Slaps and Sandbags development blog week 3
31st May 2017
So now that we were approved and contracts were signed we started into pre-production. The first thing to get done was to visualise the script in a storyboard. This would allow us to breakdown what was needed from the number of backgrounds and props to how many scenes had that would need animation or special effects.
Our director, Graham, thumbnailed out what he envisioned every shot to be. Thumbnails are small rough drawings with minor detail that give the indication of the composition and angle that al the shots should have.
After that, storyboard artist, Les Eaves, turned those thumbnails into more polished final set of boards. With Graham's input and a few round of retakes we arrived at the final set of boards.
Alongside the boarding process, we had to cast our voice over artists and record the script. After hearing a lot of varied artists perform their take on Slaps and Sandbags we decided to go with Mick O’Hara and Ciarán Morrison (of Zig and Zag fame). In the casting session they tapped into the characters perfectly first time around, so we set up a date to head over to Gorilla Post Production and record the whole script.
Now that we had the storyboards and the voice over tracks we could start the next piece of the puzzle; the animatic. This is the stage in which the storyboards are edited together with the dialogue recordings and strenuously paced out to the correct length we want the film to be.
You can see the animatic for Slaps and Sandbags here -
So before we could go into the next step of production we now had to design environments and extra characters. Our first attempt at the environments were set to a more angular style. We tried this mainly to create a contrast with the more rounded edges of our characters.
As we played with this concept, it became clear that Slaps and Sandbags were characters that would always stay true to their nature, so we would keep their part of the world more organic, and natural, showing colour and curved shapes. The norms, being so boring and straight laced, would have their part of the world more angular and subdued. This would create a world where Slaps and Sandbags stood out in the norms area and vice versa.
We messed around with some ideas for other characters that could populate Beetsville. Our ammended script now only called for one other main character - (the Chef), so we focused on him primarily, with some extras for our pizza parlour scenes.
The ‘Norm’ characters had to be a lot more subdued aesthetically than Slaps and Sandbags but still feel like they belonged in the same world. We gave them more realistic proportions and a pastel colour palette, which meant they they not only looked and felt different to Slaps and Sandbags, but
they fitted into the ‘Norms’ background designs, reinforcing the idea that Slaps and Sandbags really were a couple of fish out of water.
Once we had the designs down and an animatic we were ready to animate. Next week I’ll talk about how the Production went.