Monday, 15 September 2014

Minor Project 2014: New Beginnings and Project Ideas

New Beginnings, Project Ideas and Inspiration

After a year long hiatus, its about time I got back into the swing of things. Since January, I've been gradually accumulating thoughts and ideas for potential projects, some more fleshed out than others. This post is an brief compilation of those ideas. Some of these options are simple flickers of thought, others have been elaborated upon somewhat more so. In short, its a sort of spewing-up of nine months worth of unusual mental impulses. I'll go into more detail as to which ideas I'm considering adopting and developing into potential projects in a follow up post soon.

- Frankenstylist
  For my Storytelling project in Year One, I created the story of a child who took household animals, and experimented upon them. By which I mean, he gave them all makeovers. I found this idea in its very, very basic state quite charming, and with a bit of script and style restructuring, I think it could work out quite nicely. I'd possibly take it in a slightly different direction, instead of it being Gothic Horror inspired, I would give it a bit of a Twilight Zone spin in terms of setting and style.

- Innerspace Adventures Through the Human Body
  Another project from Year One, this time for Commission. The animation demonstrated the role of the White Blood Cell in the event of Bacteria being present in the bloodstream, presented in the style of Jetsons-style cartoons of the 1950's and 60's. The short was established as if it were a single episode in a series of educational shorts, and I'm curious as to where I could take the 'series' if I were to revisit it. Different areas of the body being different worlds, potentially taking on an alternative style, for instance.

Miscellaneous, Undeveloped Thoughts
- Incongruity and Impracticality: People in places and scenarios which are ultimately impractical or unusual. For example, an astronaut attempting to perform fine tasks such as sewing, in a uniform horrendously impractical. These would be staged as a series of rendered stills, featuring one or two characters in a corresponding environment.

An animation where a comedy writer is struggling to come up with ideas, resorting to combining the rhyming names of two famous individuals to create a strange outcome, e.g. Stoppard and Stobart (a grind house style film about a freight company that delivers babies), Dyson and Tyson (a Back to the Future style riff where James Dyson engineers robotic boxing gloves for Mike Tyson).

- Set design for a classic, Cold War-era environment, dressed with propaganda and precautions put in place to accommodate modern threats, for example, posters in a school featuring an animal mascot instructing students on what to do in the event of a terrorist attack (swapping out 'The Green Cross Code' and 'Stop, Drop and Roll' for more sinister, yet realistic contemporary issues).

- A group of children discover the reality behind the warning, "don't stare at bright lights", that the 'floaters' you seen in your eyes are small tears in the fabric separating our world from an alternate one.

- An exploration of the sensation of 'fabricated nostalgia'; the feeling of nostalgia you get for time periods, places and events of which you were not a around to be a part of.

A world in which the questionable products in comic book advertisements are a reality. For example, a child orders a pair of x-ray specs, to find they work exactly as advertised, whilst the adults around him are sceptical.

- Investing the theories of Phrenology. For example, multiple character designs based on particular areas of head. Alternatively, a singular character with a series of personalities based on phrenological observations.

- A clown so dedicated to his various contrasting roles, becomes so engrossed in his various performances and alter egos that he loses track of which one is his original self.

- Anachronisms: Characters from an older time period acting as if they were part of a totally unrelated period. e.g. Victorian era characters acting as though they were in a 1980s John Hughes style movie

Random Word Exercises
Similar to the Storytelling project, I took three randomly generated words and wrote down the first premise that came to mind.

- Chameleon, Calculator, Garden
     An anthropomorphic chameleon with a degree in mathematics, after years of research, develops a formula for designing the perfect garden

- Junk, Internet, Dentist
     A dentist discovers that by using everyday junk and household items, you can successfully connect to and browse the Internet using your teeth

- Joke, Engineer, Wig
     An engineer invents a wig that instantly makes you the funniest person in the room, and not just because you look stupid

- Antique, Teddy Bear, Tennis  
     A tennis player relies on an antique tennis racket with unusual powers as a means of winning the most treasured prize of all; a one of a kind teddy bear

- Gutter, Radiator, Legs
     A paraplegic man living in the gutter reinvents himself by creating a set of one-of-a-kind, steam-powered legs out of some plumbing hardware and an old radiator

- Iceberg, Danger, Migraine
     A passenger aboard the Titanic falls ill with a migraine, until he discovers it isn’t a migraine at all. Through the aura of pain, he sees the impending danger of everybody on board and attempts to subvert history by steering the ship clear of the iceberg

- Hospital, Kidney, Critic
     In an attempt to to generate more organ donors, a hospital begins to broadcast a reality show where recent transplant patients rate and review the quality of their newly acquired organs and appendages, with all the unpleasantness of the average episode of ‘Come Dine with Me’

- Prison, Madman, Trumpet
     A newly convicted madman forms a brass band with his fellow inmates, travelling around town as a proposed form of community service, and not at as an obscure escape attempt. Honest.

Inspiring Imagery
I find quirky, unusual photographs particularly inspiring. They tend to tell a different story, depending on the person viewing them. This a small selection of photographs that I've not been able to keep out of my mind, for all sorts of reasons, with elements I could extract for use in my upcoming project.

This image shows a group of women boxing on a rooftop in the 1930s. The reality of the image is, they're actresses rehearsing a sketch at Paramount Studios. I love the relaxed attitude of the setting, paired with the unladylike (for the time) actions of the women. It drums up ideas of a 1930s, all-female Fight Club. The woman throwing the punch is a perfect character design in herself. Tallulah meets Million Dollar Baby.

This is the break room at Disneyland at some point in the 1950s. I just love the idea of these people having to inhabit two lives on one shift. The fact that the astronaut and Goofy refuse to remove their headgear shows real dedication! Its like the Disney equivalent of Mos Eisley Cantina.

This an IBM Datacentre in 1963. I just love the colour and composition of this scene. It looks as though its been plucked straight from 2001: A Space Odyssey, with the minimalist arrangement and data spools at the back of the room really selling the sci-fi impression of the place.

I love these images as they depict woman contributing to the war effort in very contrasting ways. The group of woman above are hand illustrating propaganda, whilst the woman below are taking lessons in rifle handling, should they need it. The images tell the same story from completely different perspectives, not to mention that these aren't the sort of images you expect to see when thinking of the war.

This is a strange one for a number of reasons. At first glance, you think its wartime as the child is holding a gun, until you look past the television and see a car park full of undamaged cars and pristine buildings. The television is a bit too contemporary for that sort of period, also. Which implies that it is probably the late 50's, early 60's and the calm surroundings imply that the child isn't protecting itself, but playing, with the gun actually being a toy. 

This image is quite striking as it combines two alternate eras of combat, with a soldier of the early 1900s brandishing a pike on horseback. Whether this was staged or actually a genuine method of combat, I don't know, but it does provide an interesting image. 

1 comment:

  1. Hey Steve,

    So many rich ideas here! What a wealth of potential, though my heart did give a lovely little jump when I thought about a re-booted version of 'Frankenstylist'... look forward to chatting more, but yes, my heart gave a little skip of joy - that final image of that little camp boy making over his guinea pig... just lovely :)