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ENO pitch

October 22, 2016 in ENO

After the last week practice pitch, I got some valuable feedback, such as the story is a bit too long and follows the opera to closely, so I started considering cutting it down a little bit. However, since I already did the storyboard and concept art, I want to at least show it to the clients first to know whether they like the animation style or not. It’s not all just about the idea but the method I want to present the animation as a whole.

Overview:

The animation is about Lulu who is surrounded by admirers, and she always tries to manipulate them, until one day when her life takes a turn for the worse.

Plot:

The story starts with Lulu relaxing at home, having a smoke, and flirting with some admirers.

Her possessive husband comes home and catches her infidelity.

He becomes insanely mad with jealousy.

He pulls out a gun and points it at her.

They struggle and in the middle of the fight, she ends up shooting him.

She’s sent to jail, and when she is finally released, she falls on hard times and ends up becoming a lady of the night.

storyboard(thumbnail)

Style:

Since I’ve always been a fan of classical style, I wanted to create a vintage feeling, with a dark and gruesome atmosphere.

house

While doing the research on the operas, I’ve been fascinated by the theatrical stage designs, and the unique approach they use on stage, so I tried to inspire myself from it.

I’ve tried to design long scenes, where the characters walk around, without making cut scenes. Instead the character will move left to right, as the story progresses, similar to an actor on a stage.

flirting copy2

flirting copy1

In order to try out rigging in AE, I did the model sheet.

Lulu character final

ENO project research

October 22, 2016 in ENO, Photographic Research

For the beginning of our second year, we’ll need to work as a group for our client – English National Opera – and create a 2-3 min animation based on one of the operas: Lulu (Berg), The Pirates of Penzance (Gilbert & Sullivan), Partenope (Handel).

My first choice was The Pirates of Penzance, as I found the whole opera to be very interesting and amusing, after watching some operas on YouTube, and also the film adaptation. I absolutely enjoyed the joyful and catchy music and tried to look for ideas on what story I might be able to create.

First idea

While looking for inspiration, I was browsing the kids section of a bookstore and I was captivated by an illustration of 2 kids pretending to fight with a wooden sword.

pirate-kids

 

I imagined my animation’s story could be of those 2 kids, pretending to be pirates in a cardboard box as their pirate ship. They’re playing together on top of a hill, pushing their box to a pond, singing, and fighting with their sticks.

kids2

While the whole idea seemed cute, I struggled to find a plot for the story that I could connect to the original opera, so I decided to keep on looking for other ideas.

Second idea

For my next idea, I tried to use some elements of the opera and work from there. The warm-hearted pirates and coward policemen seemed like a fun idea to explore, so this is the storyboard I came up with:

It’s a peaceful morning, as any other day, and the policemen just opened the window, yawning. He was checking the sea with his telescope as his daily routine work when for a second he couldn’t believe his eyes, he saw a pirate ship in the middle of the ocean. he rubbed his eyes and checked again: there it was, some pirates seemingly fighting fiercely on the ship (in fact, the pirates were just partying, celebrating Frederic’s birthday). The pirate is also using his telescope, and he spots the policeman as well, so he points at him with a smirk and says: “I see you!”. The policeman is shocked, got scared and panicked, and whistles to alarm the whole village, which immediately close their doors and windows shut. But one of the little kids is left out, she couldn’t get into an orphan asylum so she started crying, The pirates arrive to the village and they try to comfort her and share a piece of cake with her because they are tender-hearted and will never hurt an orphan (as they were orphans themselves). The heartwarming moment was seen by villagers and policeman, and they got out of their houses and danced, singing together with the pirates.

In the end, I realised that if I follow this idea, the project will be very similar to my previous project , so I ditched it. I started considering the other operas, as they’re more dramatic, and they might be more challenging.

 

Lulu

After I read the story and watched the opera, I got a sense of idea that this is a tragedy as everyone died in the end,  this theme is pretty challenging for me, it’s not joyful and funny anymore, it’s dark, tragic kind of plot, and a bit gruesome as well. I wanted to work on a film which is completely different from the one I used to.

After that, the long,  endless,  painful experiment began, I spent weeks thinking what kind of story I might be able to create,  how to present my animation and how my characters might look like. So I did tons of Lulu character designs, just to see if I could catch her look, I personally think she is supposed to evil, attractive and cold as a cucumber.

In the story,  all others died for her, but she couldn’t care less about them. In order to fit her personality, I assume that she could probably wear some revealing clothes such as corset or lingerie, something that can catch male characters’ eye. Probably, I am way too used to doodling some cute cartoon illustration, for the new theme, I found it really hard to change its style and make it look great. So I just kept on trying hopefully I could make it.

lulus2

Reference:

Lulu reference

Some more thumbnails and doodling…..

Character design

Lulu Lulu

I also tried out another illustrative style, had so much fun while doing this. However, I couldn’t match the style with the opera music, but I decided to posted it here before throwing it in the bin just like all of the above.

Lulu’s facial expressions:

ENO Pitch: Lulu (Part 2)

October 19, 2016 in ENO Project, uncategorised

Here are some of the Concept Art Pictures that were presented at the Pitch last friday (14.10.2016).  My project wasn’t chosen, but it reached me quite a bit about pitching and to move on if your project isn’t chosen.

At least, it is something for my portfolio and it showed me how to work under pressure. All images were created in a time span of a week, so I am quite happy about jaw they turned out. 🙂

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Right now, I was chosen to work on Zuzanna Odolczyk’s Partenope Project which is called “Shadow Play” along with Valerio Vigano, Fan Jia and Kelvin Francis.

ENO Pitch : Lulu

October 10, 2016 in ENO Project, uncategorised

It’s been less than a week since I’m back and we are already expected to pitch our project Idea to the ENO people. After spending 3 months back at home (which was good) I recovered and also had enough time to come up with a decent idea for the project pitch.

We need to present our idea to Shelly Page and the ENO representatives by the end of this week. Over summer, we had to choose between 3 Operas:

  1. The Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert and Sullivan
  2. Lulu by Alban Berg
  3. Partenope by Handel

At the beginning I wanted to do something fun after such a depressing disease project back in June, so I started doing my research for Pirates of Penzance. I loved the jolly and catchy music and watched the entire Opera and as well as the 1983 Film that was released. I recommend it to everyone, it is such a well staged film with a lot of surprises and great actors, as well as stage design. Spoilers: Angela Landsbury and Kevin Kline are part of this marvellous cast.

Here is the link:

YouTube Preview Image

…UNFORTUNATELY…

as much as I tried to come up with Ideas, I did not find one that I liked. The main problem I had with this opera was that there were way too many characters and all characters were too 1-dimensional. All of them were quite a bit stereo typish for my taste and felt helpless.

So I put this Opera aside and had a look at Lulu.

As Lulu was originally written in German (my second language) I managed to find a script online and had a read through. While reading I immediately had an Idea for it which was a bit complicated but as well very dramatic and powerful. I did not need more time to think wether I’m taking this Idea or not.

So I started my research on this one, watched the entire Opera in German and William Kentridges stage design. I loved the complexity of the main Character and how she was a 3-dimensional Character. Lulu is the protagonist of the Opera and is a victim of society as well as the aggressor of the entire play.

Here are some of the sketches I started working in August, just a few concept ideas:

 

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