Saturday, 11 February 2017

From Script To Screen - OGR 2

Scarecrow - Script by Alex on Scribd

I apologise for how late this is.


  1. OGR 11/02/2017

    Hey Alex,

    Okay - a couple of thing to consider in terms of getting this absolutely tip-top, both in story and design terms.

    Storywise, you need to make the farmer's situation seem much more desperate, much more quickly; at the moment it reads as if one guy asked him to sell his farm, he says 'no' and then the next thing he does is invoke black magic, kill animals, and then his daughter... You need to show the farmer is under huge pressure. I think you can do this by establishing the conflict between the farmer and the developer as something that has been building even before the story begins. It can start with the final confrontation between the two characters and you can express visually how isolated and 'man alone' the farmer is by showing the farm and its surrounding fields in this kind of scenario:

    You need to start with the farmer's desperation, otherwise what comes next won't make sense. I think you also need to look at how the audience is going to understand the 'plot twist' too and the significance of the scarecrow etc. I'd suggest at the climax of the fight at the beginning, the developer takes a look at the scarecrow in the field in front of the house and says 'It will take more than a scarecrow to frighten me off' etc - which will foreshadow the farmer's idea (but also it's as if the developer is planting the seed of the idea in the farmer's head to begin with). At the end of the story we need to see that the bringer of the box is the developer too - because if we see that when the box first arrives, you have no twist of which to speak. I just think you need to look again at your story and make sure that everything is set up the way it could and should be for maximum efficiency.

    I think you need a much more bold and contextualised visual concept for your story too; you won't know this necessarily, but your story very much has the feel of an old EC Comics 'Tales From The Crypt' short - old-time Americana + a horrid twist. These comics were given a filmic adaptation back in the 80s called Creepshow and Creepshow 2:

  2. Take a look at some of the old lurid comic books that inspired the films:

    I can't help feeling that a more stylised approach to the kind of story you're telling would really help you get into the 'for animation' headspace - as opposed to the rather painterly illustrative qualities of your concept art painting for the farm. Your story is a nasty one - sort of sensational and over-the-top - and it feels like you need a visual concept to match.

    Your storyboard is *very* rough - it gives a real sense of you bashing out the panels in order to 'see' your story, but in terms of pushing this on in a more professional way, can I suggest you look at the 'Directing With A Pencil' presentation on myUCA/Story&Commission/FSTS and also the 'Storyboarding Resources' folder and really seek to soak up and apply some of the storyboarding conventions - so illustrated camera moves, action 'breaking the frame' etc. I do want to see students adopting these professional practices in terms of communicating their stories visually. You'll have seen no doubt too that I've been sharing examples of pro model sheets with many of your classmates as a means of demonstrating you present character designs: your daughter character has her charms, but take a look at these examples and note how much more development is required to situate her in terms of a 'ready-for-3D' asset:

    So - take a look at your story - you need to begin it at the point at which the farmer has 'had enough' - and you need to present this so the audience understands that this is part of a conflict that started much earlier and had now reached boiling point. I think you need to visually establish that the farm is standing in the way of somekind of massive development, and I think the scarecrow needs to be in shot from the very beginning, so he doesn't just appear when the plot needs him too. I think you need to look at the ending - or rather the twist and how it communicates to the audience, and I'd encourage you to think much less generically about your visual concept and plump instead for something bold, stylised and a bit more 'Tales From The Crypt'...