Sunday, 24 September 2017

Minor/Major Project: Idea and Research

How to Catch a Fairy

My idea for third year is a short animation, similar to an old public information video, in which a narrator guides a wannabe fairy catching into trapping and capturing a not-so-Tinkerbell fairy, and with each attempt he meets his demise.

Compared to kind and innocent fairies usually shown in media, much of the original folklore surrounding fairies mostly focuses on protection from the fairies/fae. In Celtic mythology, fairies are mostly noted on their malice and mischievous deeds. Some folklore includes Goblins, Piskies, water-based fae, such as the Kelpie, which lure children, men and women to a body of water and drown them, another involves swapping a human baby in place for an ugly fairy, named a Changeling, and a fast and brutal fairy called a Red Cap which is armed with sharp teeth and claws, which gets it name for once killing it will mop up the blood with it's cap, dying it red.

In folklore fairies have been shown to range in size, such as small as a flower, a human child, and as tall as an human adult, and that they can change size and form at will.

Fairies are believed to be spirits of the dead, guardians of nature, a supernatural race, and even demons.

Protection against fairies was prominent in folklore, and many techniques in repelling fairies consist of hanging a wreath of St John's Wort above a house's door, hang an iron horseshoe, ringing silver bells to which the sound frightens off malevolent, give offerings of honey, milk and bread on the doorstep, never enter a fairy ring (a circular mound in the ground which people believed if entered the fairies could 'spirit away' the intruder never to be seen again.) and sprinkling salt on the windowsill, and turning coats inside out.

Monday, 28 August 2017

Year 3: Ideas Proposal

For my ideas so far, I would like to look into an idea that Alan and I discussed during the Adaptation project, which was making a guide on How to Catch Fairies, based on folklore of different, significantly less Tinkerbell-like, fairies. I would like to turn this is into an animation, similar to an old public information video, of a main character taking advice from a narrator on how to catch these fairies, and meeting his demise with each encounter, and that it will be a lesson to be wary of fairies.

A general idea would start out as the narrator introduces the guide on how to catch fairies with the main character on screen listening. Items of capture popup and the first 'lesson' begins with a typical Disney-like fairy, and then goes onto explain that fairies are however not like this and soon it shows a more sharp toothed redcap-like creature which promptly does away with the main character. The second and third lesson are similar with different types of fairies, ways to catch them, and the ultimate failure and demise of the character. The final lesson would be on how rather than to catch but to defend yourself, such as putting salt on the windowsill, use of iron, St John's Wort around the house, and to throw salt over your shoulder to give the fairies their share etc.

My second idea I had which I have not developed too far is a paper craft style animation based on my experiences of suffering from trichotillomania when I was younger. The idea of paper tearing and ripping and being harshly pulled apart relating to pulling out eyelashes and hair for stress relief, so perhaps a character made of paper begins to pull off parts of their body/hair during a stressful environment, storm etc. Or perhaps pulling out paper flowers until there is none left.

An idea would be that a main character is tending to their garden, a soft breeze blows as she pulls out a weed. Suddenly there is more of a breeze and continue to pull out weeds and escalates slowly as the wind picks up and becomes a storm and flowers as well as weeds are ripped out of the ground, and only the wind stops when all of the garden is now full of uprooted plants.

Tearaway Unfolded Screenshot

Tearaway Unfolded Screenshot

Another idea that hasn't been too developed I had could be to use and develop the seasonal imps I had drawn previously, and build a world around them perhaps with each imp bringing mischief with each season and event to the world each year, perhaps rivalry between autumn and winter, summer and spring, or perhaps how Summer and Winter are at a constant rivalry at how Winter kills all that Summer creates, however Summer in turn kills all the Winter has created. Or perhaps one of the imps causing disruption in the seasons as they want a longer period for their season/event to reign, such as Summer popping up in the middle of Winter and disrupts the land.

Autumn, Winter and Valentines/Spring Imps

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Butch Auntie Internship: Bird

For my internship with Pete Wallace, a month ago I had worked on a low poly bird/crow for the Hangwire performance in Highgate, I incredibly enjoyed building and animating the bird. As this project finished I was lucky enough to work on a second project with Pete which I am currently working on.


Thursday, 18 May 2017

Sculpting Class 3

Creating more likeness with the charcter of Marie from Splatoon. Adding more structure to the head, eye lids, eyebrows, ears, hair and hair pieces.

