Here comes a post about the animatic and what we wanted to show with the camera angles and movement. Tried to keep it simple but explaining. You probably want to see the animatic once or twice before you read this post. Will save you for a lot of confusedness.
How we planned the animatic.
It started when we drew the drafts for the storyboard. We constantly chatted about the timing. Our group communicates well, so it wasn’t that big of a problem, and it gave Mats a good starting point. Mats did the editing for the animatic. When he had a finished draft of the animatic, the group watched, and gave feedback so he could make fast changes.
I feel that it was a very good way to work. We don’t waste time by keeping all of the group members busy with something one person can do, but it’s really important that all is 100% focused and concentrated when we take those important decisions on the timing. Not float around or have the mind somewhere else.
If we had a much greater amount of time, it would have been fun to let each group member make an individually animatic. Just to see more of what each person is thinking and how he wants shots and scenes to be timed.
We want to give this movie a easy and calm start, where you get to know the character a bit, and some clues of that she is sick. The camera’s is paning and dolly inn and out to get the right feel. If the camera stands still, we don’t get the right flow in the start of our movie. If you look at the bookshelf from 16sec, you can clearly see what I mean. You get the feeling of that something is really important in that shot. This will be changed in the movie to a paning camera.
We show different side of the room, to show toys and books that can be connected to a girl in the age we want to. And we want to show small thing like a” get well” card and flowers to give the feel of that she has been sick for a log time. It’s important that people get a feel of who she is.
The last shot of the introduction scene is the picture of the grandma. We chose to have that shot last, so people will really see who it is and remember her when they see her again.
At the first draft of the animatic we didn’t have that fade to black form shot 4(grandma picture shot) to shot 5(girl lying in bed crunching the teddy). That made the introduction and the action blend together in a bad way. It’s like you didn’t get a chance to breath. Boom Boom Boom. But the fade to black fixed that, and you got a much better connection between those shots.
When the door opens, we chose to have a fade to white to get a nice cut. A hard cut after that to the running legs will be a powerful transition that will really make the viewers get their eyes up. We will have a couple of angles from the running scene to get the feeling of running for a long time, but try not to make it boring. Note: Middel picture should be rotated so she runs form left to right.
The shot where the smoke is appearing behind the girl, is pretty straight forward. When she stands under the light you get the feeling of here being really alone, and then she can see light ahead, but she needs to get through that fence. So now she got goal and an obstacle. We want a path camera or a dolly inn camera so we can show of some of the environment, and really show here she needs to go.
But then this “happy” moment are broken up by the smoke coming up behind her. We let the viewers see it before she does. That will hopefully make the viewer a bit worried about the girl.
Then she has to run from the smoke, but teddy hooks into something from the fence and she loses it. We had to do a close up of the teddy to show it being hooked, and we got a low angel when she runs through the fence to get the feeling of the smoke being big and nasty.
Her best friend and companion are lost. Will she save it? Of course. More pace here. She runs and grabs it just before the smoke catches here. At this sequence we swap from close ups to wide shots to get the right feeling of pace. The shot from above the building is just awesome and builds up to the next shot. That had to be concluded in our movie.
She runs around the corner, and you can see the smoke coming after her like a wave of water. Crushing upon buildings and really want to catch her. Her we want the audience to feel that she has to hurry because it’s getting closer and closer.
We swap through the goal and her. The pace is really necessary here. This should make people sweat a bit. Is she going to make it? Or is she not? We show a close up where she reaches for the camera. The tension here should be built up good. After that we swap to a close up of her ankle being taken by the smoke. To give it a smooth ending for this scene, we chose to let here being taken away from the camera just to amplify that she is didn’t make it.
Then end we are not so sure about, but we might do some changes. We want to show that it was her grandmother that she saw in the place between life and death. So we need to show the picture again. But we don’t want to show her mum’s face. Don’t want to model that face too.
Well, that’s what can be said about the animatic and storytelling.