I thought a lot about what to do for a final film...or at least what to pitch. I've had a few different ideas, some short and funny, some a lot more complicated...and I still can't decide which one to work further on and develop into a good enough idea and design to pitch.
The idea I had that I quite liked towards the beginning of the summer was about a spider. The very basics of the idea were that he finds a corner in an old house that is perfect for making his dream web and living space. He has it all designed perfectly...this huge incredible really intricate web. He brings in all these construction workers, bugs and spiders to help out, all in high vis jackets using machines etc. he makes it so that it all fits perfectly, he can sit and look at an amazing view out of the window, he has the best fly catching area going and once it is all done exactly how he imagined it he sits back n admires it. The next thing you see is a woman with a hoover who comes along humming away and just sucks this incredible construction away in seconds. The spider has a horrified look on his face, does the biggest sigh and rolls the blueprints out to start over again...
I started to work on a few designs and the final story outline and storyboard ...
...however I had a few other ideas that I still wanted to do some research into before I continued.
My other idea is a bit more serious and would take a lot more research and finding out information, however I think it could be really interesting if it works.
It sounds a bit odd, but I had a converstation with someone about the life of a tree and how there are trees that survive for thousands of years until they are destroyed...probably by us, and I found it quite interesting to think of all the things it goes through, eras, the landscape around it changing, the people that see it, how everything develops around it when it barely changes.
So I thought it would make a really nice animation to have this tree maybe even growing from a sapling into this giant with all sorts of things happening around it.
I did research into the oldest trees and most of them are in California or other countries. It's going to be pretty hard to get facts and time lines and things in the story correct especially as I dont know that much about US history and it's not easy to find history of a specific area when you dont live there... However after doing some research I found lots of different things that could be put into it and events that would make it interesting, even if the audience doesn't completely pick up where it is meant to be set.
Below are some initial ideas and events that could be included into it...just to start me off with a bit of a story and structure really and most are based around the tree being a giant sequoia in california...
-Dogface butterfly sitting on the tree bark – zoomed right in...starts to move and camera zooms out to show size of tree. In the general image of the tree there could be purple needle grass and golden poppies surrounding the area
-Priests building a mission to convert and teach the natives
-A young boy sits down by the edge of the tree playing with the grass and finds a small rock in it. He picks it up and zooming in we see him playing with it and chizzling it into the shape of a bear (stone bear is a Californian symbol), playing with it and running off with it
-Mission is burnt down by the natives
-Mexican – American war – America seizes California
It is then US military governed – us soliders of the 1840s patrolling
-A grizzly bear comes and scratches its clawas up against the tree bark..a solider slowly backs away..and then runs..as the gentle giant, unaware, continues on its journey
-Wagons and stage coaches main source of transport
-The gold rush – people draining a nearby river and starting to dig for gold, finding some – late 19th c hydraulic mining, depleted many natural resources – show the river never being refilled or put back to how it should be
-Bridges built, concord used for transport
-Telegraph lines being put up...fast forward...a buffalo comes past a knocks it down..california lose contact again
-American civil war – sending troops off to the east, maybe a soldier saying goodbye to their family 1850something.
-The big four stand by the tree possibly in silhouette overlooking California making plans to create their railway
Central pacific railway built by Chinese mainly 1869
-Oil is found and first wells are dug in 1860, oil fields are created and California is a huge producer of it
-With train running in the background a young architect comes and stands considering the view and begins to draw plans for the palace of fine arts – roman ruins style building
-Time moves on a young girl walks up to the tree and writes her name on it and skips off
As the landscape changes, the building the architect drew can be seen in the background
Highways are built connecting towns and villages - houses developing
-Older girl comes back with a boy, shows him the view, points to her name on the tree...he adds his
San francisco bridge in the far distance, Building of dams, Lincoln highway in 1913 and route 66 in 1926 increased automobile travel and tourism
-A family come up to the tree and add their children’s names on...sit and have a picnic admiring the view.
-Mgm, universal and warner bros buy land in California in early 1900.-California becomes popular for making films. Perhaps a film could be being made around the forest near the tree..shooting a scene – big for television production
-After the war lots of land was bought and much more housing built – changed landscape
1955 disney land opened in Anaheim
Population increased dramatically by 1970
-Smog days caused schools to be closed in certain areas
Increased environmental awareness and use of electric cars
-Construction workers wander around trees with clipboards
Hippies create ring around .....
-1967s hippies summer of love and surfer life style – hippies and surfers in a camper van chilling out make a fire for the night
So, there is loads of stuff that could happen, some would obviously be in the distance like the changing landscapes, building, bridges, roads, transport..all of those developments would just be working in the background, and more specific things could happen near the site of the tree. I suppose it doesn't necessarily have to show the history of anywhere in particular it's just a general way of working through time and showing all the things that the tree would have been there for.
I have it in my head that parts could be fast forwarded with things changing really quickly and then in normal speed for things happening nearer the tree so that it kind of speeds through time.
I think I moved more towards this idea because it is a bit different and could also be done in a nice way maybe using a really textured realistic looking tree when its in the foreground , maybe a kind of stop motion thing and then 2D for the rest and background stuff...however I think it is a much bigger project then the first idea...
so, I'm going to keep working and thinking about both of these and see what else I come up with...