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I can’t believe we’re already in February. January went by so fast. We’ve made a lot of progress on the movie, so let’s jump right into the action. Writing Sessions We’ve been working hard with Élise on strengthening our characters. We’ve refined (and sometimes redefined) all of our main characters arc, making them more believable for the better. Of course, changing one character can unbalance the screenplay, and that’s exactly what happened, and that’s why we had to work on all of them and not just one. Once we finished redefining our characters, we went on updating the screenplay according to it, and made a lot of modifications. In fact, we changed much more than expected. At first, we though that updating dialogue and modifying a couple of scenes would do the job. But soon enough, we got stuck, and had to completely change one of our main character’s story. Changing that required us to rewrite a good third of the first half of the movie. We’ve totally removed 3 scenes, including one of my favorite, called the Rübbery. This scene was also featuring one of my favorite cameo character, whom I’ll try to bring back in another scene, because for now, he is not to be seen anywhere in the movie. We will be spending most of February rewriting the second half of the movie. Animatic While we where rewriting the screenplay, Anthony moved forward with the animatic. We have now 23 minutes of the movie done. But Anthony was faster than us, and when I sent him the updated version of the screenplay with the new subplot, he was already done with the former one. That gives us our first deleted scene to exist outside of the screenplay, and almost a week of work lost. In that scene, Léandre, Kokura’s second, was visiting Inès apartment to find a very important notebook. As you can see, the scene is paced taking into account the dialogue, but it was not yet subtitled or temporary dubbed. Funding We’ve been in talk with a new partner for over a month now, and these discussions took us a lot of time. But in the end, we had to turn down an incredible seven figure offer that would have given us more than enough leg to finish the film. We had to turn it down because the delivery schedule they needed was too tight for us, and we wouldn’t have been able to ship our vision for Mythomen. It was a very difficult decision to take, because this partner vision and project is clearly awesome, and Mythomen was a perfect fit in that bigger picture. Reading I’ve been reading, and still am, a lot of books (more than 60) for Mythomen, and more often than not, these books cover different aspects of the movie craft: scriptwriting, editing, distributing… Along with some more inspirational ones. I’ve often been asked what book I would recommend, so I decided to put up a small website where I’ll publish reviews of the book I’ve read. You can check it out here: filmmakingbook.reviews There’s only 9 reviews as of today, but I plan adding them regularly, and as soon as I finish a book. Hope you’ll find it useful. And, that’s all for today. All the best, Seb & the Mythomen...read more
Thanks to 132 contributions, we’ve made it happen: We completed our crowdfunding campaign! If you’re a backer, of course, this is not news, as we got funded on January 1st. But what have we been doing since, and more importantly, what have we been doing while I was running the Indiegogo campaign? Let’s find out. (version française ici) What a surprising end of 2015 we had at The Visual Clutters. Since our campaign went live, we’ve had a wonderful response from you, our beloved community, but also from the industry, which was quite unexpected. We also have produced, thanks to Anthony’s focused work, almost 15 minutes of animatic. When I say almost, it’s because from the time this article will be live, we will have crossed that mark. Usually, in a standard production, you create a storyboard of the whole movie, and then, once the director have approved all the shots, you go to the animatic. In 2D animation, animatic involves cutting out the storyboards to create really rough animation to give a sense of rythme. And then, from the animatic, you add temp voices and start the editing process of the movie. The editing part, in animation, starts in pre-production, because producing minutes of animation is really expensive. Before any final image is done, the cut will have to be locked. Of course, the editor will have room in post to adjust the edit, but most of the work will already have been done. (A short extract from our Animatic. You’ll notice the slow pace due to our brain processing the picture super fast. If we keep the same duration, but put detailed animated images, the pace will feel faster, because our brain will take more time to understand what’s going on) We decided to start the animatic without having finished the storyboard first, because we are still polishing the screenplay. So we sliced our work following the 3 act structure of the screenplay. Once we finished polishing