Elsinore - Wooden Houses - Animated Music Video

Monday, April 19, 2010


I've been to some extent proceeding with this video in the dark without any real sense of my overall progress. I am taking some time now to break down every element of the video into a series of lists so that I can track my progress more easily and start to set realistic goals. I should be done with that process in the next few hours.

So, I'll be back to work on the video this evening and I'll shoot for a new post later this week. In the meantime, I want to plug a particularly incredible amazing animated film I watched on a train during my recent vacation. The Secret of Kells was most likely the film nominated for best animated feature film at the Academy Awards this year that you hadn't heard of before. The storytelling of the film could have used a little more work, but it sure is pretty to look at. Here's a trailer:

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Final Storyboards part 3 of 3

So when we last left the wolf she had just destroyed another house. She is now closing in on the pig.

So the wolf heads out into the country driving past, you guessed it, corn. I'm planning to have the background repeat severeal times, Hanna-Barbera style. I'm going to stick a billboard on the side of the road with the word yes featured prominently. That way, I can stick the album name into the video by having the background repeat three times.

When the cab pulls up to the house I'll be showing the taxi's hubcap. The idea here is that I will have a distorted reflection of the house visible in the reflection of the hubcap. the reflection will then undistort and expand to take up the whole frame.

The wolf will then walk into frame and up to the front door.

The wolf is knocking on the door. The pig looks through the peephole and hesitates. I'm not sure if this will be different shots, inside the house and outside the house or if I'll have the wall move back and forth throughout. Ultimately, the wolf will fall to her knees and bang on the door and the pig will finally open it and embrace her.

Now, this is obviously not a pig and a wolf. Nor is it something I made. This is from the "Yes Yes Yes" album cover. When the Pig and wolf finally come together I want to mirror its composition using the two characters.

Finally the two stand in the yard as the sun sets and the video fades to black. I may try to add some touches to make this look like a time lapse sequence.

Now, when I originally got a recording of the song the final line of the song "this is how hunger strikes begin" is repeated several times and the song ends. In the finished version there is a soft outro that goes for another 45 seconds after this. The way I had mapped out the story to the lyrics, the climax of the story logically comes at the end of the lyrics. I have been struggling to decide what to do with these 45 seconds for a long time now.

One thing I had thought of was doing a montage of scenes showing the reunited couple. I was thinking of doing them as quick illustrative slow motion vignettes a la the Watchmen intro. If you haven't seen it (the intro, that is) I'd recommend watching it. It is quite possibly the best part of the movie:

So one admittedly obvious idea I had was to show scenes of the pig and the wolf getting on with life together. Cooking together, moving her stuff in, etc... Now I'm leaning towards a series of vignettes that show the course of a lawsuit against the wolf by the owners of the houses she blew over. It would certainly be funnier, but it might be too far out from the rest of the video. ANy input would be appreciated.

My next project is to design the house.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Final Storyboards part 2 of 3

Once the pig makes his way to his new home we meet the wolf, returning to their apartment pulling a suitcase.

She finds the note the pig has left behind. She pours herself a glass of pizza wine and starts back out the door immediately.

She gets into a cab with the same driver as before.

They drive past the urban background that we saw several times before before stopping at a building. This was a very quick mock up. in the end I expect this to look more uniform. I'll probably also not have a yard in between any buildings. It should still feel kind of claustrophobic. The wolf gets out of the cab and walks to the door of a building.

She rings the door bell but no one answers. A kid looks out the window but doesn't answer the door.

So, she huffs and she puffs and she blows the house in. I realize that the exploding building looks nothing like the building in the previous frame. this was done as a sort of proof of concept. Why i didn't use the image from the previous storyboard I'm not sure. That said, the building will shatter into long, thin, plank like strips as the wolf howls. Then...

the strips will form a sidewalk which will assemble in front of the wolf's feet as she walks forward. This transition is going to be tricky to pull off, but I think it'll be worth a bit of extra time for the effect.

The wolf next arrives at one of the mc mansions we saw earlier during the pig's drive. At the time I was doing the storyboards I thought it might be fun to insert Little Red Riding Hood into the video to kind of mix fairy tales, but if I do that, then I just have the two little pigs. NOPE! So, she's going to get turned into a pig.

Little Red Riding Hood / a pig is not very helpful and the wolf walks away. I suppose I ought to destroy this house two some how, but I'm not sure what I'll do there yet.

Stay tuned for storyboards part 3 coming tomorrow in which the wolf finds the pig and the two are reunited.