Story (creative writing work shop)

Crystal clear waters that are Icy cold to the touch, Goosebumps rise like sails – an airy breeze around my limbs. My hair filled with water heavy on my head like heavy armor, and Tangled in a heap all over my neck, in my eyes, in my ears and all over. Feeling of a heavy stone in my stomach in deep water. Vulnerable and unsure. The bright green carpet of moss and plantation that cover the surface of the water feels like wet cotton wool. I can hear the swimming of the water loud in my ears, trickling and rushing wild. The smell of plants and dirt and water all compressed into one. I accidentally taste of the purest water, fresh ice in the mouth, coldness on my lips and throat. The sun dances on my cold skin and warms me up, But my hands are busy waltzing with the water to stay afloat.

My hand strokes a carpet of brittle whiskers. The rough texture tickles my finger tips. Repeatedly stroking and comforting my carrier and the feeling of swirling excitement throughout my body, ready for the ride. The warm belly like a radiator slowly warming my legs on the breezy summer’s day. Tiny feet falling in and out of the solid stirrup. The feeling causes a moment of panic to hit my stomach. A slow burning ache from the position of my legs. But this is all forgotten as we walk, I’m tall above the world. Like a warrior of to battle. The uneven steps of the horse bouncing me from side to side like the waves of a stormy sea. The smells of earthy mud and sweet manure evades the air. Faded green grass trampled to a light yellow. The harsh echo sound of metal hitting rock.  The stiff faded leather wrapped tightly around my hand, me squeezing to hold on as we travel forward.

Leitmotifs

I did some brief research into Leitmotifs – a word that I have personally never come across. The definition of this word:  “A recurrent theme throughout a musical or literary composition, associated with a particular person, idea, or situation.” (Oxford Dictionary) It means a recurring idea or theme through a piece of music or literature. In a way this reminds me of my brief, creating a character related to a music composed for them. The character will be associated and reflect the music. In a way similar to a Leitmotif – they will be connected to the music and be represented by the music. I like this idea of music representing an idea – it can embody and create a mood and reflect a person. Music can bring so much to the visual arts.


Disney’s Silly Symphonys

(LO1:) I was reading the Illusion of Life today and they spoke a bit about animating to a beat. They referred to the Three little pig (1933) silly symphonies that Disney created. It reminded me of these animations which use music to stay playful and build up a character.

(LO1:) This Silly symphony features underwater – it’s useful to watch and see how this style of animation interacts with the music – it’s bouncy and playful with a lot of energy. I like the movement of the underwater creatures and their little personalities. The mermaids are slowly and beautiful creatures that float around. The music is important to these pieces, the animation would not as well without it – it is apart of the characters and atmosphere.

(LO1:) The Goddess of Spring in the beginning of this animation moves in a very ‘art deco’ way. She is so expressive and magical. The characters are very exaggerated and their movements are smooth and dance-like. I especially like their hand movements which are very satisfying to watch – they are so expressive and the animation is very fluid.  I wanted to look at this short because of this character animation. I like how the music represents the characters and how the animation reflects the tones of the music. The devil for instance declares: ‘You must spend half the year down here,’ (7:25) in a deep voice as he points down. She then lifts her hand high and says: ‘To this I swear,’ in a high pitched voice. The contrast is clever and the music works well in conveying who the characters are.

(LO1:) Above is another silly symphony. I like this Cinderella scene (1:30) and how the music interacts with the confident gingerbread man as he decorates the sad girl who wants to be in the parade. The music is sad and slow until he starts dancing. The animation matches each beat and it re-enforces the character and his ‘cool’ ways.

Underwater

(LO1): This scene is a great reference for me because it explores the magic of being underwater but also the danger. My music has a lot of different elements in it. My music has a lot of different elements that change and I want to also bring the danger to my scene. Also its nice to see the approach Disney captures the underwater.

(LO1): The animated series above tells the children stories created by Beatrix Potter. The tale of Jeremy Fisher features a fishing frog who encounters a large fish that takes his bite and scares him. This story in particular is set in a similar setting as me. I like how simple the story is yet there is a sense of suspense and danger. I want the fish of my story to seem as terrifying.

People and Music

I am going to create my character from the music that is created for me. I wanted to collect some films/ music that shares this idea – of creating a music for the character.

