Weeks 05 – 06
This is some of the script that Jonny gave us to work from.
After thinking through the script, we felt that it would be against what we knew about Julie’s character to be screaming to have a baby. We discussed this with Gareth and he didn’t mind us altering the scenario.
Our team storyboard thought process:
We decided to start the scene with William answering his phone and talking to his friend Andrew so as to establish the situation between him and Julie. Sorcha imagined that we could poke fun at adventure games in this shot, with William’s ringtone creating the feeling that we’re going on an adventure and then suddenly; “beep, hello…”. For the premonition, we imagined that as soon as William sees Julie, the premonition is initiated by a fast zoom into William’s head and then we see through William’s eyes as if we are reawakening as William. Julie would be close up and gesturing with obvious anger but we thought it might be interesting to not give a definite background so that the player doesn’t know where this will happen. We still need to develop the look of the premonitions and level of abstraction/distortion but we liked the idea of a surreal world with everything floating. The premonition would then end by the camera zooming out from William’s eyes and settling to frame both William at the doorway and Julie on the sofa. We liked framing it this way so that we could see both characters’ faces and body language clearly. The player would have the option to talk to Julie or ignore and sneak into the kitchen. We liked the idea of being able to poke fun at stealth games in this shot also. Even if William successfully sneaks into the kitchen, we figured that the premonition will still come true as it was set once the player chooses the ‘ignore Julie’ option.
Sorcha did all the editing for us.
Our 2D animatic
We all argreed that the phone call is far too long and that we would be better condensing it and allocating the time elsewhere, maybe to the argument at the end. It didn’t help much that I reused poses a lot in the 3D animatic and kept the camera in the same place. I also found that I preferred framing William with his back to the door in the 3D animatic. Sorcha and I discussed whether or not it was important to have William’s face visible when he was on the phone. I thought that both ways might work but I remembered Keith Lango talking about the importance of seeing both eyes and keeping the chest open to the camera (which I blogged about here: link)
For the 3D animatic I also changed Molly’s kitchen shot a bit to try out a panel from my sketchbook where the camera is placed inside the fridge. Gareth also pointed out that we can tell a lot about each character from the contents of their fridge through the years. It’s not very apparent without dialogue but I also tried out our idea of breaking the fourth wall. When William looks into the fridge we would hear Julie’s voice from behind saying “unbelievable”. This causes William to sigh and look at the player saying something like “look what you’ve gotten me into” and then he turns around to reveal Julie in shot .I wasn’t sure if my last camera rotation worked very well. We had imagined a large window on the slanted roof of the kitchen and I thought it would be a good opportunity to frame their argument by the storm outside.
Our 3D animatic:
Jonny pointed out that it seems a bit unbelievable that Julie wouldn’t hear William talking on the phone if he was that close to the door. When we first did the storyboards for this on the whiteboard I imagined that the sound of the television and other room noises would get a lot louder when William opened the front door into the sitting room. Jonny’s suggestion might work better though which is that William’s conversation could take place while he’s walking instead and end when he gets to the door.
Jonny was also concerned that it seemed unlikely that someone sneaking past so closely would go unnoticed. We all concluded that it might be better if Julie was wearing headphones instead. However, this also brought up discussion about the layout of the apartment. Jonny suggested having a hallway behind the sitting room which leads to the kitchen.
Another concern was that we were starting to portray Julie too much like the nagging girlfriend trope. After talking for a while we decided that the scene might be better if we swapped the characters around and that Julie’s task would involve avoiding her premonition of seeing William hurt emotionally (rather than making either of them seem too aggressive).
With this progress made, Jonny is now reworking the script so as to work out some of the kinks and improve the dialogue.