Expanding before contracting?

After the last animatic, I was concerned with the length of the film and a lot of the historical exposition minimizing the impact of the key scene of lighting the farts on fire, and I was listening to Jane’s input about not losing the audience at the beginning.  Over the weekend, my friend Nina told me that shorter was better, and of course, short entails less work!  So what did I go out and do? I made it longer, and with more exposition! That’s because I wrote out a script for a narrator and the characters, and then changed the timing of the animatic to match the audio of a raw read-through.  I also added in a few more drawings, and took out a few in the process (but not many).  of course. This may or may not help – but I can probably eliminate a lot of the “speech/thought drawings” by having actual dialog and narration.

Blue Blazes script [pdf]

I have tried several settings for the output, and have been having trouble getting the audio to sync exactly as it does in the file I’ve uploaded…  And to make matters worse, each time I have replaced the video, Vimeo has sent out another email to everyone on the viewing list! To quote Eeyore, “Oh bother.”

I am concerned about the visual confusion between Mary Cummings and Elizabeth How – and maybe with Mary’s brother, Tom, and have some ideas for making Mary’s face more angular to help differentiate her from other characters, but I haven’t had a chance yet to change the drawings od her in the existing animatic, so I added a quick splash of yellow hair onto the images of her, which I hope will read well enough for now.  This choice may or may not stay, but when I get down to drawing the characters on model, there will also be color differences to distinguish them, so this is the first start with that.

On another note, one thing I learned today, in a passing conversation, was that horses cannot throw up. Who knew? I guess a lot of my friends! (A conversation about which animals can and cannot throw up ensued: Giraffes? Yes. Rabbits? No.) That is how horses get “colic” – a generic term for a gastrointestinal blockage or stricture that can kill a horse. From the research I did into this, it seems very likely that this is what happened to the Cummings’ mare. The odd behavior, the red gums, the notion that there was a “fire” in her belly that needed to be released, all seem to be in line with this diagnosis. It also kept me from making a BIG mistake, because I had been considering having Tom administer an emetic to make the mare throw up, so I’m glad I hadn’t added that in!  I still think I need a scene inserted where Tom’s examining the mare more, and maybe giving her some oil… that transition around 1:37 doesn’t work for me.

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