Thursday, October 11, 2012

Online Greenlight Review: Unit 1

OGR - Unit 1


  1. Lovely thumbnails, really evocative!

  2. OGR 11/10/2012

    Hey Akinbiyi,

    Nicely presented OGR! Loved the witty addition of the dinosaur tracks. This is a comprehensive precis of thoughts, findings and research thus far. I very much enjoyed your take on Conan Doyle's eccentricities and I remember seeing those fairy photos as a small boy and hoping they were real (only to read that they weren't!). Thus far, your studentship has impressed, Akinbiyi - you're attentive, inquisitive, open to change and you're associating closely with your classmates, and making the most of the baseroom etc - and this shows in your growing confidence - and the sophistication of this first interim document. Good stuff.

    Okay - in regard to your cinematic spaces; there's a sensitivity to your thumbnails that make the appealing in their own right (see 2nd year Chrissie's comment above!), and I think the canoe thumbnails are your strongest - because they are the most distinct. That said, I'd encourage you to 'super-size' still more so and think about those 'Skull Island' layerings of foreground, midground and background that might help you to further convey the size, scale and age of Doyle's lost world. I think this first image in particular could communicate the 'journey into the unknown' by contrasting the light of the world outside of the forest canopy to the gloom beneath it - so this digital painting might combine to good effect two contrasting colour palettes - the more human, gold, pinky, peachy tones of the sun shine and the cannoes etc (exterior to the Lost World) with the cold, reptilian palette of the forest itself (interior of the Lost World). Indeed, in terms of your visual concept, you might consider literally deriving your over-arching palette for the 'lost world' from actual colour samples from actual reptiles - after all, yours is a forest 'haunted' by the prospect of those dinosaurs, so maybe you could evoke their presence in this subliminal way?

    In regard to your other thumbnails, I think your challenge is to avoid a sort of leafy, jungley 'sameness'. You appear to be using occluded views and a sort of blind corner idea as a means of creating a sense of foreboding or menace, as both your thumbnails pinch off the view. However, this also has the effect of turning these two thumbnails into 'corridors', which, as thumbnails at least, 'shrink' your Lost World. You're also a bit stuck compositionally in terms of perspective not being able to convey the enormity of everything. I think you need to drop your POV lower to the floor - and this will add menace and apprehension more effectively than closing off sight-lines.

    It's interesting actually, that your influence maps have a lot of straight trunked woodland/forest imagery, when maybe you should be thinking about these areas as being more like coral reefs - and by that I mean that, okay, so you've got the trees as the main structure, but clinging to that structure are other elements, which have built up over the centuries to create this richly populated, textural space; some examples:

    I also suggest that you kill off that preponderance of straight tree trunks, and go for something more gnarly and immediately more exotic - and allow the branches out of the sky and into the picture plane - because they'll help you create more dynamic compositions:

  3. So - I suggest you rethink your last 2 thumbnails, because essentially they're doing the same job and you risk sameyness. Don't be shy in regard to mix-and-matching components from different excerpts if to do so is going to give your scene something distinctive. Likewise, maybe you go for a scene at night, lit by firelight (if memory serves there's a 'night in the forest' section?) - so actively seek ways to ensure that your 3 scenes are communicating different aspects.

    Reconsider your visual strategy for creating your intended feeling of menace and threat; I think it's an issue of point-of-view and extreme perspective, as opposed to concealed sightlines in this instance; you need to think more about DWARFING the audience and really making them feel loomed over. There's a concept in narrative known as 'foreshadowing' - when an event that comes later in a story is sort of suggested or hinted at in an earlier part of the story; perhaps you might idenitfy ways to 'foreshadow' the dinosaurs by using the jungle more actively in this sense (see earlier observations i.e reptilian colour palette for the vegetation - it's subtle stuff, but filmmakers do this all the time; for example, in The Woman in Black, the interior of Eel Marsh House derives its colour scheme from bruises - yes, the purples, reds, greens and yellows inside the house were inspired by the colours of a bruise - because the production designer wanted to convey the house's dark past that way...).

    Anyway - lots to think about - but a bit more actual DESIGN and visual reference and showmanship in terms of composition will serve to specify your spaces as more 'Lost World' and less 'generic green space'.