Thursday, 30 September 2010

Art Direction Styles...

Here are some reference images for the type of style we could go for. I still like this idea of a modelled foreground and digitally painted background, similar to the first two images from Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. There's also the possibilty of a more abstract design similar to something like the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari as shown in the third image. I also liked the aesthetic of the animation Jack was showing us on wednesday, as this followed a similar style to Sky Captain, but i'm not too sure what that was called so i'll try and find that out from him.

Final Layer Compositions

Okay, so here's the final developmental stages of the logo, I cam to a halt at these four types of intergration with both text and logo, so me and Yola are going to talk things over, with both compostion and colour for our final outcome

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Pre-Production Checklist Week 2 Update....

Here is the list of criteria we should aim to complete at the end of the first 5 weeks:

- Studio Name ✓
- Logo ✓
- Ident
- Studio Blog ✓
- Business Cards

- Schedule ✓
- Budget

- Online Marketing Campaign (viral techniques, teaser trailers, and your brand identity)

- Develop a Story ✓
- Script
- Voice Work
- Concept Art
- Character Design
- Research and Development
- Storyboards
- Pre-Viz
- Camera Movement

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Logo/Text Development

Okay, I know I should have probably finished this by now, but I can't help but feel there's somthing lacking, and plus, I want us to get it as right as possible.

So I expanded I little on the one we chose, I didnt wnat to make it look too complicated, and also tried to keep to the theme of our name.

I used standard colouring for now, because I wasn't sure what variation to go for.....suggestions?

I used a mixture of the two we thought would probably work best for our title, and added the symbols I made earlier, replacing the letter 'V'. I tried a little variation also....i feel the top one's 'grunge texture' spoils the shape, the bottom has a good mix, just looks slightly blander.

I added the 'Studio' also, and messed around with how we would display it. I think the last could prove to be a good animation, with the 'circles' dropping into the 'Ident' for example.


Obviously the text will be part of the logo also, overlaying, or slotting in, but feedback is needed so I can go ahead!

Monday, 27 September 2010

Thumbnail Storyboard , Part 2

SO this is what we have in mind so far. Its now clear it wont be enough... :/ But so far we covered the essence of the animation: what environments we need, objects, characters ect. It’s now only to make few shots for each panel in the second sheet (the one which has a speedy editing we were talking about) Well, this is the subject to discuss Wednesday guess :)


The Attack Of The 50ft Alien From Toyland

Void Canvas Studio’s eagerly anticipated debut, brings an innovative re-imagination of the classic 1950’s B-Movie, with a refreshing twist.

On the eve that the most ambitous, and awaited product from world famous 'Toyland' is due to be released, the head toymaker of the company, begins to sift through the distrubution section, to find that only one toy
doesnt quite meet the criteria. The 'discarded' toy, which lay abandoned in the trash outside the factory, soon becomes wanted, as an Alien Force pierces through our atmosphere, and collides with the toy, to use it's inanimate shell as a tool to manipluate, and grow to huge heights within the city

This seemingly normal night, soon falls into chaos as the race to stop this Alien Invasion threatens the world as we know it. With delicate relations between countries, accusations running high, the balance between them slowly deterioate into panic. Only one man, the Toymaker has the power to take down his own defected creation, and defeat the 'Alien' threat.

Attack Of The 50ft Alien From Toyland reaches new levels of Horror, Paranoia and Science Fiction. Through the spectacle of CG, this motion picture will have you on the edge of your seat as the lines realilty blurred.

Meeting Notes (Monday, Week 2)...

- In today's meeting we discussed creating a YouTube channel as a way of kick starting our marketing campaign and uploading our work. Bobby and I set this up and we will later return to re-design the template once we have a fully refined logo to add.
- We also discussed starting our synopsis because we have a story outline to work with. We are fairly pleased with the beginning of our synopsis and Bobby has taking it home with him to further develop tonight.
- Jolanta was working very hard on her digitally painted thumbnail storyboard which she hopes to have finished and uploaded some time today.
- We are all in agreement that the 6th font in Bobby's list for titles is our favourite and Bobby has decided to try out some different colour palettes with the font.
- Whilst doing the tasks we have already agreed to do, Jolanta recommended that we start looking for some styles we would like to incorporate into our B-movie. So we will be doing some research and gathering some reference images for that.

Weeks 1 and 2 Schedule...

Viral Marketing Examples Continued...


