Story Beats & Bullet Points
What It’s Really About
The story I’ve written down is about family bond, tieds to the land, surprising but not all that unexpected cruelty and kindness of the world, as well as feeling of continuity. When the audience will finish watching the film I want them to feel like the continuity has been disrupt, just like in life; someone took away the book they have been reading and they were really close to the end. I want this to wake up the need to go and ask their family about their life stories or at least go and give them a hug or a simple phone call. I also want people to realise that most of us does live in better times than our ancestors and we should appreciate it. And at last, life is continuous an it will bloom.
As I nearly reached the final outcome for my script and so I have decided to share it on the blog.
I have consulted with many people, I’ve received various feedback and I do realise that to some the story might seem to be too long. But I would like to assure you that I have worked really hard on putting it all together and there is nothing left in it that I don’t find necessary. I have spent last 3 days hating my idea and was very close to completely dropping it and thanks to this I had a new look at it and now I am convinced that it can be good and I can really pull this off.
The way the script and the story goes is far from being conventional 3 act structure but this is what I was going for. I don’t really like typical act scenarios because most of the time they are very easy to figure out, and life is not (well except being born, living and dying…). My film is about life of few people and in my opinion it is only fair to not show it in a conventional way. I did my research in the subject and I am still standing with my idea. The story does not follow the scheme and I don’t want it to.
What I am going to do next is write bullet points for each scene and from there I will try to rewrite the script once again, cleaning up the action and adding the actual plan for shots.
At the moment I only have designs for 2 of my characters, but I am happy to say that I am 99% sure they are final. This time my characters are actual humans.
I have decided on fairly simple designs with Ukrainian folk clothes. I also tried to implement in the facial designs some features which I took from real characters.
I decided on the red hair band to make the character stand recognisable as she grows.
Red belt for recognition while the character grows.
GIPHY. (2017). Nature GIFs – Find & Share on GIPHY. [online] Available at: http://media2.giphy.com/media/czevJlexlxAyc/giphy.gif [Accessed 24 Oct. 2017].
GIPHY. (2017). Cheezburger GIFs – Find & Share on GIPHY. [online] Available at: https://media.giphy.com/media/2MSG2wXfNTMFq/giphy.gif [Accessed 24 Oct. 2017].
Andrewhutchinsonauthor.files.wordpress.com. (2017). Cite a Website – Cite This For Me. [online] Available at: https://andrewhutchinsonauthor.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/myth_quest_model_04.jpg [Accessed 24 Oct. 2017].
Dramatica.com. (2017). Cite a Website – Cite This For Me. [online] Available at: http://dramatica.com/resources/articles/how-and-why-vogler-journey.gif [Accessed 24 Oct. 2017].
Firstly let me say that I knew what I want my final film to be about since 1st year of the animation course. Film based on my grandmothers memories about our family life (mainly her and her mum). I just didn’t realise how hard it would be…
In order to get on with the project I have written down some of my grandmother’s memories in the chronological order. To set the scene and the circumstances of the story it starts before she is born. I have decided that it would be the best to end it with the birth of my mum and the return of her father from the army. This is the first attempt at the story of my final project.
In 1937, Gruszecki, the head of the school in Kamieniec Podolski (Ukraine) was arrested (for fulfilling the function of a preacher), taken away and eventually executed as an enemy of the nation. His family, who lived in the house attached to the school, had been thrown out without any possibility of taking any belongings with them. The neighbours were scared to help, or even speak to them. They walked through the city hoping for help but everyone had been acting like they weren’t there. Fortunately, at the edge of the city, an old man decided to help them, saying that he has nothing left to lose.
As Raisa’s first husband renounced her for being a daughter of the enemy at the age of 22 she became the head of the family and therefore had to take care of her pregnant mother (Viera), little brother (Vitia) and her own barely year old daughter (Alla). It was impossible for her to find a job and she was suggested to publicly renounce Gruszecki as her father, she refused. The only other option was to get married and take on the new husband’s surname. Her second husband’s name was Piotr Michalowicz Prodius and in 1940 Raisa gave birth to her second daughter Larisa (Lola), my grandmother.
When the Germans were coming to take over the city, nearly everyone was trying to evacuate and so was my family. When they have reached the suburbs it started raining heavily and the idea of running away felt to be not that good of an idea. They had noone and nowhere to go. And so they have decided to go back as they would at least have a roof above their heads and if they will die, so be it.
