Thursday, April 2, 2009

Stepford Process

After the recent post about Ivan Brunetti I tried to find the illustrations he did for our "Stepford Wives" pitch.

We had gotten the brief from the producer.  Of course we wanted the job badly, but people rarely want to work with you if you seem desperate, and they rarely want to hire you if you show arrogant disinterest in their project.

So it's a fine line to walk.

We typically, at least when dealing with the endangered species known as "professionals", will work up three design variations.  In this case, the director (Frank Oz) had a pretty clear idea of style.  So we asked Ron Barrett, Ivan Brunetti and Phil Marden to work up some models based on a storyboard Brian created.

I can't locate any of those unused designs (I think Brian has them squirreled somewhere), but I did find our first animatic.  Frank Oz and his producer, Leslie Converse, preferred Phil Marden's illustrations so we had Phil re-draw the storyboard.

Let me also point out that this sequence is substantially different from the final.

The changes actually came well after we completed production, after the picture had gone through several rounds of test screenings.

Here is the first pencil test from the original.  Animation by Doug Compton.

We finished it up pretty closely to this (there's a flipped drawing in the birds, and some of the other timing is off).  But after some recutting to the entire film, the animation needed to be modified as well.

The original production schedule allowed 12 to 16 weeks from layout to compositing.  We have to redo nearly the whole segment in about 8 days.

Above is the final version as seen on TV!  Compositing by Alex Reshanov


Today is Marvin Gaye's birthday.

Here's a clip we did for the American Masters documentary on Marvin Gaye that aired a few months back.

The film was directed by Sam Pollard.

These projects are all the more rewarding when you have a personal connection to the material. On childhood drives my father would quiz me about the artists on the radio. Just "Who sings this?", but for an eight year old that's not a simple question. I could always get Marvin Gaye, though. My father had a 4 LP set -I think the cover was pink, and I knew all eight sides note for note.


etohal said...

typo: should be "endangered", not "endanger".

nicole said...

great stuff thanks for sharing! was that brian's voice in the first one?

Asterisk Animation said...

That's me, Richard, doing my impression of Brian doing Christopher Walken.