During the 2007 Comic-Con, 42 Entertainment launched, sending fans on a scavenger hunt to unlock a teaser trailer and a new photo of the Joker. On October 31, 2007, the film's website morphed into another scavenger hunt with hidden messages, instructing fans to uncover clues at certain locations in major cities throughout the United States, and to take photographs of their discoveries. The clues combined to reveal a new photograph of the Joker and an audio clip of him from the film saying "And tonight, you're gonna break your one rule." Completing the scavenger hunt also led to another website called Rory's Death Kiss, where fans could submit photographs of themselves costumed as the Joker. Those who sent photos were mailed a copy of a fictional newspaper called The Gotham Times, whose electronic version led to the discovery of numerous other websites.


Paramount Picture’s Paranormal Activity 2 keeps giving us new corrupt footage, new hints, new clues with a few clips emerging on several sites in mysterious and creepy ways. Several blogs have gotten their very own viral clip from Paranormal Activity 2, the total so far being 4, but there could be more in the pipeline. Stories about how they received the footage vary as MovieFone says someone slipped it into their pants, while ComingSoon got a package at their doorstep. They've also developed the Demand it! campaign allowing the first 20 cities with the highest "demands" for the movie to be invited to attend a free screening on Wednesday, October 20th, before the film's nationwide release. To "demand" Paranormal Activity 2, fans must visit

Viral Marketing Examples...


To promote the release of the Twilight Book series as well as the release of the movie, Australian Agency, US went around the country biting into billboards and posters. This was one of their ad campaigns which involved placing 2 stickers, symbolising vampire bite-marks, onto the necks of billboard fashion models. A very clever campaign as people often find curiosity overcomes them when it comes to billboard graffiti, especially when we're waiting so lon at bus stops.


In Cloverfield's viral marketing campaign, we begin with a teaser trailer which was screened before Transformers at cinemas and gave only a date with no title. After the preview, the campaign had already become a huge success with moviegoers already taking to the internet to find out more about this mysterious trailer. Enter phase two, a teaser site at which originally showed only an image of two young women staring up in shock at something unknown. The image was timestamped 01-18-08 12.36A and over time, new photos were added to the site giving further clues to the occurances. Eventually the was created and the viral marketing didn't stop there because the site provided both a trailer and a number, 33287, which, when texted from a mobile, provided a ringtone of the monsters roar and a wallpaper of a decimated Manhattan. The film also went on to have other fictional company websites set up in connection with the film.


Super 8 is a new JJ Abrams and Steven Spielberg collaborative film and not much has been said about this film other than it will will be a sci-fi homage to Spielberg's work. However, we already have a viral campaign for the film which began after a teaser was screened before Iron Man 2, in cinemas, giving the message 'Scariest thing i ever saw'. This message led fans to where a fake computer terminal opens, and if you press "Y" a certain number of times, a countdown clock appears. A more recent viral campaign could be found at this year's Comic-Con where the Rocket Poppeteers truck was handing out Super Speedflier Fleet popsicles, this was actually a viral campaign for the upcoming Steven Spielberg-produced and JJ Abrams-directed Super 8 as well, slightly different from the mysterious element of the website, but it does ask similar questions i suppose.


The Blair Witch Project was made for $22,000 and reached $248 million at the box office by generating massive pre-opening "buzz" on the internet long before the public even knew they were reading about a movie. Rumours that it was a real occurrence captured on camera gave believers and non-believers alike a jolt of chills once the film clips started showing up online. It was, of course all a hoax, but what is truly remarkable was how the hoax took on a life of its own, even before anyone heard that the supposed film found in the woods was coming to theaters. By the time the film was released, it had built up fever-level anticipation. Now the three guys who brought you the Blair Witch have formed a marketing company called Campfire. They are hired by advertising agencies to create viral marketing campaigns like the one they used to make their movie such a huge success.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Font Decisions!

Okay guys, I'm going to need a little input here, I've been searching for hours trying to find some decent fonts to help us along with our logo, as well as our movie tittle, just to give us a sense of direction...

I gathered a alot of different styles for our actual 'Studio' name, because I wanst sure how we as a team wanted 'Void Canvas' tonality to come into the world....

So just tell me which ones by numbers 'down' you prefer....and we'll go with them. Obviously I'll tweak them more, and make them more interesting, but again, which ones do you think should 'sum' us up?

Again, here are some variations of styles we could use for our films title, alterations can be done in photoshop, to make it more 'compostionally' interesting, but which ones do you think have the most potential...

The Grand. the Amazing. The 50s !

