Friday, January 20, 2012

Here Be Dragons

I showed up at Mike's place a few weeks ago to find two wire skeletons and three or four bricks of modeling clay standing on his dining room table.

Our leading man and lady.

Skeletons.  Framework.  The first few words on a blank page.

To me, these are gorgeous.  The first tangible evidence that we mean business.

Mike's been working hard for months to get his storyboards down and in to an anamatic that he's happy with.  It's been a much longer process than we thought it would be. I've been feeling rather silly, sitting back, twiddling my thumbs, watching him draw and create. But anything worth doing is worth doing right.

And now it's time.  Now I get to crack my knuckles, pick up my pen and make things happen too. We've reached a point where we need to prove ourselves to ourselves.  The next six months are going to be intense.  Mike and I sat down at the very end of 2011 and hashed out a rigorous schedule that will get us through July.

It's good when production meetings end with wine rings and copious notes.

We've selected a very short portion of the video we want to produce in that next six months. We've chosen it carefully so that the experience we gain in this time will help us expedite the rest of the production.

Since the type of animation we have in mind integrates live-action puppetry with CG effects, we need to do our homework and we need to be meticulous in our planning.  Mike has tons of experience with CG modeling and animation, but bringing in the live action bits might prove tricky.

To get us started, we needed to pick an effects team.

The effects team. And Mike.

We're lucky (okay, beyond lucky: 'blessed' is the word) to be surrounded by talented, creative people. The first thing we need to accomplish is to see if some of the live action effects *can* be integrated beautifully in to an animated world.  For this, we needed to pick an effects team.  Enter: Regan, Ben and James.

Sitting around this table are four men that I admire and learn from most on a daily basis.  More info on each of them will come as we move forward, but just know this: they are, each of them,  brilliant problem solvers, artists, and storytellers.

Our first meeting with them last Thursday was exhilarating. There were ideas, and problems, and solutions, and energy being tossed around like hot potatoes.  Working with this team is going to be fun.  Their job for the next two weeks is to think about water.  Sounds vague? I know :) I'm excited to see what they come up with.