Final Major Project Idea

After much thought, here is my idea for the final major project. It's still in development so some details may need some more thought.

An animated short of roughly 2 minutes length (subject to change).

Context Only
The world has been flooded as sea levels have risen, land has become a rare commodity. Existing parts of land are now 'flown' by individuals. These flying/floating islands are powered by a whimsical element that is yet to be determined, but could be wind, steam or a unique material.

For the actual animation, we will only be focusing on a main protagonist and his own flying island, containing his home that has been expanded with an array of scrounged materials.

The Animated Short
The animation will begin by slowly revealing the flying island of a main protagonist, quite high in the air with the sea being partially visible below. Shots introducing the home and the contraption that is keeping it in flight will be key in setting the tone and atmosphere of the piece.

The protagonist is outside the home or on top of highest point, searching through binoculars/telescope for more land to gather more resources and make contact with others.

Eventually the protagonist catches a glimpse of another flying piece of land, and adjusts the flight path of his own island accordingly.

However a storm approaches from behind, catching the protagonist off guard. The protagonist's island is engulfed by the storm and is battered by the elements with a fatal blow.

We return to find the protagonist floating on the sea amongst the wreckage of his home and island. As the water level continues to rise, the protagonist seems resigned to his fate as there is nothing he can do. When all seems lost...

Option 1
...A ladder drops down above the protagonist, leading to the island he spotted earlier flying above to rescue him. A silhouetted figure waves and awaits up top.

Option 2
...A submarine type vehicle rises from the water, with the hatch opening to rescue the protagonist and revealing another way humans have adapted to survive the flooded world.

As the protagonist meets his saviour, a much larger island (or underwater world) is revealed with a thriving community, suggesting that there is hope for humanity yet.

The main challenges of this project will include:
  • Protagonist Character (Rigging, animation etc)
  • Environment of the protagonists Home, Island and props
  • Possible environment of saviour's island/community
  • Matte Paintings of the surrounding sky/sea
  • Secondary animation of props etc.

Atmospheric and sound effects only
-Possible music played from a radio speaker prop. Would crackle and cut off upon arrival of storm.

Visual Style Inspiration/References
The presentation of the animation would be of a bold visual style with more saturated tones as seen in the below image. This will help reinforce the whimsical concept of the piece.

This idea will fulfil my ambitions of producing an animated short, relying much more on setting the tone and atmosphere of the piece with strong visual design. Research, sketches, thumbnails and storyboards will be to follow if all is in order.

Any thoughts and feedback is welcome.


tutorphil said...

Hey Leo :)

My first thought is 'whoa - sounds hugely ambitious!' On top of everything else that's implied by this story, it's got lots of weather/water etc - all of which I know is highly technical. What you need to do, is very quickly - and very cheaply (in terms of time) - is create an animatic immediately - to test your story in this most naked of ways. There are probably economies that can be made, but also we need to see if the story satisfies. I suggest you seek to get an animatic made - with some stand-in sound - etc before you invest any time in the pre-production elements - just draw it how you see it - and then offer it up as soon as possible for feedback etc. It doesn't have to be pretty - it just needs to communicate.

Unknown said...

Terrific sketches! I want to drow it in my kitchen!

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