As I said, I knew how hard the film was going to be when I decided to do a fantasy film with realistically-moving characters, fight scenes, and lots of drama and lip sync. But what I never could have predicted was how much I learned while making this film. When I think back to the end of Advanced Story this time last year, I was super excited about the project and thoroughly enjoyed reworking my storyboards over the summer to create what I hoped would be the perfect film. I entered Senior Studio with a newly polished and "trimmed" (it was still about 5 minutes long!) animatic, excited and nervous. The next few weeks were spent further refining and cutting the story, getting use to blogging to track my progress, and creating a plan of attack to get this bad boy finished. Along the way there were many bumps and snags that caused me to doubt my ability to manage a film on my own and threatened to stop the project dead in its tracks. But it caused me to learned one of the best lessons: GET HELP on the things you are uncomfortable with doing yourself. For me that meant hiring Rachael Milobar to create the incredible music and sound effects, recruiting members from the animation 3 classes to assist in inking and coloring frames, and handing my backgrounds off to Jayna Shropshire and Kevin Slawinksi who are much more capable than me at creating the beautiful environments that will support my characters.
The best pieces of advice that I can share with those about to enter Senior Studio next Fall, or to anyone else wanting to take on an independent film is:
- Keep your idea simple and be realistic with your abilities to realize that idea.
- Create a realistic schedule for yourself and stick to it as best as possible.
- Test your work flow early to make sure it will work and have the desired look - take one simple shot and take it to the final look of the film.
- Keep working - don't get slowed down when something doesn't work the first, or second, or third time - keep trying or move on and come back to it later with a fresh set of eyes.
- Get help with the tasks you are not comfortable tackling on your own.
Unfortunately, I will not be posting the finished film on my blog in its entirety right away. I will, however, be creating a trailer to promote the film that will be posted here and on my website. The reason for not posting the finished film at this time is because I hope to submit it to film festivals and they often have restrictions against the film being available online prior to being screened at any festivals.
The next steps for me is getting ready for Senior Review, setting up for the Senior Show, and then Graduation, followed (hopefully) by getting a job .