Express Train to Development Hell (Preproduction)

The beginning of the project was hopeful, I had five associates to help me bring this thing to life. Little did I know that this project was on a express train to Hell, and I was the conductor.

I had a clear idea in my head what my story was going to be about. The doctor arrives out of the mist, walks through the street and kills everyone in a brothel. The idea got ridiculously more complicated as time went on, and in hindsight this was not a very good idea.

This was the original storyboard:

The following is a sample of the myriad animatics I did.

What went wrong, though? Did I stray too far from the abstract dread that sparked this project? Did I try to shoehorn in too much symbolism? Was I too willing to change my story? Am I just terrible at telling stories? The answers to these questions, like the true nature of the plague doctor, are shrouded in mystery.

I did learn a lot from these animatics (13 of them). Mostly it was to not make so many. I also learnt how to get a feel for the animation I was to do in the future. If I could not draw the pose in the animatic, it wasn’t likely I could animate it.

As an aside, I wrote a poem to accompany one iteration of the animatic. It’s too long and wordy, but I like it:

(Darkness. The sound of wind and the breying of some unseen beast)
In this town the madness brings
That nameless form who feasts on man
That twisted, veiled Yellow King
Who lurks in cursed Alderbaran.

(pan down from an alien sky, then:)
While in Carcosan streets we saw
The city bathed in vile light
of Yellow Signs – A servitor
Slithered foully through the night.

Guided by some loathsome hand,
The shape began to weave his dread
Diablerie upon the land
The city yielded in it’s stead.

The houses creaked, behind they shewn,
As from them ancient moss did slough
What ineffably it must have known:
Through there men sheltered even now.

And as it reached an awful hand
T’wards the nighted tavern door
To take the folk who dwelled, and brand
Them slaves of madness ever more.

We set our sights to kill this fiend
This alien and wretched thing
And with our blades, we intervened,
Drawn with a sharp and keening ring.

My friend, who until now was daring
did charge the thing, but as it turned
His valor drained and left him staring
Beyond the mask, to eyes that burned.

And clutching at the poor man’s arm
It channeled some dark flood of pain
Through him, and with great alarm
He crumpled to the floor, insane.

Now left alone, I drew my sword,
And faced the thing that maimed the friend
I knew so well, I gave my word:
This creature’s time is at an end.

This entry was posted on Friday, May 13th, 2011 at 3:25 am and is filed under Animation, Plague Doctor. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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