Thanks you all so much for covering the other areas of 50's . Here I add the visual information of the more cultural side of the time period
 So far experience is that these panels of images are the key thing to do when working on a project, cause I don't know how , but they definetly influence the creative  process. Even when you think you've never seen this tiny litle image in the corner, you see its evidence in your work  :D

So, take a good look at all of those images, I bet you''ll get some new ideas, inspiration not to mention lots of info about the time period.

50s Bridges research

The bridges vary in architecture dependent on the city and its own personal taste. Bridges over water, rivers in particular, also vary dependent on there length, the longer the bridge must stretch, the more supports it needs. These bridges are used as overpasses for civilians and transport.

In terms of our Movie/Trailer, all these bridges suit what we need and all function in the same way. They all allow everything to cross it yet are small enough to be found in a city linking it to small island or location (ToyLand, in our case).

50s Factory research

These factories all share a lot of similarities. From the high shot and the wide shot, we can see that the factories have multiple buildings all in one complex. They seem to comprise of a warehouse and some office buildings. The buildings are also very simple with the chimney simply being a long tube protuding from the top of the structure. As you can see the chimney varies in length but all carry the same design.

1950s Airplanes research

The planes here vary from commercial to military. The large airliner in the bottom left was mainly used for civilians as was the top left. These planes where either rented out or privately owned. The other four planes you see where military airplanes. The army planes in the 50s and the Cold War continued over from the previous War. All though seeing slight variations in the form of new weapons, the planes all followed a basic template.

One thing that continues to crop up in my research and thus the pictures is that white star. Its the symbol of the American army, so it got plastered onto anything related to it. In terms of our Movie/Trailer, we have to ensure the star is visible. This can cause an instant recognition of the time and the place.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

50s American Military Cars research

This collection of Military cars pretty much carry over from World War 2.
The actual car you see here was used by high ranking US officials to cart them around to where they need to go, be that army bases or (near) the front line.

The other military vehicles were used by soldiers in fight zones to get themselves or equipment around. Some moved other vehicles and some acted as weapons themselves in the cases of machine guns. These cars would be seen roaming the battlefield doing what they could, that being gathering intelligence or moving things around. The actual car would be seen more in army bases moving more important people about.

In terms to our movie/trailer, the jeeps would be seen roaming the streets with the tanks during the attack. All though, looking at other B-movies of the 50s, it was incredibly unlikely that the two and soldiers would be seen together. This could have been because of budget constraints or the they simply couldn't do the effect needed to have the models and little CG guys getting blown up. When we are dealing with our Toy Maker and his female companion, the car could be a good vehicle, and also if we use any important US army man.

50's American Tank research

As you can see, there aren't many Tanks. Back in the 1950s, tanks followed a basic template. An armored vehicle with a large tube at the front that fires death in the form of explosive shells or fire, so there simply wasn't many of them.

Top (M48 Patton):
The Tank at the top of the map is the one I personally think should be the main focus. Not only is it the stereotypical tank, it also stands as a symbol of the Americans at this time. A weapon of there own to crush any invading forces. Looking back at any B-movies, you can see that the variety of tanks is limited if not any variation (due to budget?). It was modified and carried over from the World Wars. When you look at the tank, you KNOW its an American weapon used for attack and defense.

Bottom Left (M46 Patton):
The Tank on the bottom left was used in World War 2 but wasn't discontinued till the 60s or 70s. Despite this, they were barely used and hardly ever scene. They were used more as a recon vehicle, so would they show up in our besieged city?

Bottom Right (M26 Pershing):
The Tank in the bottom right is a light tank used by the US army as quick response. Small and lightweight, they didn't pack the biggest punch but it was there image that was important.
'No fear!! The Americans are here to save you ALL!!'
It was all about image to put the public at peace. In regards to our movie/trailer, these would be the first line of defence, followed by the main force of the Heavy Tanks (top pic)

The Attack Of The 50 ft Alien From Space! Storyline

In a city, famous for it’s toy factory,(Toyland) on the night prior to there most ambitious, and anticipated toy line, the most unlikely series events occurred.

In the toy factory, located offshore from the main city river, after lights out, the chief toy maker/designer checks over the production lines thoroughly, one last time to ensure the quality all the products due to be released, where he find one toy that doesn’t quite fit the criteria, and is discarded into the waste disposal shaft.

Elsewhere, the otherwise ordinary night was changing rapidly. The stars were burning brighter, and the sky was becoming greener. Suddenly, as the discarded toy was landing into the waste disposal, a spherical shape, almost like a meteor, began piercing through the atmosphere, with an unnatural coldness, surrounded in green light.