the first act, Anthony started the board and the animatic. So the 15 minutes we have are the 15 first minutes of the movie. With Elise, we’ve been polishing the script. We’ve just crossed the mid-point of the movie, and so far, the rewriting has been easier than expected. Of course, as we are approaching the third act, making sure all the narrative arcs finishes properly will give us more work. But, as some one once said: so far, so good. On the funding side, I’ve been really busy driving the Indiegogo campaing. This was a lot of work, and way more than I initially anticipated. But thanks to the help of the Indiegogo staff and John Trigonis, I managed to survive. If you ever consider doing a crowdfunding campaign, you should not only prepare it several month in advance like we did, but also make sure you have enough free time (vacation) to run it properly, and course correct if any slow down happens. I did not have enough free time, and it got me really nervous and lost the first few days. Like I said earlier, we’ve also had some feedback from the industry, and we’re in talks with a few people. We will keep you updated soon ;) Because we were all very busy, we didn’t had time to...read more
Without further ado: And for my french friends, la version française: And now we need your support for the full version of the movie. Learn all the nitty gritty details, en français and in english, Mythomen on Indiegogo...read more
As you may know, we almost finished the trailer in the midst of the summer. But it wasn’t quite as finished as we expected. So, while we were waiting for the french administration to send us the official papers to start our production company (paperwork takes an incredible amount of time here), we took the opportunity to fine tune the trailer. First of all, we’ve made a french version. This includes dubbing everything of course, but also adapting, translating and replacing all the texts/jokes. Then, we polished one of our beloved shot that was finished with a tinsy bit too much of a rush. Last but not least, we took the time to expertly encode it to perfection to avoid any compression artifact. And Youtube can be pretty macroblocky from times to times, even with clean masters! So, now everything is almost ready for the big premiere. Can you believe that we are one month away, after 2 years of development? Sure we developed the full movie, but testing in real life scale our pipeline on a 2 minute short was scary and interesting. Right now the team is buying corn stock to make it pop. Meanwhile, I’d recommend you to subscribe (on your left) to our newsletter to be the first in line when it gets...read more
Almost there. We’ve been pretty silent the last few month. No excuses. But, we weren’t on the beach enjoying a beer or two. We were deep down in the trailer production. And we have some good news (and screens) to share! The trailer is finally done. We’ve defeated that huge beast in 6 months. We have 1:58 minutes of crazy animated stuff. The real question is, when will you be able to watch it? Well, if you’re super impatient, I’d recommend joining our mailing list (see that form on your right, right?), as we are going to shoot it to our beloved fans first! And we know you’re a beloved fan too, and we don’t want you to feel abandoned. As for when, it’s going to be this fall. Probably around October. Why so long after we’ve finished it you might ask? Good question! To be honest, we feel that releasing a trailer out of the blue in the midst of the summer is the best way to have everyone not notice it. We’ve been working hard on it, and we want to make a big splash! We want people to notice it, then love it, or hate it, and of course, share it. Not because we do have super big egos, but because we’re going to make a full feature movie, and if we want to succeed, we need to have some feedback! The trailer is the first stone, major stone, in our long road. We want it to be meaningful. I’ll write a long most mortem about the trailer production when we go live, so you’ll see how it was a very good experience, full of lessons learned. But we also need to have an outside look, from you guys. And if no one watch it, where will we find feedback? We are also making a french version of it, and it’s a great way to test our multilingual flow as we need to update all the texts, record the new voices, redo the mix and so on. And in France, August is the month when everyone is in vacation, so we have to wait a little bit before having talents back. But, if you can catch me at IBC, or at Adobe MAX, I’ll be glad to show you the trailer. You know what to do. Some more things When I show or talk about the trailer/movie, I’m often asked what books I read, or where I got meaningful information. I’m going to share it here too, for everyone to enjoy. I’m writing my first book review as we speak, and I’ll try to provide links to great articles on a regular basis. Internet is full of great stuff! Last but not least, I’m retiring the @Mythomen Twitter account, as I’ve figured out, it’s easier to focus on my main @Yenaphe account, where I often talk about After Effects, movie making and so on. So please, if you were following the movie account, switch to my more active and passionate one. We’ll be back with more news early september! Stay tuned, and subscribe...read more
