Saturday, March 27, 2010

Stephan Brezinsky - headless - Feedback

I'd like some feedback on this very early pass at the following shot (a quick note, I do have a background image in the scene, but for some reason it's showing up as white in the playblast:

If you recall, my goals for this shot were to display character through motion (the walking and running), as well as a change of emotion, as well as cartoony acting. I am also trying a new workflow where I figure out the timing of the shot and actions first to get a rhythm going, then I start working on acting choices and subtlety. Since I'm still in the idea process, I'd like to get your feedback on the following points.

Interesting workflow. I wonder though, the acting choices will influence the timing and actions, so wouldn't you plan those out first? Although if you do it in broad strokes, that could work.

Originally I was going to add sound, specifically having the head deliver a one line phrase such as 'nice day for a walk don't you think?'. I was going to record my own sound, but now I'm not sure if that is necessary. Should I leave it as pure pantomime and focus on the acting?

Pure pantomime is okay, unless you have a good sounding voice. :)

I would like to do a big cartoony take before the character runs off screen, but I'm finding the bench setup to be limiting. More specifically, I'm afraid I will lose the viewer's eye when they have to change focus from the jar over to the man reading. How do I lead in to a fast take without losing the audience and having them miss it? Is there some good reference you could suggest for studying?

I don't think you will will confuse the audience. The beats are clear as it is now. He pokes the jar, then the head looks at him and he freaks out. I think that back and forth is okay. Since he's poking the jar, the audience is looking at the jar, so they will see the head turn. Then you introduce the take which is much bigger than the head turn, so the audience will look at that guy. Nothing will be missed.

How is my framing? I would like to stay wide and do it all without cuts, but I'm afraid then I'll have to be too broad with the animation for it to read. Or perhaps keeping it very broad fits the style? I would like to explore something more on the cartoony side.

The framing works for me, especially given the cartoony aspect. If you use more subtle things, then a close up would be more appropriate, but the way it is now is okay.

Of course if there are any other points that you feel I should focus on, please let me know. As I mentioned before, this shot may need to move to the back-burner while I switch to shorter exercises, but I'd like to at least know what direction to take it in.

Well, overall I do have some concerns though! :)

The fact that the guy looks at a jar with a severed head and DOESN'T freak out is weird. So I don't see why the head turn would freak him out that muchthen! Plus, if he looks over to his right, then there's a guy without a head, and that should freak him out as well!

What you could do is more something like this:

Guys sits down, the right guy looks over to where the head would be. He freaks out (nothing huge, but a visible scare). He then looks down and sees the jar and freaks out even more, then the head turns and smiles at him in a weird way and that REALLY freaks him out and he runs away or faints or something big. But the timing of how those three freak out stages unfold could be really funny.

What do you guys think?

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