Research: TV Series, Features and Shorts.

Weeks 01 – 02

When we first started on this project Jonny and Gareth talked about a few games and movies so as to give us an impression of the direction/vision that they saw their project going in. Importantly, they wanted us to think of the main characters as ones that would be found more commonly in film/contemporary fiction i.e. well developed and believable as opposed to some of the more cliched and more shallow characters found in video games.

Some of the references they suggested for t.v. were  You’re the Worst (2014-ongoing) and Catastrophe (2015 – )(link).

Jonny shared this video with us on You’re the Worst to give us an idea of what he finds appealing in this as a source of inspiration.

You’re the Worst is a character drama with a framing of a romantic comedy. These two characters would be disgusted to find out that they are leads in a romantic comedy. The characters are not boiled down to cheap comic relief – their emotions are still taken seriously. All the secondary characters are given enough screen time to also be fleshed out and seen as three dimensional characters.

***Note: work on showing interesting facial expressions to make the audience wonder what is going on in the scene if they looked at a still.

The cynicism can sometimes come across as unrelenting but spending time with these characters reveals a lot of depth and emotion.

***ideas from this: Visually show the growing gap between the characters/the ravine which is already there in their relationship. Show a physical line between them on screen from their environment. Cinematic treatment: perhaps their world is split. Also use light to show this, are the characters inhabiting light versus shadows? Show the lack of chemistry: whirls that cannot interact, polar interactions, lipids in water, colours that become ugly, melt and fizzle out when they fuse back-dropped by a photograph were they are smiling with fireworks behind them.

These are a few screenshots that I took from the first 2 episodes. They might be useful for staging two characters in a relationship.

Jonny also shared a pinterest board with us that he started on romantic comedy poses: link

Gareth and Jonny considered a stop motion approach after seeing the trailer for Anomalisa (2015). Although this idea was quickly discounted as a suitable approach for a game, it still raises the question of how we could recreate this aesthetic within Maya if this was a desirable look for the game (realistic yet stylised models with real life materials).

Jonny said that Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), from the same director, is also a big source of inspiration for him. I’ll need to watch this.
Another film that Jonny and Gareth suggested for style was A Scanner Darkly (2006). This cell shaded look with loose backgrounds could be something to experiment with in Maya + other texture painting programs.

Molly, Sorcha and I liked the idea of taking inspiration from Scott Pilgrim for the comedy aspects in timing and also for some of the more surreal scenes.

This post I made on how Edgar Wright crafts visual comedy was worth looking back at: link 

This animated short Rew Day (2012) that Sorcha found does a great job of capturing the extraordinary qualities of backgrounds that could otherwise be seen as every day/ordinary. We’ve been discussing a lot how we could use a tradtional media look and Rew Day (2012) does this very well.

Sorcha also showed us the animator Jeff Le Bars and we liked the ‘drawing on paper’ aesthetic of his short Coquino (2013).

Coquino – de Jeff Le Bars et Sylvain Livenais from Jeff Le Bars on Vimeo.

One thought on “Research: TV Series, Features and Shorts.

  1. Pingback: Environment Concept: Student Flat | Natasha Crowley

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