Ladies and Gentlemen, the Boarding Process is Complete

No posts A lull.  Quite the opposite.  I've been meaning to finally announce it but haven't had the time:  Storyboards are finished, and the animatic along with them.  The film grew quite a bit, and when people hear the final running time they seem surprised.  Maybe even a bit wary.  I assure you, it moves very quickly and the run time doesn't feel long.  Trust me, I loathe nothing more than a short that overstays its welcome.  I sincerely appreciate, probably more than most, a short that holds itself to under or around ten minutes.  But gods, this thing got epic.  The story is almost worth blowing up into a feature.  With much effort, I've paced it out quite deliberately so that the run time doesn't feel long at all.

A quick statsheet before all-out breakdowns and budget revision begins:


  • 527 shots.
  • 29 minutes and 37 seconds give or take a few credits and thanks.
  • 5 paint-on-glass sequences interspersed with the traditional 2D.
  • Opening sequence covers social change over many centuries of history in 1:48 seconds.

Backstory: History as Truth and Symbol

  • Main character first appears at shot 22, almost 2 full minutes into the film- and isn't seen in full, in daylight until shot 58, the first few seconds of minute 4.
  • First elephant fight sequence from 7:18 to 8:40.
  • Only ONE dissolve to relocate/pass time, and it's a match move.  There are 3 more dissolve transitions in place, but they are to denote when 2d gives way to paint-on-glass in the animatic.  All other necessary transitions are done through an original visual or audio cue.
  • 10 Distinct, remarkable *NOMS*  ...For some reason, food became a motif all its own.

 NOM #3

So I'd love to say that I'm starting animation yesterday, but as it turns out there have been several welcome contract jobs of late.  So, I've been slammed with other people's projects.  My next post will be covering my second attempt at a paint-on-glass rig, a pile of gear I arranged for recent work in NYC on a MAC cosmetics corporate and online promo for their Spring 2010 line.  Unfortunately, they cut most of my paint animation- it turned into more of a photography job.  But that doesn't mean I didn't abscond with photos of the rig and the few animation tests that I'll post here soon.

Battered Diplomats

My most recent gig is finishing editor for a local SC feature by Skellenger Films, "More Than Diamonds."  At the moment I'm working through several difficulties to migrate all the footage to my edit bay- the largest of which seems to be the strange tendency of the SONY EX1 to shoot .MP4 extension files that feature the MPEG-2 video codec shell called MPGV.  It seems Apple and Quicktime don't like this new devilry.  Oh, tech.  How often I loathe thee.

Until the next.


Ramez said...

This is really great. I hope to see some metaphysical aspects of elephants and such. I'm getting that sort of vibe from your illustrations and explanations too. This better get some festival awards. Good on ye.

Jackhalfaprayer said...

Thanks man- I think I've been working on this film for two years now, at least a year and a half. And I've not even started animating! Hard to believe... Can't wait. As soon as my work is paid for I'm ordering a new portable 12f ani desk from Belgium, if they'll ship it to me that is. w00t