Moments later, the shape as if by coincidence, comes into contact with discarded toy, the impact causing the disposal unit to be forced into motion, tumbling through the disused grounds, halting to a stop, when the boxed object spins out. Whilst the box continues the travel through the air, it crashes to the ground, metres from the unit, and begins to transform, engulfed in growing luminous light.

Soon after the so called ‘dysfunctional’ toy came into contact with the Alien Matter, the toy began transforming rapidly as it reaches the river disconnecting the factory from the mainland. As it arrives in the city, the population falls into chaos as immediate evacuation occurs,

As the military takes action in response to the destructive threat, the 50ft toy seems to be impenetrable, as they use everything they have in their artillery. Accusing opposing countries of creating a new form of ‘Weaponry’ for the ‘Terrorist Attack’ in disguise, they intend to respond directly with force to the ‘supposed’ country of origin, when the Army General is informed of new data, from the cities infamous ‘Toyland’.

Soon after, the toy maker is taking into custody on site, accused of being a ‘spy’, as they inspect the factory grounds. Elsewhere, as the Army General comes to realise that it is in fact an Alien Attack, the Toy Maker manages to escape, with the help of a female guard, who believes his witnessed accounts of the alien crash. Becoming he’s new companion, they make the way to the blueprint room, where they manage to find a way to shut down the Toy down.

After devising a plan, the military manage to get a hold of the two, and work together in order to take down the Alien force once and for all.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Jobs for Earl...

We met up again today and we've got a good understanding of our stodyline now and we've also come up with some rough thumbnails of shots for the trailer which Jolanta is going to use to produce a thumbnail storyboard...

Over the weeked we each have a set of tasks to work on and we have already decided the tasks we wish to discuss and complete next week which will be added to the schedule and uploaded to the blog soon. For your tasks we would like you to do some research into tanks, military cars, airplanes, factories with chimneys and bridges over rivers in the 1950s. Also can you go through our blog posts and clean them up by checking for errors, adding relevant images and just making them look more professional...

Thursday, 23 September 2010

50s Toy Research

The issue with toys from the 50s is the fact that not many were around. But the ones around are very iconic.

 That funny 'potato headed' fellow is the original potato. During the 50s, the toy was sold as a plastic body and parents had to supply the potato. The current potato head was devised in the 60s. I think a walking 'old school' potato with the glowing, crashed meteorite acting as its head. The others are toys from that era...

Earl's Proposed Trailer Ending Revision - Story Development

I've been trying to come up with some form of revision for my proposed ending to the trailer. And he it is:

After the meteorite strike, the box begins to tremble and deform. Its stretches and groans as something inside the box grows larger. We then cut to an image of the alley way as the light shows a large silhouette on the wall.
We then fade to a city shot, which is operating normally. A shot of a hulking creature moving but hidden by different buildings with the music building as the creature gets closer and closer to being revealed but then: Cheesy title card displayed. We have various quick shots of attacks throughout the city, where a paper flickers onto the screen showing something along the lines of 'The Reds unleash New Super Weapon!!'. Followed by the organizing shots of the military. Helicopters, tanks etc. As tanks and Helicopters assemble and begin to roll out, We are left with an imposing image of a Nuke rising from the ground...
We then a few quick shots of the Toy smashing some Tanks and Helicopters as we fade to

Obvously this is only a basic outline from some of my ideas. Still to include cheesy voiceover and to stress the things that are common place (see Ethans post). For an example of the creature skulking behind the buildings see 'Cloverfield'. Whether you like the film or not, the way it keeps the monster hidden yet a very real threat could be exactly what we want. Fear of the unknown...

(Couldn't really find a good representation but mainly look at 8-10 second mark)What parts could I change? I'm strugling with how to incorporate the cold war feeling...
and of course, this is just my idea.

Void Canvas Ident Idea...

After seeing the Alien trailer again the other day, i realised that the lines in the beginning of the title of the trailer remind me very much of the symbol Bobby designed (the one we were goingo use for the Vs and A's). It's just an idea but maybe our ident could be a homage to the famous sci-fi film.

Alan's Existing Movie Pre-Vis Suggestion...

So Alan has left a comment on the pre-production schedule post if you guys want to check that out. Basically he suggests using existing footage to create an early pre-vis to get an idea of how the scenes may work ie the army scenes. This sounds like a good idea to me because we can get an idea of how scenes were shot in the retro eras and what kind of shots we could therefore incorporate into our own scenes. If you look at The Day the Earth Stood Still trailer i've posted, you can see there's some footage from army/military scenes we could use from that.

