think carefully and be brutally honest about whether it needs to remain in the story or we can rid ourselves of pointless fluff. Sometimes it’s going to be hard because we might be particularly fond of that part. The best screenwriters and story artists fall prey to this all the time.

I attended the Pixar Story and Animation Masterclass in Melbourne last year and it was amazing. An entire day was dedicated to story and we learned about Matt Luhn’s journey in story creation. They, at Pixar, have to be completely honest with each other and keep the main story and purpose in mind, otherwise it’s easy to get lost in beautiful detail and the film loses it’s strength in communicating the story.

Research Report – People watching

Observations from Central Station, Eddy Avenue

*Brisk and bustling, toothbrush moustache, downcast eyes as if he is going through his plans in minute detail.

*Tourists, young, clearly foreign. Hopelessly attempting to engage passer’s by. They’re fun and spritely but clearly no one is interested in signing up to save wildlife. Nevertheless, they tirelessly keep up their enthusiasm.

*Tourists are from all over and have wonderful accents though they speak English with perfect fluency; better than a lot of Australians.

*Young man, ‘Fonzy’, full name was Alfonso, medium length dark hair. He is working with the tourists wanders over, curious. He doesn’t try to sell me something. He was curious about what I was doing and telling me I should write about him. He is after contacts for his performing arts business that he and his mum started. They recently moved to Sydney and are after people interested in performing arts to enrol as students. He gave me his website and he asked about JMC and what I did. We had a lovely conversation then he left to get back to work, otherwise he would get into trouble, again.

*Young,  Icelandic backpacker girl was sitting close by listening to our conversation. As soon as Pablo left she asks slightly, shyly, “so what would you write about me?” We have a lovely conversation about Future Music festival and backpacking with friends.

*Two homeless men; one tall, lanky, pants slightly too short, one sleeve of flannel shirt rolled up. He has a crinkly smile but not the pleasant sort. The other man; slightly Indigenous in appearance, scraggly hair, many rips in his worn out jeans. They call to each other indistinctly from afar and point as if they’re organising where they’re going to be standing for the day.

*Elderly Asian man slowly shuffling along. He walks with his worn out thongs half off his feet.

Kiwi Animation

I’ve loved this animation for years and always come back to it. It is very simple and hasn’t got the greatest animation but I find it very powerful in terms of story and touching its audience. In under 3 minutes it provides a little comedy, makes you curious, and then touches your heart, all without dialogue. I cry at the drop of a hat so maybe saying that this made me cry doesn’t mean much. But anyone can see this is quite a touching short film and a great example that shows that simplicity is often the best route in making a short film.

What not to do…

What not to do…

Hiya!

I found this great article that might of use to you guys. It’s all well and good to be told what and how to do things but sometimes you need to be shown what not to do to really understand.

I liked the quote: ‘writers would be smart to heed the advice given by author, Pat Conroy,“Write like you’re in love, edit like you’re in charge.”’

I think it is great advice to keep in mind when writing. I certainly am one of those who fall victim to their own tendencies to waffle on needlessly.