YES! IT IS FINALLY OVER! And I’m not saying this because it wasn’t interesting, it’s quite the opposite to be honest. The process my group and I went through was very interesting and unusual, however the amount of time we’ve spent planning, but not actually working has lowered our enthusiasm a little bit.
When the project was just given out – we were full of ideas and wanted to film every one of them! We were so happy we finally got to do some stop motion animating, we literally accepted every concept that came to mind. But we needed to focus on only one, and so we did. Here’s when the “Cliffhanger” idea steps into the scene. The idea was that 3 characters: Tom, Jerry and Keith the cow walk down the side of the mountain, when suddenly Keith slips off the edge of the cliff and drags all the others with him. Tom – the leader of the group tells Jerry, who’s quite simple and also in the middle, to cut the rope, so that they can be safe. Jerry pulls out a knife and for no apparent reason cuts the rope above rather than below himself, leaving Keith the cow and himself falling into the Oblivion. Tom is left there hanging on the cliff thinking of how stupid his friends are. This was our main objective at that moment; we’ve spent a few weeks developing it and were ready to film, but when it came to actual shooting, we dropped it. Mainly because we’ve figured out that our initial idea held a set of points that weren’t achievable at the time, due to the amount of time we had left. These points included such things as: the set, which had to be decorated(even though we decided to keep it simple, we still needed a decent set so that the audience understood the setting our characters are were in); our characters, namely the toys we used(they didn’t really fit in the scene); the initial idea had no driver behind it, meaning that Jerry had no reason to cut the rope above himself, yes it would’ve been funny, but it also would leave the story to a rough end, which we didn’t want. So a week before the deadline, we’ve changed our idea.
Our second idea was much simpler than the “Cliffhanger”, but it also followed the brief more closely, had a better story, had a strong 3 act structure and focused more on bringing entertainment to the audience, rather than looking fancy. We called it “Off the desk”. The story is simple – two toys chase another one around the table, until it comes upon the edge, and that’s when they throw it “Off the desk”. The story revolves around the Three-Act structure:
- First act, an introductory part of the film, is when we see the desk for the first time, its inhabitants (toys), and the main character – Yellow cow. We also get introduced to the two toys who chase the cow around: Purple Donatello and Red Triceratops.
- Second act is when two antagonists spot the cow and start chasing him around, and eventually throwing him off the desk. The fall of the cow is also a part of the second act.
- During the Third act which serves as a sort of conclusion, we see how a hand of takes the cow and puts him back on the desk. The cow says: “Oh, moo” implying that the chase will start all over again.
The film turned out really good, well at least better than I expected it to be. I enjoyed the idea a lot, however I still think that if we either had more time, or didn’t spend too much of the time that was already given to us, planning and deciding, rather than working – we would’ve achieved great results with our initial “Cliffhanger” idea. I enjoyed every moment of our collaborative work, mostly because we’re all good friends and understand each other very well, which made our thoughts flow in one direction and let us come up with something original and entertaining.
We did have issues, but compared to the things that went well, they’re nothing but minor things that don’t deserve any attention. However there were big issues like organisation and time management. Both things in our group work sucked, thus leading us to the change in our plans. However this is a good lesson for all of us, and I hope next time I’ll be more responsible and will manage my time better.
Here’s the video of our finished product, I hope you like it: