Well, it has been quite a while since my last post in relation to my work on "Tim's Time Machine." I have been on a much needed hiatus after the mayhem of my Masters degree. The break has felt amazing and has allowed me to spend quality time with my beautiful girlfriend, Amy and amazing son Logan.
The constant and unyielding flow of assessments feels like a distant memory, and I'm already starting to look back on it with fondness. I feel that now is the time to get back to work and start creating more animation. Below is my final piece from my degree, titled "Et Rapta" (latin for "The Kidnapping") Et Rapta was created in Toon Boom Studio 6.0 and took around a month from start to finish.
"Et Rapta" takes place in a small town named Lardeen, during a time when a series of child kidnappings have taken place. A total of thirteen children are officially declared missing, with no leads as to their whereabouts. The story follows mischievous ten-year old Rex, who accidentally flies his toy plane through the window of a derelict old mansion. However, upon entering, he finds far more than he bargained for.
Please watch "Et Rapta" before I go into more detail in regards to the plot.
So, yeah you probably seen that coming. Hopefully the plot was clear enough that you understood everything that was going on. Alex West (the creepy scientist type), who I consider to be the main character, was a renowned and amazingly gifted surgeon, who sadly lost his son Timothy after a long battle with Leukemia. Alex (as can be read in one of the papers Max notices) tried his very best to cure his son, but only managed to prolong his death.
Alex went off the rails after Timothy died, driving his wife away and becoming obsessed with bringing his son back. Eventually, he became insane and increasingly desperate, resorting to kidnapping local children and operating on them to look similar to Timothy. He injects them with Curare, a strong paralyzing agent, throughout the process before locking them in glass cases like dolls, naming them "experiments."
The target outcome of this project was to create an animation that would be considered creepy and somewhat scary. This animation deals with darker topics than what I, as an animator, have dealt with in the past. This is what encouraged me to see it through to the end, it was something I would need to adapt to, and test my skills. Usually I focus on creating comedic animations and knew that the horror genre would be a big challenge for me to overcome.
I was inspired heavily by the types of stories that I read in my youth, particularly those from the "Goosebumps" series of books by R.L. Stine. These tales, more often than not, ended with a shock twist.
"Goosebumps" was a big influence on this project.
In my personal opinion, the final piece came together quite nicely. I feel that I am most likely capable of better work, although I do stand by this piece fully. The area that I feel I didn't quite do enough with was the back story of the scientist character. I had it all planned out, as you can see above, but perhaps it is a little too subtle, particularly as some of it, like the newspaper articles, are "freeze-frame" information.
The amount of exposition for Max I feel is the right amount because, as mentioned, I consider him to be a secondary character, with the scientist being the real important character. I also cut quite a lot of Max's scenes for time reasons, but there was originally a scene with max walking through the garden and a scene in the main hall of the mansion.
I learned quite a bit from this project, particularly with the storytelling aspect. As mentioned, I usually veer towards animations with gags throughout, similar to Tom & Jerry. As a bad habit, I used to only have a rough idea of where the story was leading when I started animating, causing difficulty later. This was mainly because I was impatient with such things.
However, I have since learnt to take my time and fully flesh out my storyboard before starting. I have learnt to plan ahead with story from the start, having a start middle and end before going ahead and animating.
Next on the agenda for me will be trying to find a job within the animation industry. I know this won't necessarily come to me overnight, but I am willing to work as hard as possible and will hopefully see it all pay off in the end. Asides from this though, I will also be returning to my animated piece "Grumpy Gary in Dog Daze" which is about one-sixth complete. I also intend to create a second episode of "Gump & Gil" with fellow animator and friend, Jon Campbell. I also have quite a number of other exciting ideas for animated pieces that I will hopefully get around to working on in the near future.