Pople who decided on staying in the city would hide under the cliff. Among them was my future grandfather with his grandmother. Unfortunately, Szurik realised that he’d left his toy behind and being very ‘brave’ he decided to run back to get it. Germans were shooting at him and his grandmother nearly had a heart attack…
Under the German occupation, Raisa continued working at the hospital. Soldiers didn’t go there because people said that there were patients infected with typhus, so they were scared. * (there was a fragment about burning mounds of bodies because they couldn’t bury them, and the ashes fell down on the city like snow flakes. Children thought it was snow and went outside and played in it until adults told them to get back home… – I don’t have that recorded)
The whole city was under a night curfew after which noone was allowed to leave the house under any circumstances.
German Soldiers, like most of the soldiers anywhere, took food from everywhere, and so they liked to steal chickens. But to steal one they first had to catch one. They would take a bowl and put it upside down, one side resting on a piece of branch or a stick to which they would attach a string (like in a cartoon), then they would sprinkle some seeds underneath the bowl and wait. When the poor bird got underneath the bowl, they would pull the string and that’s it. They would always put it under their armpit and walk away with the bird still clucking.
One night our house caught fire and it was already late, luckily one of the nicer soldiers has been patroling the area and he allowed people to leave their houses to help and put the fire down. Another lucky thing is that the water well happened to be in our courtyard (everyone from the area as well as the soldiers would use it).
When German troops were leaving the city in a hurry (russian army was coming) they would run in to a random house, stop at the door and shoot blindly from one side to the other (or until the bullets ended), and then they would leave.
Szurik’s grandma saw a soldier reaching for their house door. She pushed her grandson in to the corner of the kitchen and stood in front of him. Soldier started shooting and his bullets ended not far away from the corner. Then he left.
While still ocupating the city, the German army buried some potatoes in the ground, and after they were gone and the earth unfroze, the citizens were hungry and someone remembered about that. The whole city gathered to dig out the rotten, half black, smelly remains… They would cut the worst stuff off and then wash the rest countless ammount of times until they received some of the grey potato starch. They would mix it with orach plant and fry/dry it in the shape of pancakes. And as a warm drink they made tea out of cherry, raspberry leaves and other flowers and plants.
When the war “ended”, life was still hard. Whole areas around the city were interlaced with trenches and abandoned military equipment. Citizens cleaned it all out in order to plant corn and potatoes but there was still not enough food for everyone. People created organised ‘trips’ in to the nearby areas to exchange goods. Sometimes it happened that the places they would go to had already exchanged with someone else and they had nothing left to swap and so they had to drive further and further. One time they ended up driving deep in to Western Ukraine, in to the mountains. By the time they arrived in the village it was getting dark. They all had to exchange in a big hurry because it was the Bandera territory and they would be coming out of the forest any minute. The way back led through the serpentine like road surrounded by the mountain hills and forests, while driving down their car was shot at, and everyone were trying to lay down flat on it’s floor. Fortunately, everyone survived.
The last thing which Raisa exchanged for a loaf of bread was the last thing she had and she really hope she wouldn’t have to. It was a present from Gruszecki – a gold Swiss watch.
At the time, purchasing shoes was very dificult so Raisa knitted some slippers for the children to wear. After they would play all day wearing them they would stand on the hard ground and stomp hard what created big dusty clouds around them, and they loved it.
One time Lola decided that she wanted to see how flowers bloom, she was sat in the garden, determined to see but she got impatient so that didn’t work out… xD
When Lola attended nursery, her mum was renting out one of their rooms to a student whose name was Lonia. Lola realy like him and he used to take her to the nursery on his way to school. Sometimes Raisa would give Lola some coins for treats and on the corner of the nursery there was alway an old lady selling apples. One time, when she had some coins Lola (age 6) bought one which made her fall very ill with typhoid fever, and ened up being hospitalised. In the room she was in, one of the windows was broken, the hole was stuffed with straw and held with a piece of wood. She spent a long time in there and afterwards as she couldn’t walk and had to learn again.
When she went to the 1st class at school, Viera made her a little bag especially to carry school supplies. But Lola wasnt very keen on studying. She really wanted to write beautifully though, but it didn’t go well… She would take the notebook and start the practice from the top of the page, she would never write more than one sentence because it always ended up being not straight or letters were different sizes, and so she would turn the page and start again… She used the whole notebook very fast and at that time it was really dificult to get one. Then one day, in the middle of the class she just got up and started packing, when the teacher asked what exactly is she doing she said that she has a grandma at home and so she will be going there now.
They let her stay at home one more year.
