Thursday, April 29, 2010

Artistic Influences

In short, Art Deco. In long:

While Art Deco is fairly well known and surely conjures up images of the roaring 20's and awesome skyscrapers for most people, there are actually many different styles to be found within it. For me, and for this film, the main influences are Cassandre and Tamara de Lempicka. Maybe a little Erté. Here are some of my favorites:

Portrait de Madame Alan Bott by Tamara de Lempicka

 Green lady by Tamara de Lempicka

Tadeusz de Lempicka by Tamara de Lempicka
Poster for the French Line by Cassandre

Top Hats by Erté

What I like about Art Deco, specifically these artists, is that they really emphasize the geometry of the shapes. The squares, the triangles, the circles. I especially like how de Lempicka does this in her figure paintings. I also like the volumetric quality of their paintings, which gives these shapes a sense of mass. This is perhaps why Erté is less of an influence, because his style is very flat and graphical. Still pretty cool though. What I do like is the sense of space.

So Art Deco is the inspiration for my film, but it is not a constraint. I don't want to replicate the look. Rather, I want to take these works of art as a springboard and jump right off it. I want them to be an inspiration, not the end goal. I want to keep the geometric feel, the volume, and the space. However, I think I want it to be a little grittier. A roughed up Art Deco, if you will. That is where Nate comes in with his awesome paintings. He'll be posting some stuff in the coming days. Stay tuned.

Remus Concept

So who the heck are these Remus and Nelson guys anyways? Well today I will talk about Remus. He is a very nice guy, although he doesn't quite look like it at first. He is huge and kind of scary, but he's really just a gentle giant. Unfortunately he isn't very bright either.

Here are some initial sketches of him:
The first sketches were boring since I was still trying to feel this guy out. All I knew is that he was big an dumb. He quickly developed a unibrow, and then things started getting better. Also don't mind Nelson, he snuck in there but I'll talk about him later.

So anyways, I did more sketches:

Now things were getting more interesting. However, after showing these sketches off to some people I was told that I could push my shapes further, especially with the jaw. So I came up with these:

I immediately fell in love with the huge jaw. Definitely a welcome change. I also started playing around with his body type. He is a big guy for sure, but there are different ways to be big. Basically I inverted where most of his mass was, making more of a cone shape.

While I liked that cone shape, it didn't sit well with me. It just didn't feel Remus. He is a big guy, but more specifically, he is a big strong guy. He has power, he has muscle. Still, I liked how his arms got wider as they ran down his body, so I tried that along with broad shoulders.
So I'm definitely digging this design. I am thinking the final will be closer to this than anything. So that's Remus so far. Will this be his final form? Only time will tell.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Beat List

Kicking off my senior film blog with the beat list of the story. As with anything, it is subject to change. But we'll see how it goes!

1. Establishing shot. Relatively empty speakeasy
2.Nelson and Remus are playing poker on a table
3.Confused, Remus looks at his hand. He has an Uno card, and some of his cards are facing the wrong way.
4.Nelson looks at his hand. Four aces. He smiles a bit as he pulls out a fifth ace from his sleeve.
5.Nelson taps the table, telling Remus to show his cards.
6.Hesitantly, Remus reveals his hand.
7.Nelson excitedly slams his hand down to reveal the five aces.
8.As Nelson greedily takes all the money, Remus becomes frustrated.
9.Remus bangs his fist on the table in frustration, accidentally flipping it over.
10. As the table is flipped, it hits Nelson in the jaw. Nelson goes flying back as the table continues spinning upwards.
11.Nelson falls to the ground, and the table lands on him.
12.Remus, looks horrified. He hurries to help Nelson up.
13.Remus lifts the table off Nelson and throws it aside.
14.He lifts Nelson up and a bunch of cards fall out of Nelson.
15.Nelson notices and slaps Remus away and then quickly tries to hide the cards
16.Remus, trying to be helpful, picks up some of the cards and gives them to Nelson.
17.Nelson refuses but Remus keeps handing him the cards.
18.Nelson quickly starts taking them back.
19.Remus finally notices one of the cards is and ace. He picks up another, also an ace
20.Slowly coming to the realization of what happened, Remus grows furious.
21.He crushes the card, making a fist, and takes a swing at Nelson. Cut to black right before impact. Roll credits.