Wednesday, December 12, 2007

4 cents

One more idea that I think will drive a lot of your posts away from plot and into character. I think there's too much dialog about plot, but I'm a strong believer in that if you have nailed down a solid, likable character, then the plot will unfold itself naturally. So it would really benefit you guys if you start talking about the main character in each of these stories. What's the ghost's personality like? the bear? and the others in the other two stories? Character association helps sometimes too. (Bear is like Marlin Brando in Godfather) It's the Homer Simpson Theory: you take Homer, put him in any situation and you've got an instant entertaining story. Why? Because Homer is such a solid character. The audience is more entertained with Homer, than they are with the plot. Characters should really drive story, not the other way around.

3 Cents....

Hey just an FYI for all of you, my wife is a quarter Native American with her mom being half Native American. We attend the valleys Native American ward, which consists of probably more that 200 people from over 30 different tribes. My wife is very active in the culture and actually dances the hoop dance competitvly. I told her about the story and also to a group of about 30 or so other individuals from my ward that were all Native and they were ecstatic about the idea. This one was their favorite without question. I think it would be exciting to build a story around such a respected and spiritual culture.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

2 cents

First of all, it looks like you guys have narrowed it down to two films. Bear or Ghost Town. Two very funny concepts. I don't usually add in my advice too rapidly but there's a few arguments here that I have to speak about. First of all, I'm not convinced that any of you really need to worry about Ghost Town being about death and dying. That's not the story. The story is about a lonely person, who finds friendship through very unpredictable means. Remember what Frank Thomas said about the importance of pathos in comedy? Feeling sorry for the ghost makes the ending so much richer. Furthermore, death does not need to be associated with horror (don't we believe in an after life anyway?) since this Ghost is just as much alive in persona than the people who die. Were you offended by Casper? He was dead! Of course you weren't, because he was very much alive and so were the other characters when they became ghosts. It worries me a bit when many of you have this concern, because this kind of hypersensitivity is what waters down good stories. The person who dies doesn't have to be dark either, he can actually find happiness and friendship as a result of their death. Then the two are happy together. For those of you who didn't like the death in Ghost Town, yet liked Bear better...what about the mawled hunter, a dead dear in the back of the truck, and the pieces of hunting clothes? Now that's really about a dark death!

Bear is a funny idea. This one however, is going to take some serious creative thinking to take it out of it's predictable ending. We've seen so many of these "animals taking on human qualities and tasks" in the past onslaught of 3-d animated animal films, that I don't think it's all that original anymore, unless the character is fully developed in personality which you really don't have time for in a short film. It's a big gag with the hopeful payoff of a laugh, and if you don't get that laugh, then the story is empty. (which is the situation with Noggin). This idea can still potentially work, but it's going to take some creative minds to do it.

So there's my two cents. Take it for what it is worth to you. Since I am not a voter, you can even chose to totally ignore if you wish. You're a talented group, so no matter what you guys decide, I'd be happy to help out and make it the best film possible.

Ideas in general

Let's keep the blog clean, you guys, (meaning let's not create a ton of new posts) let's just comment on the four stories that we have here, and if you have any other comments (like about what we want to do in general), post them here.

Here are a few ideas from the meeting today:

Jenny: The group doing Kites is suited to do Kites. Let’s do a story that is suited for us. "Birds” and “Boundin” were funny and still got a point across. Let’s be true to ourselves and do something that WE want to do, and let our personalities show through the movie we want to make.

Rogan: Keep it SHORT because people ARE going to leave early to internships, etc.

Here are the votes from today:

Ghost Town: +6 -3
Wolves: +3 -7
Mime: +4 -6
Carson's Bear: +5 -2

Bear Truck

Pros – Has potential to be fun and clever
Most entertaining of all the pitches
Great acting potential from the bear
Different from other animated shorts
Potential for artistic, dynamic

Cons – Could be more funny as real live action stuff, when we see a cartoon bear, we expect him to act cartoon…ish


Pros – Lots of potential for story, animation, environment
Fun message, can be short, emotion, acting
Irony is freaking hilarious in this story
Potential for change of emotion (animation)
No dialogue (sweet)
Strongest character, someone you could root for

Cons – Why animation? Could be done in SNL or something.
Lots of animation, but not enough stuff for shaders/lighters, lacking certain elements that would appeal to everyone’s interests
Cliché, we’ve all seen mimes
Crowd control: people going to be too repetitive?


Pros – Good theme, touching, brevity while still getting concept across, good character possibilities
Could be beautiful artistically, style
Emotion to convey through not only human characters, but wolves as well
Chance to show respect for Native American culture, gives us opportunity to “break away” from traditional story

Cons – Seminary video, preachy?
Doesn’t have a story right now
Technically challenging
Lots of research since we’re covering Native American culture

Ghost Town

Pros – Possible depth, comedy, possibilities for good artistic . . . stuff
Special effects (ghost?) Fun story
Most possibility for scalability, visual style
Emotions expressed through animation, can be detailed or simplified easily
Simple themes/animation will allow us to put more into it
Fun car crash scene?
Strongest emotional center/appeal
Character based
“less is more”
Doesn’t have to be cliché ghost town, haunted castle in Europe?

Cons – Killing people to get more friends? Possession?
Unbalanced story: loneliness then death then more friends?