Tuesday, 14 December 2010

how to develop a massive index finger: chapter 2 (storyboarding)

 So after an initial idea and a character design one needs to have a story. Because we were asked to produce a film ONLY 1 minute long I decided not to tell a tradtional story but concentrate on hitting the point. I chose traditionally girl and boy activities and planned to make Pop do them both equally well. Very simple indeed. I did few storyboards. This is one of the first ones.

 Above is the original end of the story: Barbie doll and action doll shooting each other. But I decided against it as I felt it was unnecessarily violent. I wanted to have a positive feeling in my animation. Pop would be a POSITIVE rolemodel. Girl and boy activities and roles would be in perfect harmony.
Below is an other abandoned scenario where Pop does baking. It just didn't fit in smoothly.
The following storyline of Pop eating snot was brilliant visually. I really really wanted to do it but in the end couldn't justify it in such a short film.

 This is now pretty much the final stroryboard. After this the real distroying of my right index finger begings: the actual drawing of the animation. Who would have though how much one needs to draw just to produce ONE pathetic minute of animation!!!

Sunday, 12 December 2010

how to develop a massive index finger: chapter 1

 To develop a massive index finger is a long process. So after I had setled into making an animation of Pop, the Swedish child who's gender remains a mystery, I did lots of sketching. I think you could call this process character design. It sounds professional.

 Above left is the paper doll type design of Pop and the right one is one of the outfits I drew for Pop on tracing paper. Below are all of the outfits. My simple idea was to show how Pop had no gender restrictions by giving Pop sterotypically boyish and girlish clothes. Kids in general seem to like role play, fancy dress etc. If you go to a fancy dress shop there is a clear gender divide. For girls there is a sparkly selection of princess dresses, tiaras and fairy wings. Boys are offered a variety of professions such as a police man or a soldier. Super heroes are clearly a boy profession as well.

 One thing became clear to me during the planning process, Pop was going to be a sort of Super Hero child. Pop could do ANYTHING, girl and boy things. That simple ability of not having to choose according to ones gender would be portrayed as Pop's super power. The other thing that came from this process was the fact that Pop would have red hair. I do not know really why. I think I like red heads. And besides they do have this "curse" on them of being ginger. I am for equality whether is between sexes or races or umm...people with just different hair colours. The whole culture of bullying ginger people is as ridicilous as assuming that one is for example a good leader only based on ones gender.

Oh and back to my over developed index finger. Well, at these early stages it was still pretty normal. I had only just started drawing, which eventually turned into pretty excessive drawing. But I will get to that in future chapters.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

how to develop a MASSIVE index finger: PROLOGUE

This is a realistic illustration of my right hand at present. How did I get here? Well the story starts last summer when we left the second year and were asked to choose a project for the following autumn. I chose the moving image project as the brief was very loose and mainly it suggested that one should go for something they feel STRONGLY about. And I do feel strongly about things, oh girl or boy, I do!

These are some pages from my sketchbook. Because I went for something I feel strongly about, my research grew and grew. I have never before done this much reseach into a subject. So what was it I felt and still feel this strongly about? Well it's the hyper sexualisation and gender stereotyping of our culture. The general opinion seems to be that there is no need for gender equality discussion, no need for feminism, as things are ok enough. People seem totally blind to growing exaggeration of gender differences. Where this trend is blatantly present is the world of childhood. Perhaps because everything happens in the name of market power, we are currently raising our daughters into super PINK fluff and boys into sexist machoes. And most worryingly there is not enough discussion over this. People critisising the current trend are seen as prudish and silly. But I am angry. I thought that things could only get more equal with time but we seem to have walked into a big sexist wall.

The media everywhere advertises the so called biological differences of sexes and based on these biologigal "facts" our culture cherishes extreme femininity and masculinity. The whole idea of influence of culture on ones development and behaviour have been pushed somewhere aside. All a girl can be is first of all pink, very very feminine, looks obsessed and sexy. Boys can not be anything like that,indeed, quite the opposite, more active- violent even- and definitely macho. Us so called equal grown ups try our best to mould the next generation into super tight gender types. How is this even possible!!!!! How did it turn out like this?

After obsessing over this giant subject I eventually needed to cool down a bit and direct my anger and ethusiasm into something concrete. I needed a simple enough idea for a short film. My good friend Miriam told me about this Swedish child called Pop who's parents refused to reveal Pop's gender to anyone but very close family members. This story had attracted big amount of media attention, mainly negative and concerned. The parents were accused of child abuse. Their behaviour was seen as unnatural and totally wrong for the child. But wait a second, what these parents wanted to do was PROTECT their child from the culture that suffocates anything that doesnt fit into it's strict models. Why the averige parent forcing a child into a tight gender type is not seen as child abuser? Maybe Pop's parents felt that in order to give their child equal opportunities in this EXTREME world they needed to take an extreme action.
So I chose Pop as the hero of my animation. I didn't know much about the real Pop but Pop seemed to tell my story very well.
But all this doesn't yet explain why I eventually developed a massive index finger. I guess I have to explain a bit more in the next posting...

Thursday, 11 November 2010

HEAD business!


Plasticine model of Kitchen Tom's head.

Below from left: Head of the Racing Granny cast in resin. The middle one is also in resin but painted with acrylic colours. The last is the original plasticine head but now with a sad expression ready to be cast again!

I built boxes around the plasticine heads to make rubber moulds from them. The next step was to pour in the rubber and leave it to dry. Then I cast resin heads from these moulds.

Once more my Granny heads...

Sunday, 17 October 2010

first 3D attempts

Sketching in Finsbury Park a week ago on sunday. It was a warm day, nearly like summer again!

Above is a plastacine model of the head of Machine Kid and below the one of Racing Granny.

When designing her racing vehicle, I tried to get my head around vehicles by building very simple models.

The whole point of my final project is that it is going to be all 3D! I will build all characters and sets and this way create the story as miniature models.


Above are designs for the first version of Granny's racing vehicle. In the course of the story the vehicle changes dramatically...
Below are some sketces from the Steam Museum: my ultimate place for inspiration! 

extra characters

The characters above are not going to be part of the story. The lady was one of my first designs but later on I decided to go for Granny, Machine Kid and Tom only.

There are 2 small side characters. One of them represents the rules (sometimes ridicilous) of society. He is the Health and Safety Inspector who comes to inspect the racing vehicle with not too good news.
The other side character is Granny's worst enemy, her rival racing driver.

Racing Granny= the beginning of my final project!

I am finally revealing some of the plans I have made for my great final project during the summer. It is a story of Racing Granny and her crew. Above is Granny and her main mechanich the Machine Kid.

These are sketches for Granny. She is a racing star with her self made racing vehicle(engineered by Machine Kid). I am taking my inspiration from the end of 19th century and beginning of the 20th century when lots of industrial inventions were made. In that sense the time was exciting. My stoy is totally fantasy though. Not least because my main star is an active elderly lady. Not very Victorian behaviour for a woman...

Below are sketches for Machine Kid. If Granny is the star, Machine Kid definitely is the back force behind her succes. I am consciously paring up an unusual character couple to be my main heroes. Usually active role is male dominated and so is the one of clever person. Age of my characters is unusual as well. Old women tarditionally have a role of evil stepmother or caring grandmom. Young girls are not normally the ones with brains.

Third main character of my story is Kitchen Tom. He takes the role of a carer, the one traditionally left for women.