When Lola finished 7 classes, she wanted to continue education in the direction of languages, but the highschool in the city didn’t offer it. Unfortunately, Raisa couldn’t afford to send her in to a different city, because Alla was already studying out of town. She tried to convince Lola to apply for a course in their city. Lola, offended, dropped everything and decided to go and visit her brother in Minsk (age 15).
When she came back, she found out that they had signed her up fot a geological course at the local school. She got very angry and said she wouldn’t go, but still she wanted to know how did they managed to do it. Her mum asked Lola’s school friend to stylise herself to look like Lola and take a document photo, then another one went in to the school to pass the entrance exam for her… Lola still had to pass one more test to be accepted and she refused to go and she didn’t. Her mum once again pulled some strings and got her another date. This time to make everyone just leave her alone Lola went to finish the exam badly but even though she stried she still got in…
After the 2nd year, in the summer, Lola and her friends were sitting at the riverbank, sunbathing. There was a group of five boys walking past them and Lola said that she liked the look of one of them. The girls laughed a little but then they all forgot about it. Some time later at the student evening in the theathre (dancing and stuff), she was talking with friends when someone stood behind her and asked her to dance. When she turned around she saw that same boy, Szurik.
Raisa knew Szurik since he was little and not even once did she think that he would be her future son in law who she had been doing health checks for. Also she ‘didn’t like’ him because, in her opinion, he wasn’t tall enough hahahha
Lola and Szurik were a couple for about three years, it ‘about’ because they liked to argue alot and then not speak to each other for months.
When they would agree to meet somewhere Lola was always late, like late, late (45minutes or so) and Szurik would always wait for her. This one time when she came to the bus stop they were supposed to meet at, he wasn’t there and she waited for about an hour. Then she saw his friend on the bus wayving at her to get in. He said that Szurik is at the theathre because there is some grudge in there and he went to fight someone. When they got to the theathre Lola asked that guy to tell Szurik to come out. He came out, she slapped him in the face and left. They didn’t speak for half a year….
After finishing school Lola was sent to work near Lviv (Szurik still had a year to go). In the winter, when she was coming home from work, she noticed someone standing in front of her house. That someone had a winter coat on but not very wintery shoes and no hat on his head (because hair must be perfect even in -20), and it was noneother but Szurik. He came to visit, oh and cause he wanted to get married to Lola. But his mum didn’t allow it, she said he should finish school first, and it so happened that Lola agreed with it, so he decided not to talk to his mum for a year. Finally, Lola said that if he won’t talk to her and invite her to the wedding, she will not marry him.
After they got married, Lola got pregnant and Szurik had been taken to the army. He would come visit when he could but when he finally finished, Inna (my mum), was about a year and a half old.
A few photos of the city:
Some pictures of the Ukrainian folk fashion and countryside:
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S.iha.com. (2017). Cite a Website – Cite This For Me. [online] Available at: https://s.iha.com/00121735416/Ukraine-Old-wooden-church.jpeg [Accessed 21 Sep. 2017].
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I.pinimg.com. (2017). Cite a Website – Cite This For Me. [online] Available at: https://i.pinimg.com/736x/bb/47/ca/bb47ca936cae94c95d5c116b3477c01d–ukraine-european-dress.jpg [Accessed 21 Sep. 2017].
I.pinimg.com. (2017). Cite a Website – Cite This For Me. [online] Available at: https://i.pinimg.com/236x/b4/03/1a/b4031ae032bdb7780c7fe6bb6d534b37–ukraina-costume-dress.jpg [Accessed 21 Sep. 2017].
I.pinimg.com. (2017). Cite a Website – Cite This For Me. [online] Available at: https://i.pinimg.com/736x/cc/b0/67/ccb0676dc375b2af8d3583d9d6339588–folk-costume-ukraina.jpg [Accessed 21 Sep. 2017].
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Email from Debra
The final year is all about making one great film to showcase everything good we have learned. I am really looking forward to it but I am also really terrified… Anyway
GIPHY. (2017). Fight GIFs – Find & Share on GIPHY. [online] Available at: https://media.giphy.com/media/adikIKGu30u6A/giphy.gif [Accessed 24 Oct. 2017].
Started doing some stuff with Aaron Blaise
After Summer School I travelled to Guangzhou (Canton) to join one of the biggest Chinese animation company called Creative Power Entertaining where I have spent 2 weeks as an intern. This was a priceless experience, I had a chance to see how does the real big animation company.
The most known feature created by Creative Power Entertainment is cartoon called “Xǐ Yáng Yáng yǔ Huī Tài Láng” in English “Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf”. They are very proud of it and you can see the statues in front of the company buildings as well as inside.
