Here’s the segment with both the effects layered onto the animation, I decided that the outcome was too distracting and I am in the process of simplifying the effects, keeping them to three shots. The effects were filmed and then layered onto to the animation, in a photographic double exposure style. I talked before about Kenneth Anger’s Inauguration of The Pleasure Dome, and how he used double exposures over a theatrical black back-drop with actors performing.
I think that making it simpler and not so busy is more in keeping with the style of Kabuki, but it takes the edge off the sparse feeling of the set for the dance. Kabuki often uses the motif of snow, strongly visible in Sagi Musume, or blossom falling.
At the animatic crit I got some really useful feedback. Everyone seems to be saying that the whole animation needs to be more dramatic, more explicit. Especially at the point of Ariel’s transformation. This is great because I completely agree, I felt the same way when I played back the finished animatic. The more recent Medea inspired character designs will also fit with this, showing a more obvious shift in costume than I managed to express in my first animatic. In fact there were quite a few things I really didn’t convey in the story boards, for example the sets, the shift in costume and the double exposures that were really important. I think I just needed a lot more detail and more panels, so the idea was clearer. Good practice though! I’m going to work on the improved one today.
I want to add lighting effects and stronger camera angles, and possibly even limit the back drops to plain black, and have a single sliding one when the moon appears at the end. Looking at Kenneth Anger’s Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome [above] is really helpful for inspiring visual drama; the ornate style of opera combined with the makeshift aesthetic of renegade filmmaking, the extreme coloured lighting with the context suggested by a few props.
Today’s lecture included a section on Mansfield’s comic prowess and her cartoon persona. Kenneth Anger and John Waters are fans… and I agree that much more should be made of the wisdom and wit of the actresses who simultaneously embody and exploit that blonde-bombshell archetype.