(LO1): This piece of music is called ‘Pocahontas (Instrumental).’ It is the piece of music that introduces Pocahontas to the Disney animation. The short piece is created to give the feel of the character to the audience. We can tell that she is adventurous and free-spirited from the music (as well as the visuals.)

(L01): In this scene from The Holiday, a music composer creates two songs for the characters in the film (his interpretation of the two people). The first piece is written for a man with a lot of gumption.The keys have a lot of attitude. The second piece is written for Kate Winslet’s character, which is a soft and caring piece of music (just like the character), he expresses: ‘Iris if you were melody, I used only good notes.’ She is a good character and shows how he sees her as a caring person.

(LO1): Although this is not a person. This music denotes the shire and the happy content homeland where the hobbits live. This piece of music recurs throughout the film with the hobbit characters as it is apart of who they are and their sheltered lives.

(LO1): This pieces of music is from the film: Memoirs of a Geisha. This is the theme music for the lead character (after she gets her new name when becoming a Geisha) – She transform from a poor house servant (Chiyo) to a young Geisha (Sayuri). The music captures the new character, she has transformed into this mysterious creature, a beautiful and admired women. The music also captures the sadness of the character and the culture (sound of Japan).

(LO1): This song was not created for Billy Elliot however it works really well in this scene for representing how he feels and the character he truly is. He is expressing his love for dance and the anger he feels – feeling trapped.

(LO1): This scene shows the music representing her determination and hope for the future – she survived and will continue. Epic music score reflects this epic film.

 

Music and Animation

(LO1:) I decided to research into animations and their music to see how they are currently being used together – how does the music influence the movement / character in that animation in their stories. In addition to maybe get a better idea of what music works best and really just to learn more about my brief.

(LO1:) This scene in Mulan is incredible for getting across this change in the character. The music changes from innocent and gentle to powerful and strong, as she makes her decision to replace her father in the Chinese army. The change occurs after we watch her look at the world she is in, including herself and then an extreme close up to where the music changes into this faster pace. The moment when she cuts her hair and the music reaches it’s climax and the ‘warrior’melody starts, is the commitment and true transformation.

The music represents bravery, masculinity from femininity and who Mulan is. Lastly, it is said that the Dragon (representative of the family name) passes into her when the music changes, she takes on the bravery (hence why the dragon cannot be awoken later on, he is already apart of her.) And so the dragon is in every shot of the animation. The music again reinforces Mulan’s change and plays apart of her putting on this mindset of choosing her own way, and becoming a man. She is one of the best female characters because she decides to take her own journey and this song and captures this.

(L01:) This scene from Spirited Away captures the sad meloncholy of Chihiro as she reflects and patiently waits to arrive at her destination. Ghibli films are known for their slow pacing which gives a realistic view. Having this time to look at the spirit world gives the audience the same time. I wanted to include this as it show how the character has changed with the music, when Chihiro first enters the spirit world the music is hectic but here it changes to the calm melody – she has grown from a bratty dependent child to an independent and brave girl who is going to save her friend. (L02:) This character has one of the best character development, I hope to capture this in my own FMP.

(L01:) This animation is depicting the said first Manga of Japan. It’s only 40 second long yet the atmosphere created by the music is jolly, cheerful and lively. The animation has a lot of life to it, capturing the human qualities in animations. The story is simple, a rabbit getting wet when raining and a frog sharing a leaf to help her. The music captures the light-hearted scene and who the characters; good and kind. The animation emphasizes further who the three characters are with their reactions to the rain.  I also like how non-complicated this scene is. It’s nice to keep it simple and still have such strong characters.

(LO1:) This music really captures the darkness of the scene and the eerie and scary feeling that the animation / story wants to portray. I like at the very end the music changes into one sweet note to finish on as it is revealed that the deadly potion is actually grandma’s stew.

(L01:) What I really like about the music in this video as it reinforces the motivation of the Acorn. It lets the audience share in this feeling – the music is slow and calm but changes as the weather does (2:11), the music follows the journey of the small acorn and his goal. It’s not the strongest music on this list but I just like how the music at times gently reinforces the story.

