Environments with Scott Robertson

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Environments with Scott Robertson

Lip Sync


That was a talk test for a short film called Innards, the Metaphysical Highway. Stop motion in it’s appearance, they crafted 12 different heads for Chunk all to indicate the different sounds of speech and used the Replacement Method (switching his head out between snap shots) to make his mouth appear to be changing position. 12 was possibly a few more than average, with 9 being the go to amount of Phonemes, or units of sound.

1: A, I
2: O
3: E
4: U
5: C,K,G,J,R,S,TH,Y,Z
6: D,L,N,T
7: W,Q
8: M,B,P
9: F,V

This ofcourse, only really applies to English speaking dialogue and may very drastically for different languages, even different accents. You don’t have to hit every sound as well, the vowels are the more noticable ones with b, m, f and l right behind, and should be held for at least two frames, assuming you’re shooting at 24/25 frames a second.(P.35 Animator’s Bible)

Japanese animations typically only have three mouth movements. Anime historian Patrick Drazen points out, there are probable historical precedents for this practise. He notes,  “in the unmoving mouths of Bunraku puppets, and in Noh Theater, in which the protagonists usually wear masks, Japan as a history of giving the audience mouths that move without speaking or speech from a mouth that doesn’t move.”

Many viewers will see limitations in lip sync as reflecting low production or poor animation skills – or both.

Lip Sync

Props for our adaptation mini-brief.

In a 1890’s Western Frontier mining town, there are many things I must consider; For starters, the type of buildings we might find…

Blacksmith, general store, carpenters, post office, telegraph station, train station, salon, open market, tents, tool store, tobacconist, the mines themselves built into a mountain, tool sheds and equipment stores, sheriff’s office.

Then I need to consider the kind of things we might find WITHIN those places;

Blacksmith: Anvils, horseshoes, hammers, tongs, water barrels, notes, receipt papers, a living space, a sleeping cot, old wood beams, scrap metal, unshaped metal tubes, smeltery, tubes, bellows, hanging pieces of metal, furnace, oven, aprons, boots, bottles, pedal powered grindstones.

General store: May in itself serve as a tobacconist, so tobacco, smoking pariffinalia, pipes, cigarette papers, news papers, bottles, combs, personal grooming items, hats, shoe polish, cleaning supply, lantern oil, lantern wicks, lanterns, longer lasting food stuffs, jerky, potatoes, tinned goods, jars of preserves.

Carpenters/Wood workers: Wood beams and bits of wood scattered about of varying planks, untreated wood, treated wood, varnished wood, saws, axes, wood cutters axes, bottles of varnish, stacks, incomplete furniture skeletons, sawdust, bandages, pedal powered saws?

Post office: Collections boxes, unopened parcels, small knifes, iron bars, old cash register, stamps, ink stamps, telegraph machine, horse and wagon outside.

Train Station: benches, overhanging roof, telegrapher? tickets, clock, drinking trough, water barrels, water tower, weathervane, steam train, forgotten luggage, loose railroad spikes.

Salon: Broken bottles, bar counter, cleaning rags, small circular tables, small chairs or stools (maybe a motley collection of both?), shelf behind the bar counter stacked with bottles of alcohol, barrels or kegs of beer, paintings or portraits of previous owners or their families, barrel/kegs of beer stacked on their side with a tap in them, maybe a kitchen in the back, honkey tonk piano, bat wing doors, mugs, glasses, cutlery, plates, old cooker/stove.

Open Market: If business is booming within this town then it’s possible immigrants may set up tents rather than living within the town itself, they may all be trying to sell nik naks and worthless junk to passers by. Canvas tents, fancy shaped oil lamps, animal carcasses, cooked meat on a stick, old weapons scavenged from a battlefield (but given a mythical origin story). However, Lady Debbie Adamson (Danae) would’ve been exiled to a lowly mining town rather than one with a booming economy, so this place would be thick with crime and unsavoury types, so I’m not too sure whether or not immigrants would be flooding to this less than reputable place.

Mines:  (Useful facts), so the citizens would be freelancers trying to sell to an individual prospector, they would have to buy their own equipment then, pickaxes, shovels, light hammers, (it’s all hard rock mining in tunnel shafts) The lights within may well be steam powered, or they may just be oil lanterns, it’s doubtful a lowly mine would be able to afford steam power, let alone it’s own sheriff. (The mine itself could’ve been rumored to contain a motherlode, causing an initial flood of hands, but as years go by and no lode discovered, people have given up and searched for better places, causing the towns massive decline in economy). Tool sheds, storage sheds, loose rock, axe racks, helmets, hand lanterns, carts, wheel barrows filled with rock mostly, but occasionally a chunk of gold or silver.

Also need to consider the clothing people might be wearing; leather dusters, jeans, chaps, boots, spurs, shirts, vests, frocks, simple dresses, wash baskets.

