Tuesday, May 13, 2008


concept still from The Park Bench

I've just finished my first film (ever) and received a stronger response from it than I might have originally expected.  Now what?

I'm beginning to discover the frightening gap that comes between the completion of films.  Mike and I began "Germans in the Woods" almost a year ago (June '07) and its first public screening came less than two weeks ago.  While there are more "documentary" shorts in the works here at Rauch Brothers, I would like to use the time I have right now to put a four-year project to bed: The Park Bench (see these posts: 1, 2).  Five of the final six minutes have been animated to pencil test and are ready to be inked, painted and composited.  This will be three or four times the effort required to complete "Germans", but at least there seems to be an end in sight.

This project began when a professor told me to take a nap one exhausted morning: "What are you gonna come up with in an hour, anyways?"  Well, I rather stupidly got myself into a big mess in that one hour.  The little story I sketched out was of a man waiting on a bench while bizarre dramas unfold around him.  This thing has been through several evolutionary stages.  In fact, there is an earlier version which was nearly completed... until I realized it was utterly boring to watch.  The whole thing took place over 6 minutes with up to six characters on the screen at a time and the camera NEVER MOVED.  I guess this was some kind of clever, art school challenge I made for myself.  It fit right in with another film I did at the time where a man makes a phone call (no discernible dialogue can be heard, only vague phrases like "Pretty good... you?") and the camera never moves for the whole three minutes.  What's clever about that?  The way he scratches himself?  The way he looks into his empty water glass at the end of the film?  Yuck.  Funny thing about clever personal challenges is they may not interest anyone other than you.

With that in mind, The Park Bench has been redesigned with a constantly twisting, turning, zooming and cutting camera.  The colors are bright and the backgrounds are full of repetition.  The image at the top of the post and those below should give you some idea of what the final look will be.

1 comment:

A2traveler said...

So, did you take your teacher's advice to take a nap because "What would you come up with in an hour anyway?" as a challenge?