The First step in the production pipeline is the production of a little preview Film that will showcase some scenes from the story that hope to provide viewers with a taste of what people can expect from the final product when it gets produced.There are plans to produce 2 preview films for the film
Keep in mind that these early films are merely sample tastes of what people can expect from the final animated product and will be subject to some changes as production progresses.
As these preview clips are among the first serious pieces of animation production I’ve ever produced,These early preview films will come off somewhat crude in production values as I’m still practicing my animation pipeline, but the experience learned from these early clips will help me develop my production skills and make sure that the final film maintain the highest quality possible.
The first preview film will focus on an early version of the opening scene of the film which features young Jacky waking up and bumping his head after falling of his bed and meeting Mary-Brooklyn in the bathroom as she’s brushing her teeth, the main motive of this scene is to establish the chemistry between the two main characters and show that despite Mary-Brooklyn’s patience being tested by Jacky’s antics she cares for him.
It was originally planned to be a teaser trailer which showcases an early version of the scenes where Jacky & Mary-Brooklyn discuss their plans for the day before heading out, but I found that it would take too long for me to animate the scenes as well as render the final assets with the backgrounds in time for the 9 May Deadline.
The concept for the film started as a screenplay idea called “Jacky’s Unlucky Day” which had been in production from October-December 2015. The film’s story will mostly be lifted from the screenplay, though some little scenes are being expected to change, I’ll go into detail on these changes once the final film is finished so that solid comparing between the two formats and their changes/updates can be made.
Upon the completion of the script, the next phase of project story development is the storyboard, the storyboard serves as a rough guide into the way the final film will look when converted into animation production (which will take a lot of time). Whilst producing this storyboard, some scenes from the screenplay have been altered during the transition from screenplay-storyboard and I will document on these changes at a later date.
The storyboard for the opening preview clip started production on 1 February 2016 and ended on 12 February 2016 by which point, a total of 48 storyboard sheets have been used to create the storyboard though only a few would end up being used in the final early opening preview, the storyboard as a whole will be used to help shape the final film as it commences production.
THE CHARACTER VOICES:
As for the character voices for the film, I provide the voice of Jacky Jinkers, with the voice pitch-shifted with the audio editing software Audacity to make him sound akin to that of a 13 year old boy whilst maintaining ‘a loveable yet goofy-boy like’ charm to the character, which will be better developed as production progresses.
Jacky’s Sister Mary-Brooklyn has her voice provided by Natasha Hudson, who is also a Bradford College Student. Hudson was cast as Mary-Brooklyn as her voice fitted the character’s youthful but also mature and caring personality and sweet character design. Hopefully Hudson will be providing the character’s voice in the final film though only time will tell if that will be the case or not.
THE ANIMATION PRODUCTION:
The Storyboarding of the film took place during February 2016 and also covered scenes that whilst not able to be used in this early film, will still be used to help shape the final film.
The Animation Production began on 4 April 2016 and was completed on 1 May 2016, during which time I created rough animation guide for the final detailed animation to follow once the animation guide was completed. After working on the character animation, the background designs were penciled and inked, after which both the animation and backgrounds were scanned onto computer by 25 April 2016.
The Rough Animation Guide was designed with the intention of capturing the movement and the action of the drawings as opposed to the details which would have resulted in stiff-looking animation, a mistake which is far too common in modern traditionally animated productions, and that’s not even mentioning Flash and CGI Productions as well.
The Majority of the animated drawings, both rough and final animation, mostly just consists of keyframes, no in-between drawings which are normally added into animated productions after the key drawings are made.
Once everything was scanned and saved onto hard drive, the assets were all coloured and composited together through Adobe’s Photoshop software, this was achieved on 1 May 2016.
Me and Natasha recorded the character voices on 4 May 2016 and the end result proved satisfactory for this early preview film. Most of the sound effects were also recorded during 4-5 May 2016 with the exception of birds chirping and the right ‘THUD!’ sound that Jacky makes when he falls off the side of his bed whilst waking up (as the sound recorder I had couldn’t pick up the ‘Thuddy’ impact desired, this issue will be worked on in the second preview film).
Also Note that Music plays no real presence in the early opening preview as I’m not very good at music and I wasn’t able to get a musician in time due to production delays (caused as i was delayed working on my other college assignments), this issue will be worked on in the second preview film as music will be of mandatory use in that film.
As i look at this early preview clip as of 9th May 2016, the entire production of this early preview has proven a very useful experience for me as to how to approach animation production.
As aforementioned this project was originally planned to be a full adaptation of my script, however as I’m still learning how to handle animated production, i had no prior knowledge of the difficulties of producing a full 10 minute animated production within a short deadline, which is impossible to do effectively when you’re working on your own, this sort of lesson can only be truly learned if you tackle the project yourself as i had just done with this early preview clip. The shortening of the clip was made through experience.
As for the final animation quality, it’s pretty interesting considering as whilst it’s not the standards that i desired it to be (similar to 2D Disney animation levels, though at this early stage this was probably inevitable) and is nowhere as fluid as some early student films produced by other beginning animators, I was still able to create some very interesting drawings which shows traces of the expressive Disney-Like animation style planned, especially Mary-Brooklyn’s surprised facial expressions as to when she sees her brother Jacky in his battered state:
as well as the birds during the very beginning:
As for the other shortcomings I’ve experienced in making this early preview clip, I had difficulty in obtaining a sufficient quality sound recording of birds chirping as the noises i could find were too quiet for usage, but aside from that i was still able to record a vast majority of the planned SFX for the film including the bed rustling Jacky makes when he gets up/falls over the side of his bed, Mary-Brooklyn brushing her teeth and applying a wet cloth to her brother’s head for example.
The major shortcoming in the production of this early preview clip production was the length, originally the opening preview clip was going to also include the scene where Jacky & Mary-Brooklyn discuss their plans for the day whilst having their breakfast with their parents Beatrice and Roger Jinkers, however I didn’t have enough time to produce the detailed animation for that scene so i had to remove it (at the time none of the animation had it’s details, the backgrounds were not drafted,and I still had to scan all the assets onto the computer and render them in Adobe Photoshop, the fact that the actors needed to play Jacky and Mary-Brooklyn’s parents had not been hired nor auditioned made things even more difficult, despite this though, the final version of the film will feature them.
However despite all these shortcomings, this preview film and the experience endured whilst making the film has been extremely valuable as I can learn from the experience and streamline my animation production pipeline to allow enough time and skill to improve the animation quality and ensure that the final animated film has the best professionally quality possible, which is important especially considering that it’s difficult to independently produce quality 2D Animation (especially when you’re learning the ropes).
Now that this Early Opening Preview Animation is completed, I’ll will soon begin plans to work on a preview teaser which will provide an early glimpse of what people can expect from the final animated film, and hopefully I’ll be able to conjure up a small production to help me produce the film, especially in departments I’m not very good at (music, SFX, voices etc.).
2016 Directing-Cinematography Journal Produced during the Bradford College module.
I’ll upload the video onto the blog at my best convenient time.