- Audience should know where the story is taking place on the mountain. If we cut right to the ice/mountain climber, it is disorienting. Here is how I am visualizing the mountain in my head:
I figure we'll need to model three separate views of the mountain, if we want a highly cinematic and stylized mountain. It will be difficult to make the mountain look good for all the animatic's shots with just a single model.
- When the mountain man cuts the rope at the end to follow the ram, I think we should drag it out a little more. He should be uncertain and nervous, maybe a little confused. He might shut his eyes tightly and hold his breath before cutting the rope. Maybe we can have a shot of him after he falls into the snow, slowly opening his eyes to see if he's still alive. Then, the clouds that were obscuring that part of the mountain suddenly dissipate and he has a clear vision of how the mountain is laid out and how the ram got to the "horn's peak." I think it's important to reveal how the whole mountain looks, so the audience isn't confused as to how the ram/mountain-man got up to the peak; I don't think it's immediately obvious. It could be something like how Paradise Falls is revealed in Pixar's Up:
- We really need to emphasize a conflict/weakness in the short film. Instead of just having a funny, endearing short, I think it would make our film a notch better if we mix in the conflict better. Here's my pitch for making the story's conflict better: after the mountain man gets to the top, make it very clear that he doesn't know how to get to "Horn's Peak." Maybe we could have a few two second shots of him failing to climb several routes. He stands at the top again, bemused, thinking intently. The baby ram comes and bumps into him. Mountain man pushes the baby away, annoyed because it broke his concentration. The baby ram keeps prodding him playfully, and mountain man becomes more forceful in rejecting the ram. (I think we can still make this part cute and funny, even though mountain man isn't being friendly and playful with the ram. The beginning of Frozen comes to mind, where Elsa pushes Anna away, but it's still cute). The mother ram comes along, thinking the mountain man is hurting her baby. Insert fight scene... The baby ram is now flying through the air, off the cliff. The mountain man has to make a split decision whether he should jump off and catch the ram. If he jumps off the mountain, he'll lose all his progress and have to climb back up the cliff. It could go into slow motion: the mountain man looks at the Peak longingly, then back at the baby ram flying through the air. But he finally has a change of heart and decides his own selfish pursuits aren't as important as saving the ram. So he jumps off... and so forth
I think it would be great to have our main character evolve over the course of the short. What do you guys think?
Monday, January 6, 2014
Story improvement ideas
I'm going to give some story suggestions. Here, here, all ye story & storyboard artists: