Friday, 5 February 2016

Storytelling and Commission - Script to Screen - OGR 2

Finally getting my ORG up, sorry about the lateness, just terrible time management on my part coupled with the very time consuming mistake of accidentally over-writing/deleting 2 storyboard sets while trying to rename and sort files. At least I won't be doing that again. 

1 comment:

  1. OGR 06/02/2016

    Hi Pip,

    Okay then, some suggestions: I think your story needs to begin with an establishing shot of the exterior of the Taxidermist's house, as right now we just begin inside the room and I think your audience would enjoy a bit more of a 'run up'. This is an opportunity too to show how 'different' the taxidermist is from everyone else around him, so it's an opportunity to show his house perhaps in a row of very ordinary houses; the design of his house could be appropriately kooky and creepy; it would set things up very quickly for your audience that the taxidermist is a) a bit weird and b) that his weirdness is well-known to his community (hence hostility from local pet shop owners?) - so a house as different from its surroundings as these famous filmic examples:

    I think you need to think more cinematically about the graveyard scenes; presently you appear to have a single static camera watching the two characters dig, which isn't doing much to tell us about the boy's subjective experience of this horrible task. You also need to 'show us' more about the boy and his relationship to the candle; i.e. we need to see how his arm aches holding it, how the father is snapping at him to keep it still. I think you should consider working up a more 'montage-style' approach: so we see close-ups of the shovel hitting the earth; we see flickering candle light playing across the various names on some of the gravestones (Tabby, Cuddles, Spot etc) and the boy reacting to the horror of where he is and what he's doing. We have close-ups of the father's increasingly determined expression etc. It just feels that this needs to be directed in a much more 'horror film' style, with more skewed angles, more drama, and more face-shots so we know exactly what everyone is feeling and what they're reacting to. Think Psycho's shower scene, but not as fast or frenetic, but rather the way lots of shots can build up to 'show' the emotions you want us to feel. In terms of design, don't fall into the trap either of depicting your pet cemetery in that very generic way; give a bit more thought to the design of that environment, as I think there are some nice opportunities there.

    In terms of the design for your shopkeeper - maybe she needs to be less terrifying, and more 'cosy' in terms of her design; i.e. she represents the 'normal' world and the world of animal lovers. I also think it might be nice - and more straightforward for viewers - if during the scene when the taxidermist tries to buy an animal, we see the pet shop owner glance over at a poster next to the till, which has a picture of the taxidermist on it, and the words 'Do not sell this man an animal' and under that, something like a logo for 'The Pets Protection League' or similar... It will just make it more clear that your taxidermist has a terrible reputation.

    Re. your character designs, I'm going to wait until you've narrowed things down a little further, as it does seem as if you're still in the business of narrowing things down for yourself. My prime bit of advice is to look again at the direction of your story, and look for opportunities to import a bit more directorial flair into your various sequences and think about some more expressionistic effects: for example, the living room of the taxidermist feels as if it could and should be much more crowded with animals; so stuffed birds and bell jars filled with squirrels etc - I think everything needs to be dialled up in terms of its gothic trappings and you need to think a little more as if you're making a horror film, with all the skewed shots and dramatic flourishes so implied :)