The feeling of fear in animation
In order to learn about the proper way of conducting and writing up an experiment, we had to do an experiment on our main discipline we chose our selves, whilst also sticking to a theme which was fear. The purpose of this task would teach us the proper layout of writing up an experimentation we have done, along with the research we have done in it; I can apply this to my FMP if I decide to do any experimentation in the project.
Examples of people exploring fear in a similar discipline
I first did research into different examples of people exploring fear in animation, this would allow me to see how they approached the theme and what kind of techniques and methods they used to create fear. I can then use this information to create my own experiment using similar techniques and methods, and seeing what kind of results I would get.
Courage the cowardly dog:
I first looked at Courage the cowardly dog, this was because it was famous for some of the episodes striking fear into its audience. Courage the cowardly dog uses many different styles when creating fear, this can be seen through its storytelling, the way it portrays characters, its animation techniques and the way it signifies things. Such as with changing it’s style at animation, from normal 2D animation to stop motion animation on a specific character or scene. This makes the scene or character seem very unnatural, adding the fear of the unknown to it.
Courage the cowardly dog / nightmare fuel (no date) Available at: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/NightmareFuel/CourageTheCowardlyDog (Accessed: 23 January 2017).
WatcherOfThe2000s (2011) Top 10 most disturbing (Scariest) courage the cowardly dog episodes. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdTymvjRuoc (Accessed: 23 January 2017).
The Tell-Tale Heart:
When looking at this, I believe it creates fear through the art style of the animation, the animation its self and how they used the voice actors. The art style has the characters and even the backgrounds bent and disproportionate, this makes the short very creepy because it again, like Courage the Cowardly dog seem unnatural. The animation also creates some creepiness to the short; the animation stretches the characters and changes pace with each scene, this is the same with the voice acting, being quiet and whispering, to being loud and shouting, not staying at a constant, making the characters unpredictable. This creates fear from the unknown to the audience.
Emmett, N. and Articles, M. (2015) Have fear, Five animated horror classics are here. Available at: http://www.cartoonbrew.com/classic/have-fear-five-animated-horror-classics-are-here-120494.html (Accessed: 23 January 2017).
Trickpiraten (2013) The tell-tale heart by Annette Jung. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDLLHTdVSgU (Accessed: 23 January 2017).
Planning my experimentation
This part of the process contains 5 parts that are used to allow me to figure out how I will do the experiment and not cause any disruption to the experiment’s work flow. The 5 parts are first a question which the experiment will aim to answer, that way I have an objective; the second part is a plan on what I will do for the experiment, that way I can keep a good work flow. The third part was the methods I would use in my plan to achieve those tasks, such as using secondary research from the internet to learn what I need to know; the fourth part is the equipment I will need to achieve the plan and the last part is what I hope to discover from the experiment?, this could be techniques or methods in a specific area, etc.
Question: How do line/colour/shading inspire fear from character design?
- Look at different character designs that are designed to inspire fear
- Create some ideas of a creature, monster, etc.
- Design the basic look of the main idea on paper
- Choose one design and bring it into PhotoShop, experiment with the designs shading/line/colour
- Show other classmates and get feedback from them
Methods I would use:
- I will use secondary research when researching the designs
- I will create a table when coming up with ideas
- I will use paper and pencil to do the basic design
- I will photocopy the basic design, then send it to my T drive to edit on the computer
- Graphics tablet
What I hope to discover:
I hope to discover a formula on designing characters that inspire fear, along with also an art style that is unique.
Result and reflection
The research that I got contained mostly disproportionate human bodies with either very skinny detailed bodies or some part attached to them that shouldn’t be. Here are the concept arts, I picked to be the main base of my experiment:
From this, I was able to create a humanoid creature that was thin and long which also makes me feel quite unsettled when looking at. When getting feedback from a classmate, he found the concept design also to be some what creepy and unsettling, he found it creepy because of its long disproportionate limbs, along with its skinny body.
Colour and shading:
From this task, I have learnt how to do experimentation and documenting it properly, I believe I have done very well with this task as I was able to achieve what I wanted to find out. With this knowledge, I can apply this to my final major project to do more experimenting properly, along with also being able to create fear from characters to audience.
(No Date) Available at: http://media.dunkedcdn.com/assets/prod/68179/p1a33o0qgi1rce1bju5121fksebm3.jpg (Accessed: 23 January 2017).
Halloween horror nights (seasonal) (2006) Available at: http://www.thestudiotour.com/wp/studios/universal-studios-hollywood/theme-park/attractions/halloween-horror-nights/ (Accessed: 23 January 2017).
#jsmarantz – photos Instagram (2015) Available at: http://www.ipopam.com/tag/jsmarantz (Accessed: 23 January 2017)
Comedy in 2D animation
Examples of people exploring comedy in a similar discipline
Family guy uses a lot of slapstick humour, however they also do have subtle humour and very brutal humour. This was because it would allow them to have a bigger audience and be able to make them laugh as it would have humour for people who understand the topic and humour for people who don’t understand the topic. The art style of the characters are very rounded, this is probably because of the theme as rounded characters seem to look more friendly and nice.
