Thursday, March 19, 2009

Let's go Fishin'


Fishin' is a song by songwriter and country/blues guitarist, Myron LeRoy, from Oregon. Myron wrote this song over 30 years ago and always envisioned it accompanied by an animation. Many years ago he asked a friend, who was a stop-frame animator, what it would take to make his dream come true and was quickly brought down to earth when confronted by the costs, work load and time required to make a 3-4 minute animated short. He never gave up wanting to see his song brought to life on screen. So much so that he recently set out to teach himself how to animate, with the intention of making the movie himself with CGI. The trouble is he soon realised that it was going to take him a long time to learn how to model let alone all the rigging, texturing, lighting and animating . What he needed was a fool to swim by.

Sorry... I meant to say miracle.

I have been wanting to do an animation to music for quite some time so after becoming aware of Myron's music/animation collaborations on A:M Forums I asked him if he had any songs that I could animate to. He promptly emailed three tunes to me, one of which came with a screenplay. Well, I hadn't been looking for a ready made screenplay but Myron's brief was clear and concise enough to immediately visualise much of the story, and the song has such potential for some fun animating, that I just had to make a start on it.


This project will build on Myron's original screenplay, (I hope I can hit all the right notes, Myron), and will hopefully be completed sometime before we both pop our clogs.


Pre-Production Begins:

The first Stage was to read the screenplay, breakdown the audio and start dreaming. I produced storyboard thumbnails for most sections of the song. These are drawn very quickly and can look like a complete mess if you don't know what the image is meant to be. Luckily, as I am working alone, no one else needs to decipher them. Here is an example of my thumbnails.

The following video clip is a rejected animatic for the first 10 seconds of the movie. I rejected it myself, so that's okay. The brief calls for more of an open vista so that will be what we go for. This was more of a warm up exercise than an attempt to nail the brief.

The animatic is being put together in Animation:Master as it is pretty easy to set up a pose driven, multi-plane camera rig which does everything that I need it to do.