World Cinema: Ethel & Ernest (2016) Film Review

Fig 1. Film Poster
Ethel and Ernest is a 2016 British animated film directed by Roger Mainwood, based upon the graphic novel of the same name by Raymond Briggs. It tells the stories of the life of his parents, from when they met, to their first house, birth of Raymond, his childhood and finally into their old age and ultimately deaths.

The style featured in this animation is greatly inspired by the artwork of Raymond Briggs and his graphic novels. This very illustrative, with bright yet watercolour-like colour palette brings the characters to life, with red shades in the fingers and cheeks to show the living blood in these characters, especially compared to the backgrounds of the similar style, to contrast and differentiate which is animated and living and which is just background. This also symbolises that these are in fact living people and not just characters, but have real-life counterparts. This redness and lack of blood flowing is shown in both of the character's deaths, as they have both become still and non living, just like the background.

Fig 2. Ernest and his new job
The storytelling in this film is very emotionally involving, as it shows the characters from when they both meet and the hardships the two go through, involving the audience in their intimate lives. The storytelling also include much of British culture, such as the countries politics, a feeling of 'keeping up appearances' especially in the character of Ethel. The characters are likeable and have a very humorous moments, which have even greater impact of the darker tones in the film and how these affect their lives, such as the lack of success of trying for a baby, WWII, and the sombre ending of the two characters. This intimate storytelling causes the audience to become very emotionally involved in the film and it's characters, allowing the audience to not only listen to their story but share their experiences.

Fig 3. Ethel in the hospital.
The ending to the film of death of the two characters is quite a heart-wrenching ending to the film, but it is quite common with British animation, such as another Brigg's inspired film The Snowman, in which the snowman melts, teaching important lessons of loss and death and how this is is a part of life, and has a much more realistic portrayal of real life. The ending does become bittersweet, as Raymond and his wife both stand in the garden, looking upon the tree he planted as a child.

Overall, Ethel and Ernest is a greatly emotionally involving animated film, which creates characters full of life and likeability, and presents the ups and down of life of families, and how they cope with the bad times and enjoy the good times.

Illustration List:
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World Cinema: Persepolis (2007) Film Review

Fig 1. Film Poster
Persepolis is a 2007 French-Iranian animated film by Marjane Satrapi’s, based off of Satrapi's autobiographical graphic novel of the same name. It tells the story of Marjane Satrapi and her coming of age during the Iranian Revolution, how the revolution changed how she lived, and her life from leaving home to another country.

The themes in Persepolis focuses on how war can drastically affect the lives at the centre of the conflict as well as what it leaves behind, such as how Marji sees first hand the death and destruction that is made during the war, and how her outspokenness and interests in punk and metal music could in fact land her into deep trouble with the authorities, she is sent away to Austria so she can be herself. This presents a political idea that war has led to a strict regime of rules that affect how people can be themselves. The story follows on to show Marji travelling from place to place, falling into depression, and divorce, and how she is developing of coping without her family for guidance, who she soon returns home to. After the death of a friend due to the authorites chasing them, she is sent away once again, and is forced to promise not to return. She does so and narrates that this would be the last time she would see her grandmother, whom she was very close to.

Fig 2. Marji's Western interests
The animation style of this film derives from the style from the graphic novel, which is quite clean and thick black lines, which itself could be seen as being inspired from French art such as Art Nouveau, with the great contrast of black and white with thick clean lines. This still fits the serious themes of war and death, as well as depression and oppression, effectively as the great amount of black  shown for when Marji is wearing her cowl, reveals only her face, that her true self is not being presented and how she is not allowed to do so, contrasting to the brightness of white and little black used when she moves to France is wearing more revealing clothing. As well as smooth black lines used, there is also use of shadow theatre used during several scenes throughout the film, such as when she is sent out of the nun's home and house surfs from place to place over the winter holidays, this effectively shows how she is passed from house to house, no where stable to live and how the character of Marji is developing more and more into being more independent compared to how she first arrived in Austria.

Overall the animation style is very enjoyable to watch, with the comedy elements as well as the very appealing art style, which allows for a great amount of storytelling which explores the very serious topics of depression, war, oppression, and how war affects an entirety of people and how the main character has to develop in these circumstances.

Illustration List:
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