My teammates for this project are Charlotte Bryans, David Pollock and Molly Wilkinson, and we are working with Mash Mob studios to produce a trailer based on a script for a feature-length film they have written.
Our work for this project so far was presented to the class in the form of this powerpoint.
Initial research and moodboards
While at first we weren’t given a script for Mash Mob’s film, we were told the gist of the story. The film is a psychological/supernatural horror about a man haunted by a banshee, set in Belfast and featuring themes of mental illness, domestic violence and drug abuse.
We were also given some idea of how they wanted it to look – dark and chaotic, possibly working in a combination of 2D and 3D, with strong composition and colour and overall emphasis on interesting visuals. Jude Lynch, our client, specifically pointed us to the ‘story’ scenes from the 2015 film A Monster Calls and asked us to do research and put together some moodboards while we were waiting for the feature script to be sent to us. Below is my portion of the research for the first couple of weeks of the project.
Jim Kay – Illustrator of ‘A Monster Calls’ original novel
During the second week we received the script for the feature length film, titled She Faerie, and had four days to read it and create a script for a trailer advertising the film.
Our initial version of the script was for the time Jude first suggested – about 2:40 minutes long. We tried to include the main plot elements and characters in a way that would not reveal too much yet was still intriguing. We were aiming for a sort of three-act structure, with the opening scene being a tense and intriguing hook with the central character’s mental illness and elements of the supernatural, the middle part introducing the wider setting, conflicts and side characters, and the third part being fast and climactic with rising tension and a jumpscare at the end.
I and the rest of the team were quite pleased with our work. However, Jude said it was too long and was not tense enough for a horror film trailer, as well as giving too much away and being too complicated to for us to make in good quality with our limited time and experience. He suggested instead writing a script for a ‘teaser’ that was about a minute long, almost more like a pitch for the film than a full-blown cinematic trailer.
We wanted to try different approaches, so while Charlotte and Molly redrafted the long script into a more condensed version, David and I wrote a shorter teaser trailer.
TRAILER SCRIPT DRAFT 2 (CHARLOTTE, MOLLY)
TEASER TRAILER SCRIPT 1 (ROSE, DAVID)
David and I had in mind a more self contained scene, partially inspired by the teaser trailer for The Conjuring (2013), so we based it the opening scene of the original film where the protagonist is explaining his recurring nightmares to the doctor. We were thinking of having the doctor’s office scenes be stylized 3D animation whilst the dream sequence would be the experimental 2D mix we’d researched earlier – I like there being a logical reason for the animation style to change within the context of the trailer and am quite proud of coming up with the idea.
David has put together a very rough animatic of the thumbnail storyboard we brought to our next meeting with Jude, as well as testing a spilled ink effect in After Affects.
I also have some very very rough concepts for how I imagined certain shots to appear.
Jude liked the teaser trailer, but he felt that it still wasn’t tense enough and didn’t cover enough of the events of the feature film. I then suggested foreshadowing the key scenes in the dream sequence, as if it was a prophetic nightmare, an idea Jude really liked as it would tease the events of the film and also allow for some interesting visual work.
Moving forward from the feedback he gave us, we will work on visual development as well as finalise the script and work on a more refined animatic of the trailer soon.
I am quite excited to be working on this project, as I like the look we are going for with the animation and very keen to use the opportunity to advance my compositing and modelling skillset. However I have also been struggling with uni work due to ongoing health issues and I am afraid that though I have been doing my best I have not been working to my fullest, which is a pity because I think research, writing and design are probably my strongest areas and I would really like to be able to do more at this stage.
Organisational Google Doc: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1JzSQQ0a8HunjKl-KxYFIk4uf5x9bSvmHpHzM7qc3TC4/edit?usp=sharing
Rough Animatic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Tpcn1bUMAM
After Effects Test: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JULd7c0Unc&feature=youtu.be