Having now done the informal pitch, getting my idea across to the group and tutors a little bit, it time to really start working on the idea. I have in my head and have roughly written a basic script and have some ideas of what I want the piece to look like, however now that I've had some feedback from tutors I have more research to do and want to think about the storyline a little more before finalising it.
Today I did a lot of research into different trees, in case i wanted to base the piece on something real rather then any tree. I considered one well known tree in Glastonbury. It is known as the Glastonbury Thorn and has quite an interesting history.
It was planted on the top of Wearyall Hill by Joseph who had Jesus' staff and was spreading the word of God to England. He came to rest on the hill and stuck the staff in the ground which took root and a tree grew. This tree flowers at Christmas as well as Spring and the Queen uses the flower on her Christmas dinner table. I think this is a really interesting one to look at. The tree did get cut down a long time ago, and I'm not sure about including the history of how it got there such a long time previously at the beginning, but i like the setting and think it would work really well having it on a hill high up with grassland and a city below.
The other main tree I looked at was The Major Oak in Sherwood Forest. This is supposedly the tree Robbin Hood and his merry men took shelter in and again I researched and found a lot of history and interesting things about the tree. I think this would be a magnificent tree to base the idea on and work with, however because it is in the forest, the idea of the city and landscape building and falling according to history etc wouldn't really work in this situation.
I also researched tree in building as i thought this was a really odd concept, and there are quite a few that have been saved and protected and people have building buildings around them due to this.
As I'm not convinced about doing the complete history of a particular tree or area, I think I'm going to stick to having just a general tree that could be anywhere, but perhaps including some of the ideas and information that I have found out about them. For example I read about a guard of the Major Oak sitting at the bottom of the tree with a pillow and a stick and umbrella, which i think is quite a nice idea, and about a lot of the wildlife that would be around. However i prefer the idea of the tree on a hill so that I can use the landscape in telling the history and movement through the years, so may use the setting from the other tree ans history I researched. I also think the idea of having the tree completely surrounded by buildings at the end could be a really interesting and maybe quite a comical way to end it.
So I think I might keep it quite general with the stories I include and characters I use so that it is more open and interesting to all, but include a mixture of the ideas i have found.
I then did a quick look and found a basic timeline of English history to make sure I get things in the right time periods and dates and to make sure the characters I have are in the right clothing for the era etc.
I would really like the piece set to music and tarted to look at ideas of who could compose a piece of music for it as I know very little in this areas. I think i will have to do more research in this area and ask around, and hopefully find someone very soon so that I can use it whilst working on preproduction stuff.
I have also started to consider influences i can use and work towards and character designs. Below are a few images I found of different animations and image of trees to work from. I want to make the piece really textured and different so I may look at really unusual animation styles as well.
I have also planned out a detailed timetable for myself to make sure that I am doing the right things on the right days and really keeping on top of things as much as possible before the pitch. I really could do with a few more people on this idea maybe doing background and design work, and particularly when it comes to compositing and editing...so if anyone fancies it?
For now, I'm going to play around with the story a little until I have added in everything and got it in a good order to work well, and then onto storyboarding and thumbnails to see how well it is working and will look. So, lots to get on with...