Hey Vlad - okay - watched it - apologies for delay - it's late, so I'll pop back tomorrow with my thoughts - did notice your blog still says Year 2 - time for a refresh. Watch this space :) Short version is I think you're onto something that could work, but I do have notes for you.
My first impression is that the camera never invites us to 'look' at your character in close-up - so we're never invited to see the character thinking or reacting to his environment. For this reason, it feels like we're watching a character walking for what feels quite a long time! It feels rather 'incident-free' - so apart from the creatures at the beginning and the 'floating giant', your characters encounters are with expanses of space and rocks. While I know this isn't about narrative in a boy-meets-girl way, it does seem emptied somehow - and while there's poetry to this, I think it could easily fall into the trap of 'cgi figure walks through painterly landscape' without feeling particularly meaningful or engaging.I'd like to see much more interaction between the figure and the camera - a greater variety of shots that invite us to engage as opposed to just spectate. I also think you need to create a better sense of what the 'goal' might be - what is this guy walking towards: what drives him on, what is there over the horizon. I remember you said that the figure would adapt and change as he continues his journey - but again, you keep us far away from him (except for close-ups on his feet). I kept wondering where all the other life-forms were too - since you'd established the world in that way.music: I know it's only a place-holder, but I think something more avant-garde and soundscapy, as opposed to strings etc. I'd get someone to work with you - someone to respond to your artwork and your images - another creative, a collaboration.I suppose what I'm saying is I felt underwhelmed; you've created something melancholy (I think the music is doing most of that), but I wasn't sure what I was supposed to feel when I was watching this one lonely guy walk across the lonely screen. Am I meant to understand his yearning, his quest? Am I meant to feel some excitement as he nears what he thinks is his goal? In terms of screen-direction alone (i.e. types of shots, combinations of types of shots, framing, composition) it feels like it could absorb so much more thinking about - what do you think?
Hi Phil, Thank you for having a look! Great questions, I hope I can explain myself well enough, if not I'll find you for a chat :)The impression of the camera never looking at the character directly and up close is true, if you refer to the character sheet in another post you will see that the character has no facial features, so the acting will be with the body language and not with an expression which makes any close-ups unnecessary. The design decision behind that is because of a theme of "blindness" - no eyes and as you know visually impaired people use their hands as an alternative to seeing, hence the lack of arms to the character as well. Being fully blind and unable to interact with his environment, only "feeling" the warmth of the fire. Which is why he sits in front of it.There won't be any living things, apart from the giants (which will be uninterested in the small in comparison character) the monsters in the rocks and the moths that extinguish the flames in the beginning. What drives the character is the lost fire and trying to recapture that feeling of warmth, after losing it to the moths and being threatened by the “monsters” in the cave at the start. The close-ups on the feet I find very important. First one is the first step in the unknown environment after leaving the cave, there is a stumble there, which in the animatic, is a bit unnoticeable. The steps are conveying the leaps of faith and walking blindly towards, seemingly nowhere, only driven because of a lost feeling. I hope that makes sense? It certainly does to me.The feeling I was aiming for was not necessarily melancholy but nostalgia, again in relation to something lost. I feel like it will make so much more sense once the environments are defined.Hope that answered your questions.Thanks again :)