Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Testing 1

This is the starting point for some work we did pitching a project.

The producer -a friend of a friend -contacted us with a prospectus (and a little bit of cash) to come up with some creative treatments for his film.

Brian came up with these rough boards.

They're not meant for presentation -that is, they aren't supposed to be pretty.  They're a functional basis for communicating visual ideas within a small production unit.

Our assignment here was to come up with a visual and cinematic approach. Brian's boards here (after a provided script) represent the first step in that development.

We would ultimately create a sort-of animatic to demonstrate these ideas best.

While we didn't wind up working on the project for a myriad of reasons, the process behind the visual development was solid.

It usually bugs me a little when we have to jump through hoops like this to produce a project -especially low budget ones where they should be thanking us for just considering to help them. But whenever a potential client steps up and offers a stipend for a week or two of preliminary development that makes them A - OK in my mind.

At this stage, the storyboard is still working out an idea. The next few stages of development will shape it even more.

Unlike storyboards for television series which typically need to be picture frame perfect (they often wind up as layouts), these types of boards are akin to boards for live action -the design style hasn't been established so you're just blocking ideas.

This was shown to the client before we proceeded with any motion graphic animatic work just to be sure we're on the same page.

Such a step ensures that the client is involved in the process and happy with the direction the test is going.

Meanwhile, we're working on designs and building whatever digital artwork ("assets" in moneytalk) we think will be needed.

We'll post some of these designs later.


Michelle Folkman said...

Thanks for this - so helpful. So you were working with an existing script?

roconnor said...

For work-for-hire film projects, you'll be development from a script or treatment or rough cut almost all of the time.

For commercials you should get a board or something, but more and more often the "creative" is being left to production company. That's not too different to how many commercials were produced in the 60s.

Station IDs, Interstitial Shorts and other broadcast work for hire will often give a general prospectus and require the animator to act as writer.

But really every time it's something different, although for the most part you try to get as much from the prospective client as possible before working up anything.