Rick & Morty:
Rick and Morty is quiet a brutal comedy, touching upon the dark humour of reality, whilst also having random slapstick humour. The art style of the characters are also round but also sharp, such as at the joints of the characters, elbows and knees, this could give the feeling that the characters are nice but they do have some personality flaws. However this can be used as a strength as the characters become more human, allowing the audience to connect with them more.
Bojack Horseman’s comedy is based on despair, showing unhappiness, anger, despair, and regret. This style of comedy is very narrow which means that it doesn’t tend to a wide range audience, this maybe the reason why their are a lot of mixed reviews of the show. The show’s colours are very saturated, this is probably because it is used to lighten the dark, depressing parts of this show.
C, R. (2016) What type of humor does family guy have? Available at: https://www.quora.com/What-type-of-humor-does-Family-guy-have (Accessed: 24 January 2017).
Crouch, I. (2015) The New Yorker. Available at: http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/bojack-horseman-and-the-comedy-of-despair (Accessed: 24 January 2017).
Planning my experimentation
Question: How to create a script that Influences humour to the audience?
- Look at other scripts created by shows that focus round comedy
- Create a bullet point list of things that it will include such as characters and scenarios
- Begin writing it up
- Once finished, have someone look through it and see what they think
Methods I will use
- I will do secondary research on the internet for the scripts
- I will use celtx to write up my script
- I will ask two people for their feedback
What I hope to discover?
I hope to discover a method in creating humour in script writing, along with a effective process.
When looking at scripts from shows focused around comedy, I looked at Rick & Morty’s script for Lawnmower Dog and M. Night Shaym-Aliens! I first noticed how they wrote up scenes, such as how they begin a scene by describing the surroundings, how they write up actions and sounds that happen in the scene, and how they write up a scene when a character is speaking to a character or inanimate object that cannot respond. Another thing I found is that they use references in scripts, that way the storyboard team and animators get a clear picture of what to create, for example in Lawnmower Dog it says “Snuffles shakes his head “no” and waves his hands. It’s like a game of charades and he’s losing. He is very frustrated. (Look to the dog from Wallace and Grommet for some great dog character acting cues.)”. I can apply this information to the experiment when writing the script, such as how to start the script off; how to write up actions, sounds and dialogue that has no other characters responding, and how to use references to give a clear image to readers.
When creating the bullets points, I decided that the main setting of the script would be in the main offices in a Press building, the characters are the Boss of the press, a journalist and one other staff. The scene will have the journalist asking the boss to work on a specific story, be turned down by the boss, gets reminded why by the other staff member, gets offered a story that the journalist really doesn’t want to work on but is forced to do it anyway. The journalist story he could ask for could be a scandal, a crime and a celebrity.
After finishing the script on Celtx, I got Sam, a classmate to give me some feedback on the script; he showed me a couple of parts that would need punctuation to make it better and suggested to reword a line. The line originally read “she’s creepy and old and scary…”, Sam suggested to have it like “she’s creepy and scary and…. Old”. I believe that the reworded line works better than the original because its delivery works a lot better and etherises his dislike for doing that story. For the initial feedback of the whole script, he thought it was pretty good.
I then asked Ben to give his feedback on my script, this would allow me to have more opinions about the script; Ben found that the script’s humour felt a little forced, however it was animated, he can see it being funny and also suggested to include a flashback.
Here is the finished script improved from feedback:
What is it?, also I prefer you to call me by my name
Boss let me do the interview with Benedict Cumberbatch, I believe I’m the best one for this, I’ve watched all his movies and I’ve done the necessary research… maybe even more.
Well remember the time when you ask the boss to interview Scarlett Johansson. When you actually interviewed her, you went into a state of shock and began dribbling everywhe..
Don’t need a recount of that and it wasn’t that bad…
It was, you created a puddle
Anyway, I’ve become a more professional journalist! please, Boss?
THATS NOT MY NAME AND I SAID NO… you’ll be working on the Cat lady story.
No, No, No, Noo, I will not. I have seen her around in the streets, she’s creepy and scary and….old .
(wiggling fingers) Some say she can place curses upon people
That doesn’t help.
You will work on that story and that’s final
When looking at the script I created, I believe I did pretty well, I was able to create a good short story and have some comedic parts in it, however I believe I could do better if I worked more on who the characters are, that way I could write a script that would seem more real and have more personality, this could increase its comedic effect. I could have also added more actions to the scene, such as having the boss walk away near the end of the conversation, this would have given the reader more of an idea of what is going on in the scene.
(No Date) Available at: http://www.la-screenwriter.com/2016/11/18/rick-and-morty-scripts/ (Accessed: 24 January 2017).
Reflection of this week
From this week, I was able to learn how to conduct experimentation properly, whilst also documenting it properly. I was also able to do my own experimentation which is linked to my chosen discipline which is 2D animation. I was able to learn a lot from this week and I believe I reflected upon that very well. I can now use the information I have learn to take my final major project down two specific themes, however I believe I still need to conduct more research into that and decide what I want my FMP to be.