TL; DR: The best book about storytelling structure you’ll ever find. A must read. Save the Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need describes what Hollywood considers the perfect storytelling structure for movies. And indeed, you can’t see any blockbuster deviating from that 15 beats pattern. Did someone said ‘formula’? You might argue that Hollywood’s problem is obviously being too formulaic, and that’s super true. But the fact that a story follows a structure shouldn’t drive you away. Every medium needs to follow some rules. Graphic novels follows page design, painting canvas, and movies structures. The point is, you don’t have to follow the rules, but in order to break them, you should at least know them. In the Save The Cat, Blake describe his structure as a breakdown of the standard 3 Act template, too vague for optimum story pacing, and divided it in 15 beats, creating what is today the most optimized screenwriting pattern. Called the Blake Snyder Beat Sheet, and you’ll find the template through a simple google search, Blake describes how, and why this structure is the best for storytelling for the big screen. He’ll dig all the details, based on his own Hollywood experience, for each beat, driving you through his discoveries and stories. The crazy thing is that it’s difficult to argue with him. The structure is really optimized, and, when used properly, can give super powerful screenplays. No wonder it’s the Nolan brothers favorite structure. Like any tool, you should adapt it to your art, or transcend it by breaking the rules. On top of it, you’ll get plenty of tricks, most you can find in other scriptwriting books, but probably better packaged here. If you’re serious about writing for movies, you should definitely read this book. You won’t find a more comprehensive structure analysis on the market....read more
2014: The (not so) Silent Year Wow, we’re already in April and it feels like 2014 was just yesterday. Time does really fly fast when you’re in crunch mode. Since mid December, we’ve been heads down in making our very first trailer. Our deadline is June, with big milestone end of March, early May and early June for final version. The March of Progress So, if you’re a keen reader, you’ve already noticed that we’ve reached our first deadline. We had some important meetings where we needed to show something cool. The first intent was to have a full trailer ready, but our ambitions where higher than what time and budget could afford, so we decided to concentrate on our vision more than on having something polished. Showing something unfinished is not as easy as it sounds. You still want to have the same level of “finishness” on all your shots. If you have some ultra polished shots and ultra rough, it will give the feeling that you’re production is not properly organized, hectic, and in a mess. Whereas if you have mostly averagely finished shots, it gives a sens of progression “look where we are at after only x months of production”. You also have to make sure to pitch your project taking into account the unfinishness of your trailer, making this non completion part of your storytelling, giving more confidence to your audience in your ability to finish it and helping them get a grasp of what’s going on, where you’re going and how. 2015: You will see something Yes, finally, after 2 years of intense scriptwriting and pipeline investigation we’ll be able to show the first results in the form of a 1:58 minutes trailer. We’re on track to deliver something awesome in pristine 4k DCI. The Trailer Making a trailer when a movie is shot seems easy. Making a trailer with a movie only existing in the form of a screenplay is much harder. The movie doesn’t exist yet, and yet, we have to pretend it does. What shall we tell? What shall we show? How long should it be? Should we do it in 4k or only in HD to ease the process? Many questions we had not much time to answer. I’ve been iterating a lot on the trailer screenplay, had almost a dozen versions before I could find a suitable structure. And then even more iterations to refine it and make it work. And then even more edits to make it powerful and match our awesome music track & voice over. We’re at over 35 iterations on the edit, with 2 more month of work ahead of us. Screenplay version 3 I was right in the middle of writing the third draft when the trailer deadline happened. So, it’s on hold until we deliver our 1:58 minutes of awesomeness. The third draft is a pretty important one. Even though the movie set pieces won’t really change, it’s all about polishing the structure, and more importantly, the characters. It’s a natural to have characters sharing the same point of view or way of talking of the author. After all we write what we know. That’s also why very early in the process, I made an ID card for all the characters, to make them...read more
