Tuesday, 13 January 2015

FStS: Idea assistance

    I had a talk with Jackie about my story ideas and question did arise as to how or why a helium balloon would be on board, a first thought being that the marionette is on a trip back from a holiday and the child who owns the marionette wanted a balloon they gained brought home.

    There is some concern as to whether a helium balloon would fit or perhaps the key prop could be represented another way such as the oxygen masks designed to drop when a cabin de-pressurises (which would be automatically deployed when the marionette opens the door to escape the plane).

    One slight problem with this idea is that while these bags do inflate, they require a central oxygen supply to do so and are designed for short-term use. Being an animation I wonder if I can get away with using the oxygen mask as a balloon substitute or would it just look silly or unbelievable.

    I remain confident with the jet idea, and to show that the marionette is unhappy with it's current owner I was told about Thompson's current advert that had a teddy bear going though a period of abuse (dragged in the mud and put in a washing machine for instance). Because this is a one-minute animation I wonder if it would work to show abuse though a series of photographs at the beginning that show the marionette being abused or improperly treated, perhaps not looking very happy. Perhaps it could link in with the bulk of the scene by either the last photographs - or perhaps all of them - looking like they were taken at the event where the plane took off from.

    One possible portrayal idea for the girl is to keep her face hidden. The technique of the cropped or hidden face has been used in films, traditional animation, television and games to add mystery to the character for a variety of reasons. One being to leave who they are open to interpretation or possibly translation; someone watching the animation is more open to imagining the character with someone they know fit's a character's behaviour because when the brain has no choice but to guess what the most important area to display emotion looks like, it is most likely going to attach a face from memory.

  Key examples where the technique was used to generate this particular effect include Andy in the original Toy Story, the Once-ler from the 1972 Lorax TV special, Tom's owners in the Tom and Jerry cartoons and the adults in the Peanuts comics and cartoons.


  1. Hi Mark,
    Just in case you haven't seen it... this is the extended version :) http://www.thinkholidays.uk/thomson-holidays-tv-ad-one-eyed-teddy-bear/

    Did you have a look at my comment on your last story post? Maybe a different route to think about?

    1. I'm sure I have seen that one but I couldn't fully recall all of it.

      I still sort-of like the plane idea. Sure I could design a playroom or a party room to include a toy plane (I had wondered about a more cartoonish aesthetic) but I feel like I could do things with a plane-based environment (turbulence shaking the room or a dive putting the marionette temporarily into a zero-g) that I can't see pulling off as well in more conventional places.

    2. Yes indeed, and thinking about it some more, the plane, I guess, should remain as your environment, as that was what it was given as... how about an imaginary plane? Say you have a marionette, held back by his strings, that dreams of the freedom he could have if he were stringless - he dreams of being able to jet off somewhere exotic. The balloon could then prove his means of escape out of a window... just random thoughts! :)