B-Movie Trailer Research and Analysis...

These were the retro B-movie trailers i looked at when composing my notes for the structure and conventions found in these B-movie trailers around the 50s which was the main era for sci-fi/horror B-movies. These are some of the notes and commonalities i found from watching these trailers:

- Ident representing production company
- Voiceover (Narration)
- Overusing titles
- Showing the film name at least twice
- Fast cuts
- Cross Dissolves
- Cheesy effects and transitions (wipes etc) usually to show a change of scene or environment
- Titles have cheesy transitions too
- We usually see a main character/hero, army/military, civilians etc
- Lots of screaming
- Sound builds up with intensity and pace
- Questions used to build suspense
- You can either show the monster/alien or keep it a mystery to the viewer
- Famous names used ie directors, producers or actors
- Soundtrack used
- Black and White or Colour film
- Stylistic but retro fonts
- Strong use of light in sci-fi films
- Average secs per shot ranges roughly from 3 seconds to 6 seconds based on these trailers and the cutting speeds up as the trailer goes on

These were the notes i got from watching these trailers. Clearly some of the conventions are more important than others, but it's clear to see that there are certain rules we should stick to when creating a B-movie trailer.

Meeting Times

I've put together a timetable based in and around our busy schedules, using the original 1-5 week timetable, and blocking it in with our meeting times, in colour just so it stands out a bit better....

Obviously Earl can't make the Friday or Wednesday, but if by any chance he can, he knows where we are, as well as the rest of us, so lets stick to this as much as possible...

I think it's best to meet 3 times a week, just for a few ours each, just so we all know what stage we're at, as well as discuss anything in relation so progress, or delgations so we have a clear mind set.

Here's the plan:

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Pre-Production Schedule Template...

Here is the Pre-production schedule template i put together on Excel. As you can see it is only a template and therefore we will need to fill it in either handwritten or typed. I've used a colour coded key as an example of showing who's responsible for each role on the schedule and ive included three different sections to write under for each week. These sections can be changed and more can be added if you feel necessary so give me your suggestions and opinions and i can make the necessay changes...

Logo Sketch Work

Another update from me, this time it's the preliminary sketch's I checked over with everyone today, just tided up slightly....

From these, I tried to touch upon the name of our company, focusing mainly on the shape of a 'Canvas' and some of the things we assoicate with them, for example, and easel, or the fixings holding it the same time trying to stay true to the 'Void' element. Although the 'Studio' section of the design isn't as important as our name, there still holds a significance, and I feel, the use of subtle 'lining' on either end, is enough to highlight this point.

Visually however, we agree that the first idea, was the best possible choice, as it is indeed 'A Void Canvas', however there seemed to be a certain element lacking from the equation, somthing quite subtle that would just add more to the desgin, so I began to experiment with Symbols.

The main inpspiration for the symbols, was the number four, somthing that is pretty obvious within each, this is becuase I wanted to reflect the people behind the group, and us coming together, to create.

Although my favourite was the top piece, overall, we choice the...and in conjuction to the design we chose earlier, this would work extreamly well with the text, altering letters, and replacing them with this symbol. Both normal, and flipped...this can act as the letter's V, and A.

Another positive to the use of Sybolism in logo design, is that people will instantly recognise this, over a group of words, at the same time, it allows us, as a Studio, another way of Branding our work.
My next move will be to take the chosen desgins futher, and other more variation, in both colour and compostion, at the same time exploring different font types, that will support our 'Tonality', and design sufficiently.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

50s Item research

Lets look at some research...

By looking at some basic 50 looks images, it clear that look back then was alot of neon and colour. This could be a very powerful image for our city in a dark night with the 50s neon lighting parts of our alien revealing parts of information. Imagine our cityscape with the large neon lights flooding the area.

The interiors of the Factorys all seem very stuffed, as people and instruments are crammed in together. The exterior has a look of a normal building but elongated to accommodate the larger interior.

I can't find any images of 50s industrial rubbish skips, but I know what they look like. If I can't find any after extended looking I'll draw it. It looks like a skip but is square.

From looking at a lot of the toys, it seems that Robots where quite big back then as toys. Could this maybe factor into our Alien toy? The packaging was incredibly bright yet simple looking.

The robots were all steriotypical robots thought futuristic back then. Whether this could apply to our trailer is still to be seen but I think it has potential.

Also, a great reference point is the Video Game Mafia 2. They went to great lengths to get the feeling of the 50s right and it was praised for it. I'll look into that later...