Blocking Stages

I’m still in the progress of finding the exact story for my final project. It will be 15 – 30 seconds long, involve creature animation and human acting and dialogue, or rather, spoken monologue.

Originally I expected it to be nothing but cheesy and silly, with a cheap joke that’s only a vehicle for animation, but I will try to push it to a slightly more solemnly acted ending to give everything a layer of sense behind it.

The currently favoured camera angle is very balanced and mostly chosen to have both characters in clear sight while favouring the tiger and bringing it closer to the audience. It was important to have the camera within the cage and the woman on the other side of the glass. I am still considering a more contrasting or dramatic camera angle and trying to find ways to incorporate light to sell the idea of contrast between the obnoxious zoo visitor and the wild animal.

I have already done some intense research into the movements of tigers and recorded the sound acting. Since the voice will be the centre of attention in this I wanted to get a voice talent in to ensure good acting, but unfortunately those are hard to come by. Even with semi-professionals like I found for my previous project the result wasn’t convincing enough. I tried to record some real reactions in Dudley zoo, but people rarely get loud around animals but watch them quietly and fascinated. In the end I did my own take, and there is a possibility that I will just stick with it.

While recording my own video reference I realised that the recorded words were far too rushed. When actually encountering an animal and watching something there are far longer breaks inbetween the sentences. A person watches the animal, and only a new observation or thought kicks off another sentence.

I first blocked in a performance that was very close to my video reference. I made the mistake of ignoring the tiger and just blocking her out independently. But since her actions are motivated by the tiger they need to be closely related to the timing of the tiger pacing the cage. I redid the blocking and based it on an estimate of the tiger’s speed.
As soon as a camera angle is decided I need to improve the clarity of the poses towards the camera and pay attention to contrast and good silhouettes. At the moment she never really comes out of her default pose, making for a fairly boring shot:


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