There are all sorts of reasons to take on a project. The money is usually a big reason, especially when you've got a staff to provide for and overhead to keep up. Sometimes other factors weigh in when the budgets are tough -creative or intellectual content, high profile, or some other production challenge.
A few weeks ago we were approached to produce a corporate video (an "industrial" in old school parlance) on a very limited budget in a very limited time frame. We had essentially three weeks to make a four minute film. The animation would be limited -"Terrance and Phillip" style from "South Park" -even so that's not a lot of time for a lot of work.
The client, Building Blok, is a small business and the people there were all good guys, so we decided to give it a shot. The challenge of making a film in this short period of time is also compelling.
First step was to record a scratch track to make sure the script timed.
Then, Brian knocked out a storyboard. This provides the most information on the film and is the most important step (besides the animation itself) in getting something done efficiently.
This was done in the matter of about a week, with a day's worth of simple revisions.
By keeping the action of the storyboard simple but explicit, it removes questions in the animation process. The fewer questions, the faster it goes.
In other situations, a tight storyboard can free an animator to "act". If you don't have to worry about camera angles and cuts, you can focus on performance.
The language of the film starts to become defined in the storyboard -how the characters move, what they're expressions are, what the camera does.
These limitations and expressions will give the piece its form. Each phase of production is a refinement on what is first established in the storyboard.
The models for this piece are simple. Like paper cut outs with unattached joints.
One of the tricks of boarding this was to keep the limitations of the character.
So this board is pretty long (being a 4:00 film), we'll post the remainder in the future as well as more information on the production methodology.