This is the first draft of our episode animatic/plan. The story follows Púca, Nami and Tato as they try to steal an amulet that will help them capture the creatures that have escaped from the underworld. The amulet is a magical artifact made by Cassandra, a cat-like familiar who killed her witch and practices dark magic.
Sorcha, Matthew, Kerry, Andrew and I made a super rough version of storyboards together on the whiteboard first and then divided the work from there. So far the work has been quite straightforward to split:
- Sorcha – Nami character designs and animatic poses
- Matthew – animatic sound design and environment concepts
- Kerry – Púca and Cassandra designs and animatic poses
- Andrew – Tato designs and animatic poses
- Me – animatic backgrounds
Mike gave us many pages of helpful feedback which made me realise how much I needed to revise The 5 C’s of Cinematography (blog notes on composition chapter), especially when it comes to cutting and continuity.
Animatic draft 01:
Mike’s Feedback (notes in sketchbook):
- The backgrounds are too unclear. Make clearer drawings.
- Actions should cue the cuts. There are too many unmotivated cuts.
- Characters should not be in different poses from one cut to the next.
- The sound should not talk down to the audience.
- Create a better establishing shot for the characters.
- Púca’s performance needs to be more urgent. Work on everyone’s performance.
- Tato is lost at the start, he needs to be better established as a character.
- Nami’s fantasy plan at the start should be performed into and out of. Try to find smoother ways of transitioning.
- The layout of the cottage is confusing. Establish the layout.
- Show Púca shapeshifting.
- Set up the danger immediately. Show the audience where the tension is.
- Establish the power of the amulet. Be clear on the characters’ motivations. Always convey the ‘why’ of actions so as the make the audience care. Think of cause and effect.
- Maybe the amulet is used to trap Púca?
- The set up of Cassandra sleeping and the orb waking her up feels too contrived.
- Cassandra sleeping on a rocking chair doesn’t seem all that scary.
- The cuts to Tato breaking the bottle breaks the tension too much and is not as important for the story.
- Find a better way of framing the tension between Nami and Cassandra.
- Convey where Púca has been in the house. He shows up too out of the blue.
- Cassandra shows up too randomly behind Púca. Show how she gets from A to B.
- The floating is unnecessary. Why does Cassandra go through all this bother if she’s so powerful? Púca could change straight away from the spell. Don’t waste time.
- Púca is scary already before he changes. Be more clear on animalistic versus angry.
- Make the tear in the sky more dynamic. Don’t just make it like the eye of Sauron.
- Explain the crack in the sky at the beginning?
- Púca’s line ” Now for the hard part” is confusing at the end. Maybe the entire short was a plan in their heads and now they actually have to do it?
We’re reworking the narrative now before we revisit the animatic as we realised that there were problems with the initial needs of the characters and twists in the story. We’re using Dan Harmon’s narrative structure as a guide from the beginning this time around to help us make a stronger base for our story.