Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Minor Project: Story Development

Following from my last idea about the cancer patient I have decided to exclude other disorders within my animation to solely focus on the subject of anxiety.
Whereas, my previous idea was a more literal approach to social anxiety I would like to convey it in a more poetic sense using visual metaphors; bringing the outside to the inside.
After a discussion with Alan I need to figure out my ending first, some thoughts Iv'e had are...

ACT 1 - Establishing the outside (normally, as we see it), introducing inside - which is a contrast, including angular shapes, anxiety ridden space. A small intro to the character and her social anxiety of the outside world.

ACT 2 - Possibilities... (in conjunction with the 'Possible Endings')
1 - as the room gets smaller she has to place the precious item in different places, the last resort is the window sill.
2 - Introducing the idea and/or construction of a 'safe zone' (this could be a pillow/duvet fort, cardboard box).
3 - Introducing her efforts trying to grow flowers, referencing to her father.


Lead up
 - The interior environment will be completely enclosed around her making it un-livable, this represents her mind. This could include windows smashing, bed breaking, ceiling/walls splitting (progressive action, the closer to lead up the bigger the splits etc), items being blown out the window, cupboard doors opening etc...

Possible Endings

1 - A precious item (family picture, loom, souvenir from holidays) falls out the window, forcing her to leap and get it, once in her grasp the room goes back to normal - shot of her hand and item in sunlight half in darkness - symbolizing the first steps to a possible recovery.

2 - Within her room she has a safe zone, this could be a large cardboard box, she enters this when the environment is at its worst. In the box is where she imagines the outside world to be good with her postcards, holiday snaps and notes from loved ones - during act 3 (the climax) these postcards scatter in front of her, forcing her to leave her safe zone. The notes from loved ones slip and fade away as she scrambles for them. She manages to grab one - a first drawing she drew for someone (this could be a butterfly or something etc) she hugs this close to her with her eyes closed wishing the environment to stop. When she opens her eyes a butterfly is on the end of her nose, it flutters around the room and leaves via the window. The room is back to normal but the same 'bad energy' lingers, She picks up her blown safe box and it reveals a small split in the wall.

3 - Pan shot of her room, a photo of her dad standing next to his biggest sunflower. Dirt mounds around her room but concentrated in the safe zone. As 'lead up' happens a dying flower falls from the top of her cupboard, this forces her to leave her safe zone, she is holding the flower close to her trembling, the room gets progressively worse. Shes unaware what to do when the room damages the curtain pole, this reveals a ray of sunlight into her room, the dying flower leans towards the light, she gingerly puts the dying flower into the sunlight being cautious of the sun ray. This perks the flower up (not blossoming) representing a connection between her and the outside world and a growth of the character. Shot is a pan of her looking form flower to sun ray, next shot (CU of eyes) showing her curiosity of what she has experienced. Last shot revealing the back of her and the room normal again but with the same mishaps of the last idea, reiterating that its a cycle.

Note - I need this character to slowly break the cycle of anxiety - although she wont be cured fully.

Following on from this I will be designing the inside and outside world. The inside world will have influence from German Expressionism, angular furniture ... (I want this room to embody anxiety, an asphyxiation of her mind state) - the outside world to be quaint, colorful and inviting. I haven't decided on a location, though I am thinking of the houses similar to those in Rochester, which are tall terraces with an old England influence.
My character will be aged 6-12 I'm unsure what age exactly as of yet depending on what scenario I go forward with.


  1. Hey Ant,

    I've given this some thought. I think in the ideas above, there's a complexity getting started that you can do without. I think your story needs to suggest an origin for the anxiety, some kind of experience that we might suspect could encourage a child to view the world as newly insecure and full of threat. I don't want you to think I'm obsessed by cancer, but in visual storytelling terms, a 'bald head' is the quickest way I can think of to give a lot of back-story away in a very short time. I've quickly put this treatment together below: sorry, but the school bus is back, because again, I can think of no quicker way to establish quickly the fact of the anxiety, but also the sense of wanting to 'travel back' to a community, of which this child was once part. In terms of the 'additional characters' in terms of the other kids, I don't see any reason, why your story world couldn't be set up like this - so a blend of techniques: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCPnsqxDKf4

    Anyway - see what you think …

  2. Exterior street scene – nice and leafy, nice houses; it’s a sunny day. There is a line of kids waiting at a bus-top. We here lots of chatter, noise etc. School bus arrives – kids get on – bus leaves. We looking at the empty street and its row of nice houses; the camera moves up and we realise there’s a child at one of the windows, looking down at the bus stop.

    Int bedroom – the child is at the window, looking down. They are half-dressed for school. He/she turns sadly from the window to face their bedroom: we are shown clues to the child’s situation; school bag packed. There is a picture of the child with her mother and father in a frame. They look happy together. Her mother is bald in the picture. They’re at a funfair or themepark. This family is having a great time. We see the mum is wearing a small yellow badge on her cardigan: it reads very simply ‘Life Is For Living’. We see the child’s expression crumple. Her bedroom door opens. It’s her dad. She shakes her head. He closes the door again. Suddenly, we see the walls of the bedroom move inwards a little bit – it happens quickly; the room has shrunk….

    Next day;

    The child is in their school uniform. They look determined this morning. They pick up their school bag, and the walls of the room shift back a little bit. We hear the bus – the child crosses to the window: looks down; but the line of children are all ogres and brutes, and the bus is this horrible looking vehicle – like a child-eater… Everything looks dangerous, like it can’t be trusted. The child backs away from the window; turns back to face the room: the walls of the room snap inwards again – more than last time – the room is smaller now - and when the child looks back at the window, it suddenly seems miles away – a tiny square of blue light.

    Next day:

    The room is tiny now. The child is trapped. We hear the children talking outside coming as if from a great distance. We hear the sound of the buzz. The room shifts suddenly again – it’s a prison – and this time when the bedroom door opens, her father’s silhouette is so far away, we can hardly hear what he’s saying.

    Next day:

    The child is in darkness – the bedroom window is a dot. In the darkness, we suddenly hear the sound like a dropped coin; something we can’t see rolls towards the child. They pick it up (it’s in their palm) and then we see it’s the badge from the photograph – the small yellow badge that says ‘Life Is For Living’.

    Next day:

    We’re looking at the child’s face in close-up as we hear the children and the arrival of the school bus. Their eyes are closed very tightly. Slowly, the child opens their eyes and we understand they’re standing by the window; they look down – and we see the kids and the bus and its normal. We now see that the child is dressed and they’re wearing the small yellow badge. The child has the school bag on their shoulder. The bedroom door opens; it’s dad, he’s smiling. The child looks around the room; it’s normal sized. Slowly, the child begins to move…

  3. also - you're calling yourself a *CG Artists* on your blog banner, which suggests there are more than one of you!