As well as weaponry; brass knuckle dusters, broken bottles, flick knifes, calvary sabers, revolvers, lever-action firearms (volcano pistol, winchester rifle, 1887 shotgun), single/double barrelled scatter guns.

A particularly important prop given to the protagonist (Zachariah P Junior (Perseus)) would be a decorative hand mirror his mother gave him. It’s the only reminder of the luxurious lifestyle she used to have before becoming  scullery maid/commoner/tavern wench. Ultimately, it would be Zach’s saving grace, as he would use it to look at Medusa without directly looking at her.

Props for our adaptation mini-brief.

Sound research

As I understand, for our 5 minute factual piece, our group will be exploring the controversy surrounding Grand Theft Auto, and it’s issues surrounding the relatively easy murder of pedestrians and it’s misogynistic treatment of women. So, let’s go google searching and see what we can find.

Turns out, there’s an entire Wikia entry on it. But that’s only on the previous GTA games, I’ve not played number V but I do believe I’ve find some good information on a certain torture scene and the fact that you HAVE to do it to progress in the game. In Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2, there was a scene where you (as an undercover CIA agent as a Russian criminal) have to gun down a lot of civilians alongside a group of heavily armed Russian criminals. Now, given the controversy, Activision gave you the option of skipping the level entirely with no detriment to the story or achievements, even if you chose to do it, you didn’t HAVE to gun down the civilians, you could fire into the air, you could not fire at all and no one would notice, the scene still plays out the same way (you get discovered, shot and left for dead).

It appears the guys have Rockstar have sternly refused you a friendly out and chosen not to give in to the demands of Lawyers. They probably have a pretty solid team of Lawyers themselves.

Sound research

SOUND SOUNDS SOUNDSSS AND SOUNDS.

Must keep track of the stuff we still need to for sound.

I believe the advert is near enough complete, however, I should put some words down. Something to contribute to the research file perhaps.

Keywords to use;

Field Recordings; Whether something has been recorded out in the open rather than in controlled environment, such as  studio.

Narrator; Is the narrator present? Is their role made clear, or is it just two people talking in a way that makes them seem like they are unaware of being recorded.

Interview; Usually obvious by the responsiveness of the person speaking, does it sound like they are answering questions. Sometimes, the questions they’re asked aren’t always put into the recording to give it a more organic flow.

Expertise… Not sure on this one.

Monologue: Is it just one speaker?

Voice: The accents used? Primarily BBC English, with undefined accents. I forget the reasoning behind this. Probably for ease of communication.

Questions: Not always heard but almost always answered.

Filters and Effects: A big hall reverb effect can give the impression that a sound is taking place inside a large hall, rather than the controlled studio that it most likely is being recorded in.

Narrative:… I’m not sure.

Interpretation:… need to research this one also.

Interviewee… the people being spoken to?

 

So to sum up. Do some bloody research. Also, look up what a Sound Treatment is.

SOUND SOUNDS SOUNDSSS AND SOUNDS.

The finalised mini-brief.

So, I’ve thought about it a lot, and I’m definitely going for the story of Perseus and Medusa, only it’s not in space. Too many things are set in space or set in the future. So this one is going to be set in the Wild West. Perseus and Medusa, in the wild west, so the date is roughly 1890.

With this kind of style I can borrow the cinematography aspects from a lot of Sergio Leone films (The Good, the Bad and Ugly, a Fistful of Dollars). Once Upon a Time in the West, is notorious for it’s epic opening and specific placement of the actors. I’ll have to research weapons, architecture, history, behaviours and customs to those times. But, this is what I’ve thought about;

King Accrisius, he’ll be a corrupt and greedy mayor/governor of a small town named Mayor Wyatt Adamson, he’ll be trying to secure his ties to a powerful property magnate by offering his daughter Danae’s (Debbie Adamson)  hand in marriage to the son of property boss man. Debbie is young and doesn’t much care to be married off, she has an affair with the legendary gunslinging outlaw Zeus (Zachariah). The night before the marriage she is discovered to be pregnant, which the Mayor and the Property Boss hear about causing a massive breakdown in negotiations. The Mayor disowns her and banishes her to a far off mining town to live out the rest of her days where she works as a scullery maid or tavern wench or something, a far cry from the lady of leisure she’s used to being.

She get’s by, spurning the advances of a local gang and Zachariah P. Junior is born. As soon as he is old enough he get’s put to work in mines and becomes a strong young man, Debbie tells him of his real father, his exploits and his almost magical skill with the gun. Zach junior aspires to become just like his dear old daddy. He ends up spilling a drink on one of the local gang members, and is challenged to a duel, to which he is the winner when he shoots the gun out of the ganger’s hand.

Something along those lines anywho, there’s more to it, but I’ll have to come back to that one.

The finalised mini-brief.