Here is few examples of my work from the studio. It is not all I’ve made in there and it is not in good quality because most of the things are not allowed to leave the building (there is no internet, computers do not have usb ports and to enter the company you need to use fingerprint scanner).
I really enjoyed working for Creative Power Entertaining. People in there have been very kind and fun. The office looked exactly how I expected (workstations filled with figures and toys, cool posters everywhere), I was surprised by the nap break (which I am actually digging now), among many other things I have learned how does the cartoon creation process looks like in the big company and I know now how to use Adobe Flash.
A few photos from my leisure time in Guangzhou
I have been chosen to attend Global Immersion Summer School (2017) at Sichuan University in China. Me, few of my friends from NTU and students from allover the world have spent 2 weeks in Chengdu. Accompanied by wonderful student volunteers of Sichuan University we had great time learning about Chinese art, history of art as well as culture and the way of living. It was so awesome I can’t handle the fact that I’m in England…. I would go back anytime (even though the normal temperature in there is about 40 degrees).
I am really glad we had to work on this project. It helped me realise how important marketing is for the feature and what should I do about promoting my 3rd year’s film. Another good thing was the fact that I had to give a shape to my final film, I am still not 100% sure how I want it to look like (that’s because I didn’t edit the videos I recorded yet) but at least I have a clearer image of what I would like to do. I realise that the way I wrote this essay might be a little bit unusual but I just thought that if I make it in a form of a list it someone else might find it useful (I think my ideas are pretty good and it’s handy to have it all down in points). I’ve done quite a bit of research unfortunately I didn’t manage to read the journal Jemma suggested (website would not open the pdf…) and now I feel like my research is not sufficient because I have no hard references in the essay, but I couldn’t help it. I’ll try harder next time, and maybe I’ll also try to be in England so I could just go to the library… Overall I fell more confident in the promotion matter and I will try to make marketing plan over summer for my final project.
And now lets have a great summer please!
I’m going to China this summer so visit the blog somewhere in august for some cool picks and stuff.
GIPHY. (2017). Cat GIF – Find & Share on GIPHY. [online] Available at: https://media.giphy.com/media/ToMjGppLes0ENI5osCc/giphy.gif [Accessed 21 Jun. 2017].
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GIPHY. (2017). Dog GIF – Find & Share on GIPHY. [online] Available at: https://media.giphy.com/media/r6ALgGVKLg93O/giphy.gif [Accessed 21 Jun. 2017].
Big version up HERE
THE WHOLE PROJECT
PROJECT: PROMO KIT – “Сказка”
This essay will be my attempt at explaining how I would promote my 3rd year’s film, if I had real funds to do so. Of course, some of them will be possible to achieve, even without exciting funding and so I intend to use them in the future. The whole point of this campaign and the film is to make people fall in love again with the folklore, enjoy the tales and awaken interest in their grandparents life stories. All this from the perspective of a child who happened to listen to one.
Or at least this is the plan for now.
At the moment, the audience I am aiming for is everyone above age 16. The feature will be a tale about womens life, and as we know life is never just nice, and sometimes it can get really ugly. That’s why, at this point, I believe that children should not watch it. Except for that, there are no more specifications for the audience, some people won’t want to watch it just because it will be an animated feature, some people won’t be interested in a life story and so on. All I know is that the audience who I really expect to like it, will be the people raised on soviet cartoons and people who lived under the communistic regime since it will bring back memories. Because of that, it would be logical to try and promote the film mainly in Eastern Europe as a reminder of the past and in the rest of the world as a “novelty” (oh irony).
While doing research for this essay I came across many useful tips and I made a list of the things which are necessary to get to the audience and to make them interested in the feature. I find all of them important and I will try to use them for the promotion of my film. I will try to collaborate a little more about chosen points from the list, but I believe some of them will be fine with a short description.
1. GREAT TITLE – You want to catch the audience’s attention and that is why the first thing you need is a catchy, interesting title.
My feature’s title is “Сказка”(read. Skazka) which simply means a tale. I want my audience to wonder what the tale is about and to be aware that it won’t be a regular film. It can be for children, it can be for adults, you won’t know until you see it (I mean unless you check the age requirement).
2. GOOD POSTER – Some people won’t get a chance to look at the trailer and that’s why you need a good poster which will leave the right feeling on the potential audience member.
