Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Media Blitz

Another week has gone by and the production of the film barrels on. We have shots coming in, textures getting approved, and producers eyeing approaching deadlines. The team is starting to hit it's stride and we have people turning out great work in all different areas.

Chelsey throws down on some balloon textures.

This post will focus on the aforementioned illustration work being done to facilitate the backstory of the film. But first, more dailies!

This is a sequence from around the mid-point of the film when things really start getting hairy for Jaguar. One of his prize stunt capes goes up in flames as he struggles to put it out with his one free leg.

The sequence is actually proving to be one of the more complicated sections of the film as it involves 2D, CG and effects animation (water, sparks, fire).

Director Clint Donaldson and Art Director Jason Walling work out the timing of a falling vase.

The Media:

One aspect of the film that has actually been reeled back in a bit is the telling of Jaguar's backstory. The original concept involved telling a sordid tale of revenge in which the cat half of the duo was getting shafted in all the stunts while Jaguar reaped all the glory. This was to be depicted in various pieces of media (newspaper clippings. magazine covers, etc.) that were placed about the room.

The story, while interesting in concept, proved to be much more complicated in terms of visual storytelling than we anticipated and viewer readability became an issue. As a result, the "revenge" storyline was scrapped and we parred the film down to a stuntman who's main motivation is the need for peace and quiet. "Keep it simple!" is a motto that definitely proved true for us.

While we scrapped one aspect of the story, we still wanted to maintain the fact that Jaguar was a stuntman. The humor of a cocky showman who has been reduced to wiggling around in a full body cast was something that we fully intended to keep.

An obvious source of inspiration for the illustration work was the print documentation of the career of Evel Knievel.

Dan works on a few illustrations.

We've experimented with many different takes on the media coverage of Jaguar:

For the newspaper clippings featured in the film, we decided to put our stop motion inclined team members to work and had them make actual maquettes of Jaguar that would be photographed in mock news conferences and the like.

Brent poses with his maquette.

Even though many of these pieces will be featured, at most, in the background of a few shots, it does not lessen thier importance. By creating a detailed and believable world that Jaguar and his cat inhabit, we are breaking down the wall between the story and the audience.

That's it for this post, please keep checking back often! Animation dailies are starting to roll in so the posts will become more frequent as we draw ever closer to the inevitable deadline of doom. See ya next time!

-Clint Donaldson, Director

Sandee loves Jaguar!

(This post featured work from Clint Donaldson, Jason Walling, Sandee Chamberlain, Bobby Miller, Chelsey Cline, Adam White and Brent Mellecker)

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