Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Blizzard Touch

A few of us are hot on the idea of doing a hyper-real cinematic short for our Senior Film. We could do all assets in 3D (with maybe some matte paintings), in a style not yet seen at BYU. We've got the talent. We've got the time. If you haven't seen Blizzard's latest game cinematics, then check these out:

We could do something like these, only on a smaller scale. In the end, we'll have a piece so impressive that cartoon, live action, and game studios will take interest. Here's a breakdown of what might go into the film:

One amazingly-modeled and textured hero character--realistic hair, cloth, skin, the works.
One menacing and impressively designed and rigged villain.
One breathtaking environment, with killer lighting and particle effects for atmosphere.
Some side characters that provide character acting opportunities, and/or comedy.

As for story, I'm thinking it ought to be an excerpt of a larger story, as with the Blizzard shorts. As story tellers, we can show everything we need, rather than tell the viewer exactly what's happening. The whole thing could be no more than 1 minute if we focus on "showing" storytelling, rather than "telling" storytelling.

Here's an example:

A weary man in ragged clothes and scars on his face enters a large, ornate hall. Orange torch lights cast an eerie feeling on the black walls and ceiling. Odd-shaped goblin creatures are seated along each wall in stadium seating. They're laughing at and mocking the tired man as he walks down the center of the room.

He approaches the opposite end of the hall. We see a menacing monster, with long mangled horns seated on a throne. It is garbed in a complex array of rusted plates, leather straps, and steel spikes. The beast reveals his long razor teeth in a devilish grin at the traveler.

Then, the man pulls a book out from his cloak, and opens the pages. The laughter in the room stops, and the large beast's expression changes to fear. The man holds the book higher as it begins to glow. Soft music begins to play. Rays of light stream out of the pages of the book, weaving and forming long tendrils. The rays begin to pierce the demonic beasts as their shrill cries are drowned out as the sound of an unseen orchestra and choir grows. The room grows brighter until the whole scene fades to white. Roll credits.

The sooner we can start real discussions about this, the more smoothly the development will go. What do you guys think? Zug zug!


Tyson Murphy said...

ye ye ye jaysown!

I think your story is at least a great jump-off point. Visually spectacular. Maybe it could use a few more story elements?

Whatever the artistic style we choose, the story will need to be sound.

You're right though, that's why it's good we all communicate about these things- so we can start to work out the kinks in our story ideas before the pitch.

stories are never great the first time told (case in point: every animated film ever)

Clairictures said...

I think this entire idea is great. I really love the idea of doing a realistic short, as long as it involves everybody so they can have great examples in their demo reels. I agree with Tyson; story needs to have a bigger part than what's been said here. We need to develop a short story that will be in sync with the style that we choose.

TheKeyser said...

It's true. The story could use some work. How about we develop a great backstory, so we can bring elements from that into the character design, environment, and events we show in the 1 minute?

I really do feel that we can show the important plot points in a very brief way, keeping our production size down.