The poster I made is revealing only a little bit about the feature. It is dark but you can see the colourful world on the other side of the window. You can see how logic has been spoiled since the beautiful landscape is on the inside of the house and the outside is just darkness. You can also see a girl, resting, or maybe dreaming on the windowsill, she’s probably the main character, probably… On the top of the window, you notice two crows observing the girl. They are much darker than the outside world, and they can forecast danger or some other misery. Basically what we know from this poster is that there is a mystery somewhere deep inside and we got offered only a tiny view through the window, which should be so frustrating that normal people would want to know what else is there.
3. ONLINE FILM DATABASE – If you don’t add your film in there, then who will? It is very important to have your film somewhere in the film database, so people can vote for it. The more people you reach, the wider audience it will bring.
4. PRE-ROLL AD – Make a 5 second teaser (many pages offer 5 seconds of advertising time for free), make it really cool and exciting, don’t forget about the call to action (send them to the fb page etc.).
5. TRAILER IS THE KEY – A good trailer really is the key. Choose your audience and make your trailer interesting for them.
6. THE PRESS AND SELF PROMOTION – Try hard to have someone talk about your production, send it to people who you think would like it and their word also matters in the society (free advertising?!). Also try to attend workshops, show yourself at festivals (even little village fairs), talk to people about what you do, promote yourself.
7. SOCIAL MEDIA – Create a page for your feature on social media and make it fun, if you can, offer some extra experience to your audience. Little by little, release interesting facts about the story and other things. Keep it live.
This is one of the easiest but very profitable ways of getting the audience. I would like to create a page for my feature and then keep it updated with the film creating process, add some fun questionnaires about the characters or the story, interviews with creators, fan arts and the information about all the exciting things in which the audience could participate (talking about it later).
8. INVOLVE AUDIENCE IN FILM MAKING – Create a competition where the winning party will appear in the feature, or they can meet up with the crew, etc. Make it exciting.
I would like to give someone an opportunity to lend a voice to one of the characters, or maybe draw something, and the winners art could appear somewhere in the feature. The winner would also receive a special gift, like an original poster or signed poster with dedication, etc.
9. COOL LOOKING WEBPAGE – More interested people might want to have an even bigger connection with the feature and so here is the space for a cool looking webpage. It doesn’t have to be amazing, it just has to look good and have a few things which you can’t find anywhere else.
Webpage for my feature would be in the same vein as the poster, mysterious and dark. I would have chosen sounds from the film running in the background to make it more climatic. I would have the possibility to obtain free things (cool posters, soundtrack, easy questionnaire games) as well as priced merchandise (later about that). It would also show all the information about the feature, it’s making-of progress etc. (nearly everything you can find on social media).
10. CREATE AN INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE FOR THE VIEWERS (outside of the film) – If you can, try to make a game in which your audience could feel like they are part of the world from the film. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy.
This part is full of possibilities, you can make a jigsaw, colouring games, questionnaire games, anything that would fit and would be easy to do.
11. SOMETHING REMARKABLE – Try to intrigue the public, find something in the film that would be cool to see in real life and show it off. People will definitely want to watch your film just to find out what the Hell is going on.
I could make an installation, presenting something from the feature and set it up in an easy accessed place (of course get a permit to do so) and let people interact with it. Also, there should be a way of explaining to them why this thing is there (probably flyers).
12. AUCTION THE FILM PROPS, SELL IT! – If you have some props that are cool, people will buy it.
13. BREAK THE BANK WITH MERCHANDISE – Another key to success is merchandise. Posters, t-shirts, figures, bags, toys EVERYTHING. If it’s cool, it will sell and it will bring you more fans. It is also a good idea to have special edition items (people go crazy for them).
Since my film is all about folklore, the patterns would be full of leaves and flowers with a touch of communism…
14. FESTIVALS – Show off what you made. There are many film festivals, all over the world and a lot of them are free to join. Give it a try, it will gain you more of an audience and maybe some valuable contacts.
Is this one of the best ways to get famous? I really think so. Many important people keep their eyes on festivals, even tiny ones. If you don’t win, it doesn’t matter. Many people saw it and someone might just really like your work, and that is only a good thing.
Working on this project helped me understand the importance of promotion. Thanks to this, I will now know how to deal with promoting my feature at the end of the next academic year and hopefully it will help me get somewhere. I find the list that I made very useful and most things that are on it seem to be achievable on a smaller scale without the necessity of robbing a bank. I am really glad I had to write this. I’m sure it will be very useful in the future.
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Taylor, M. (2017). 17 Tips For Marketing Films & TV Shows Online | Venture Harbour. [online] Venture Harbour. Available at: https://www.ventureharbour.com/ultimate-guide-marketing-films-tv-shows-online/ [Accessed 16 Jun. 2017].
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