(L01:) The crayon dragon has very beautiful music which reflects the wonderful and magical world that the artist discovers. The music is inspiring and seems to represent exactly the emotion of the lead character. So as she get annoyed or mad, or inspired then the music changes with her. The climax of the music is when the dragon and her are most happiest and bond in this strange land. There is a sad violin at the end to show her sadness to the loss of her friend. I like how the music has so much emotion connected to the lead character.

(L01:) This music is very sad. It seems to follow the actions and emotions of the lead character again.  It’s slower, just as the animation pacing. But it’s nice to see the way in which the music can play apart of the visuals and adds to the sadness. It also creates tension and wonder at times.

(L01:) The animation uses a lot of strange sounds and pieces of music which I actually like, it’s not the usual melody that you would expect. And because the piece is very surreal and the character appears to be in a dream, the music works here. It’s nice to see how the animation transitions with the music too, especially when she falls into the canyon. It’s only 50 seconds too so its a good example of a short story.

Film

(LO1:) Aside from looking into animation and music, I also have decided to include some examples of films that use music to impact the performances or influence them. To understand how music adds to a scene or creates character in feature films.

(LO1:) This scene from the film Love Actually is heartbreaking to watch – the music adds an extra layer to this sad scene. Although it has lyrics, the singer and music are very somber and reflect the way the character feels in that moment. The music appears like a monologue for Emma Thompson’s character. This crying scene is incredibly sad to watch because of the realism of the scene and stillness of Emma. I like the photographs contrast to the music. The music here is used to express how the character is truly feeling when she must conceal her tears from her children.

(L01:) Recently I watched the combination of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon alongside the Wizard of OZ film. My dad told me about how this album, when played over the film (exactly from the album, no editing), happens to match perfectly. And it’s true, I watched this on YouTube and the music seems to be telling the story and it’s characters. – The witch for instance, when she appears the music changes into a dark melody and, and when there is a hurricane then there are screams and hectic music. Throughout the music follows the characters. I really like how the music has such character to it. The characters can be imagined with this modern music alongside the old film.

(LO1:) The opening to Pride and Prejudice uses it’s music to set up a romantic tone for the film. The music reflects the era of the times but also the character and creates a theme. This classical English piano piece sets the time period. The music feels youthful and reminds me of spring / summer, lively and innocent. A very distinctive English sound. At the same time it’s reserved with a repeated tune, like the polite society of the time but also like Elizabeth (lead character) who is set in her ways, (pride) at the start of the film. In this one piece of music the audience are set up for the rest of the film to follow.

(LO1:) The Little Princess is about a girl living in India with her father, when the First World War occurs he takes her to a New York into a boarding school. When her father dies she must work at the school as a maid and live in the attic. In this magical scene the music represents India, India which gives the main character her power to continue. The music physically enters the room as it thrusts open the door to the outside and snow pours in. It’s a lovely scene as India and New York mix and she can find courage again / escape from her dreary reality.

(L01:) Jurassic park has one of the most incredible music soundtracks ever. But, In particular this moment of the film which is meant to amaze the audience as we see the dinosaurs from the past come to life (especially as an audience when this film was released, would be seeing very realistic dinosaurs for the first time.) The music feels magically and incredible, it feels like a fantasy (the fantasy appears to as these magical beasts, they are friendly and the fantasy appears wonderful…).

(LO1:) The music to introduce the lead character in ‘A Clockwork Orange‘ gives us the unsettling feeling, preparing for the experience we are about to watch. The character is a lunatic, sadistic, and threatening the music captures this. The low and twisted sounds, and the drumming creates a scary atmosphere couples with the close up of his creepy face, with a zoom out of the strange clothes and friends – we know not what is about to happen accept that it will be unsettling and weird.

 

Storyboarding

I’m very interested in story and narrative – so as my bracketing this unit I wanted to look into story development. One thing that I particularly would like to improve on and learn more about is story boarding. Developing the storyboard is apart of creating the story and developing the pace of the entire animation. This post is dedicated to my research into this topic (so I may consider this for my own storyboard this term).

  • Foreground, Middle ground and Background
  • character emotion
  • lighting and shadows
  • cuts
  • focus cuts
  • crossing the line
  • who is the character?
  • change in scene
  • blocking (character layout / moving in the scene.)
  • directing the viewers eyes (lighting / perspective /