Friday, 2 October 2009

Character Design, Narrative and Mulholland Drive

Hello, it has been a while since my last post, obviously the past few days Justin has been teaching us the many intricacies of character design. It’s not that I haven’t done any drawing these past couple days but more because a lot of the work has just been taking in Justin’s advice on the principles of character design and trying free myself up and stop drawing from the subconscious, Derren Brown (can we get this silly man off the TV now please?) style, and think about what I’m actually doing. This just so happens be quite difficult and takes a lot of mental strength and by the end of the day I just want to switch off my brain and not think much about character design or anything remotely taxing on the mind, I mean I actually sat down and watched TWO episodes of Friends when I got home the other day, someone kill me now please. I could upload my drawings I suppose. Most of the stuff I’ve drawn is pretty downright terrible and not stuff I particularly want to upload however, though it sounds like kind of a stupid reason they are fairly personal in a way and I don’t feel like sharing them with the world. From Monday onwards however it will all be about fleshing out my characters both from a conceptual and physical point of view using the techniques I’ve learnt so I’ll start uploading stuff then.

As for the Narrative project, all three of us have some good ideas, some more workable than the others. Raj liked my James Bond gadget idea and he had some funny ideas as well, some quite similar to mine surprisingly though his Rocky-in-a wheelchair idea was pretty far out. There’s a presentation on Tuesday where we have to present our ideas, Reality TV style. Apparently we have to act some of them out as well, which should demonstrate my versatility.

A highlight of the week was watching Mulholland Drive and seeing all the reactions to it from people who haven’t seen it before. Not because I can sit from my ivory throne and laugh at their puny brains, I already do that behind everyone’s back anyway. It was actually interesting because their reactions were pretty much the exactly the same as mine when I first watched it. It also reminded me of just how a good a film it is, weirdness or no weirdness. Currently I’m working my way through Lars Von Trier’s Dogville and so far it seems quite ‘Po Mo’ though I could be wrong. Nicole Kidman is a bit of a shit actress and is no Naomi Watts for sure though, but it’s not like that isn’t already obvious.

Recently outside of all the college work I’ve been thinking a lot about storytelling and films and filmmaking and stuff. I can’t exactly make a live-action film because it really isn’t a feasible option for a whole host of reasons but writing a script for a film is a fairly reasonable goal. I have no idea how to write let alone write anything interesting though I don’t really care about that to be honest, it’s just something I want to do regardless. This project is still up in air anyway since I haven’t got a clue where to start, probably some research and an idea would help since currently I have neither.


tutorphil said...

Dear Tom,

I know the character design workshops haven't been your favourite, and I utterly appreciate the personal aspect of those first drawings. I look forward to seeing the work you feel happy to upload - as and when. I must admit re. Mulholland Drive, that I was a bit pissed at all the overt yawning and inexplicable giggling, so when I did the final word, I was actually very frustrated, which is why I went for the audience and suffered a sense of humour bypass; it really is an amazing movie - so many great scenes; I love the 'Silencio' scenes, the singer is ravishing (yet fake), and when Naomi Watts does the audition scene... wow! And the cowboy - what a truly menacing creation. Anne Miller, who plays Coco, is actually a very famous star/dancer of the MGM musicals of the 40s/50s, so her casting is another example of postmodern self-consciousness; likewise the way the film starts very similarly to Sunset Boulevard, with the action starting after a protagonist hides out in an old Hollywood mansion.

As for Dogville, yes, the use of the deconstructed set is very Brechtian (Bertolt) - you may be familiar with him already, but he championed the Verfremdung effect in theatre - that is that he punctured the fourth wall on purpose to keep his audiences thinking - in opposition to the teachings of Stanislavski, who was all about 'the Method'. You might want to do a bit of work around the two names, as an understanding of them would certainly enrich your appreciation for postmodern japes!

... meanwhile, I know you want to go to Paris, but Edinburgh will be fun!

Justin Wyatt said...

Hi Tom,
I look forward to seeing your sketches on this. Even if you aren't ready to send any images as yet, i think it would be useful to get an idea of your characters personality, roles etc, even before you start sketching. That will at least give you a focus when you are ready to put pencil to paper.