Friday, 25 September 2009

Character Design: First post follow-up.

This is more a follow up to the first post rather than any entirely new ideas. I’ve just been thinking of more examples of what I was writing about before. And I've also been thinking about how I could incorporate them into distinctive and original designs for characters without completely distorting the original word I received.

The first example is slightly cliched because practically every sci-fi film has been influenced by it in some sort of way since. I wanted to avoid taking influence directly from science fiction but sometimes you just can't avoid these types of things, especially the milestone of cinema that is this film. I’m talking about Bla-Bla-Blaaaade Runner. The art direction of the film is something I’m not that interested in though admittedly the costume design is something that I could take into account, instead I’m thinking more about the characters, Deckard and the Android characters particularly. On the outside they appear entirely human but of course they are actually mechanical on the inside and it's only through their personality and their empty memories that you can tell. I also think that the original novel ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep’ is a good example partly because Philip Dick writes in a very cold and uninviting style but throughout Dick also plays with understanding and perception of the characters and the world. It’s hard to know what you’re actually reading and whether or not Dick is actually just fucking with your head. That blurry line between reality and some amphetamine-induced crazy vision of his is something I’d like to incorporate. The idea of creating very dreamlike characters that we know little about in terms of their back story and life is a very appealing one to me because it means they are potentially empty vessels and potentially very machine-like.

I think another film that could be looked at is Stanley Kubrick’s ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ (and not because it stars an actual android by the way) because I’d say it’s one cold and emotionless film, especially towards human emotions and human urges. It’s not a great film but it’s definitely filmed beautifully. I can't find the scene where Tom Cruise is walking through each of the rooms possibly because it's a tad explicit for Youtube but this one demonstrates what I feel about the film quite nicely. The use of masks and capes to hide their identity creates people who are very blank because they can just go about their business in a way that is very sort of heartless and unemotional, ignoring the fact they are most likely betraying people.

Another film that has gotten me thinking is ‘Vengeance is Mine’ which I watched recently because obviously serial killers tend to be pretty mechanical in their actions. The killer in that film is a pretty handsome and suave looking guy in an attempt to throw people of his trail so that's something to think about.

So a game has creeped into my thought process, not one game but a WHOLE series, the ‘Persona’ series is what I’m talking aboot. The idea of the game is all about combining contemporary teenage life with fighting monsters and demons and shit. There’s this thing in the game called the ‘Velvet Room’ where this old geezer and his creepy piano playing assistant hang out. It’s an interesting contrast in environments because one minute your eating delicious virtual noodles in typical virtual noodle bar and then your wisked away to this David Lynch style dream.

The whole thing reminds me of the dream sequence bits in Twin Peaks with the bloke that talks backwards, so hey, another little nugget.

That’s it for now, the rest of today is all about pondering some post-modernism and the Narrative project where I intend cracking out some ‘hilarious’ ideas for a ‘group meeting’ on ‘Monday’ I hope.