Monday, 30 September 2013

Photographs of Nan's House

These are a selection of photographs I took of my Nan's house. We are in the process of selling it at the moment so things aren't as tidy as my Nan would have kept it! Taking these photographs was a bitter sweet moment as it was the last time I'll be able to go to my Nanny's house, but in a way I'm glad I took the photographs, not only for my project but for memories. It's strange that when saying my final goodbye and seeing an empty living room and a somewhat flowerless garden I could still see in my imagination the warm, cozy family home that my Nan lived in and my Mum grew up in. This is what I want to encapsulate in my animated short.   

Minor Project: Nanny and Grandad's Song

Minor Project Proposal
An Animated Short
Originally I was going to create a digital set capturing my interpretation of my Nan's house, but after a few discussions I have decided to produce an animated short. I felt that although I would have wanted to make a lavish set showing my Nan's house in 'all its glory' it wouldn't be able to convey the emotion behind it, hence the animated short. The project for me is about encapsulating the past happy memories of my Nan's house and how the objects, photographs and memorabilia within in the home tells a story.  

 The final portrayal at the moment is a tad hazy, but so far the ideas are as follows; the camera pans round the room as the objects/memorabilia come alive within it - the vinyl player planning Nanny and Grandad's song, old film footage plays on the old television set and photographs come to life. Other ideas include having my Mum or Aunt talk about different objects/memories they've had in the house over the set animation and/or someone reading a letter that my Grandad wrote to my Nan. The idea is that these fragments/furniture build a bigger picture and an honest, heart-felt portrayal of what was so special and loved about my Nan and her house. 

Below is the photograph my Nanny had done to give to my Grandad.
Rita Mary Jenkins
Within this project I'm going to be very honest and probably share too much emotion - so apologies in advance! - but I need to do this to get my ideas across.  
My Nan passed away early this year, which was a very hard time for me and my family. I don't feel as if I've manged to grieve properly and in doing this project, making what appears to be a time capsule, I feel it'll let me move on and show how much she meant to me, and show how she was a big part of my life and will always be missed and loved.

Below is a photograph of me and my sister in my Nan's kitchen when we were younger, about 19 years ago - yes, I'm the one in the sink that looks like a boy, the frizz developed later!! I wanted to include the photograph to firstly show how in all this time the kitchen has still not changed - we still have the duck in the background - but also show my memories growing up.

Below is the song that inspired the whole project. It's the song my Grandad would rush to play on the piano and sing along to as my Nan walked down the garden path. This will be featured within the animated short.

Minor Project: Initial Ideas

With past projects proving successful in creating 3D environments, I intend on playing to my strengths and creating an animation around a digital set (with the potential to include live action film if relevant). The majority of my ideas contained the theme heaven - I have no clue why, but it kept creeping in my head so I figured I'd go with it! Below are the four main concepts I am considering. 

The Yellow Wallpaper
(by Charlotte Perkins Gilman)
One of my ideas was based on this short story, told through a mad woman who believes a lady is trapped within the yellow wallpaper of the room she is confined to, when in actual fact its a metaphor of herself being trapped. Hence from this I would create the room the woman is trapped in and have the story animated through the wallpaper.

Heaven At Night / The Streets Of Heaven
With this idea I wanted to portray a 'darker' side of heaven - an almost Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge/Great Gatsby inspired set. I would base the streets of heaven on places I've been, referencing photographs and creating photographic montages of the various locations. For example, see below, my holiday snaps of Palma, Majorca. I would still include the cloud elements lining the base of the set and light with blues/pinks/reds to give it an almost moody/abandoned atmosphere. The song below, by Lana Del Rey, would set the atmosphere.

How To Get To Heaven?
This idea was based on a concept I created during the summer for V Festival - 'Moon Risers' - and again thinking about heaven, the journey taken by those who are going to the after life. Trying to portray a magical 'moon balloon' ride to a representation of heaven. The journey would be through a variety of 'worlds' - with reference to Peter Jackon's The Lovely Bones. Start with 2D animation, then move to a 3D environment, ending with live action footage.

Nanny and Grandad's Song
My final idea, which I hope to carry forward, is based on a story of my Grandparents. When my Nanny and Grandad were younger they lived next door to each other and when my Nan would walk down her garden path after work, my Grandad would rush to his back room - next to the garden - and play the piano and sing their song - 'I'll Buy That Dream'. I wanted to create a project that was personal to me and growing up my Nanny's house always held such warm, happy memories for me, so I wanted to create a three dimensional set design of both my Nan's and Grandad's homes at that time when they first began to fall in love.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Third and Final Year

Can't believe it's here already! It feels like only yesterday I was nervous about starting my first day of university and wondering if it was the right path for me. Luckily I couldn't have picked better and have loved the two years I've been working on the course. What do I want from the final year? I want to produce amazing work, get brilliant grades, hopefully edging towards a promising career path, but what I want most is to produce work that means something to me - personal insights into who I am, what I love and creating worthwhile, meaningful art. So stay tuned .....

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Work Experience: VFestival 2013

Over the summer months I was fortunate enough to complete work experience with Butch Auntie, during this time I worked on a project for Virgin Media's V Festival. I was given a variety of concepts to produce from 'crazy collages' with animals and instruments to short 2D animations. I think the most rewarding aspect of doing work experience for a live visual company is seeing the transformation of something you've created on a computer screen being projected into the 'real' world. It's exciting and brings to life the work you've created. I've definitely enjoyed having new challenges, technical and motivational. It has given me more confidence working outside the university environment. Freelance experience gives you creative independence and relies upon you staying self motivated. The work experience has been valuable in appreciating taking directions from a client, as opposed to my individual preference - which is a very important lesson to learn early!

Below is a variety of concepts, clips and footage I created throughout the process of the project. Starting with 'crazy collages', patterns, neon signs and word concepts.

Yet more concepts - this time visualising in terms of 'real space/location'

These were some of the more successful concepts within the project - the last two concepts in particular were carried through and used at V Festival. Below shows the build up of the concepts and drafts.
Concept 1 - 'Crazy Cabaret'

Concept 2 - 'Moon Risers'

Concept 3 - 'Moths and Lights'

Videos and Event Footage
I worked in After Effects to create basic animations that would be projected at the festival. Within the first two sequences I actually created the moths and glowing dust in Maya then composited them into the scene.

This is the event footage where my animation/concepts are projected on the wall behind the singer/DJ for the majority the clip, the best visibility is at 3.34!!