Oh yes, production is underway. Well you should have known if I did finish the 2014 summary post, but it’s still in draft as I need to finish more important matters first. So, what’s the fuss is all about? Well, we’re under a very tight deadline to do a trailer for the movie, for some key people. We’re already deep down the production of the trailer: We have our compositor working on the music, we have cast 2 talents (out of 3 needed) for the voices, Anthony have done a rough board, that I turned into a rough animatic and Jerzy is working on some mind blowing tools. The trailer timing, shots and locations are locked. Anthony needs to design additional characters to fit our needs. But he won’t have time to work on the backgrounds sadly. That’s why we’re looking for help. We need to hire a background designer. We have 2 locations that are being used in several shots from different angles, and then some additional ones that are just very defined static shots. We’re self funding, so our budget is tight, to say the least. Yet, we don’t want people to work for free. So we wanna pay. It won’t pay you much, but we promise you it’s going to be awesome! And the best thing is, we’re looking for people who can work from the comfort of their place. So yeah, it’s like working from your sofa, but the food is on us (so to speak). Now is the time you’re wondering what kind of style we’re looking for. Well, we’re looking for something halfway from the shots above, which is from a former version of the project, and the shots below, which are what we’ve been investigating so far. Here are some rough character designs too so you can get a better grasp. We’re aiming at a final closer to the character you can see on the street pick above. You can see more rough character designs from Anthony here. So, if you think this is an opportunity for you, or you know someone who’d like to join the adventure, please, get in touch with us here, or through my Twitter Account....read more
TL;DR Gave a talk about Expressions at AE World Finally played with the Cintiq in the plane & train Got a nice Surface Pro 3 at Max Friend on stage at the Apple keynote (#itsroadtrip) Third Draft & breakdown in progress After Effects World For its second edition, the After Effects World Conference moved from the small Deca Hotel to the larger convention center in Bellevue. But that’s not the only thing that changed this year. I was, for the very first time in any technical roaster, a speaker. For real. I talked about one of my favorite subject, the After effects expressions. And it felt great. It was my first time on stage, so a lot of things to improve. But it wouldn’t be fun if things went smoothly. Of course, my flight was delayed by 12 hours thanks to Air France and Delta Airlines. Of course my luggage took 48 more hours to come through. Of course, my luggage arrived after my session with the Cintiq Companion on which I was supposed to do the session (and I won’t talk about the clothes too…). Sure, it was a bit rough, but I really enjoyed doing it. And the audience too as far as they told me. It’s also a great place to meet incredible people. I’ve met with extremely cool 2D animators from Riot Games, a supervisor at Playstation, and many many more. It’s a cool opportunity to learn from a large spectrum of After Effects users, and I’v learned way more than a bag of tricks during these 3 intense days. Seeing After Effects used in such unexpected ways, or just in fields I’m not familiar with is the best way to think outside the box. Much of what I’ve learned I’m already using today in my daily work, and most of it will find a use in our movie project. Linking a TimeRemap parameter to a rotation parameter just to be able to use the arrow keys to animate faster is something I would have never though of. The After Effects World Conference is also the only place where you can hang out with the core After Effects team for three days. This is something really special and being able to discuss workflows and grips with the actual people is just awesome. I’ve witnessed the birth of a feature enhancement that will be added in the near future just by casual talking between a dev and a user, during a sushi launch. It’s amazing how open the A(e)-team is. Cintiq on the Go 22 hours of train anyone ? Well, thanks to an unfortunate biker we had 8 more hours for free (the guy is OK by the way), so it added up to 30 hours of testing the Cintiq out of the comfort of my living room. And let me tell you, as soon as you configure one of the side button as “Undo” (in case of slight bumpiness), the Cintiq is the perfect companion (pun intended) for your journey. Being able to work as efficiently as at home, while being on the go with beautiful landscape is not only awesomely breathtaking, it’s also super time saving. I’m so mad at me for not continuing the art / drawing after school classe I took when I was a...read more