Monday, 10 October 2011

New Inspiration, a new style...

After the feedback from the tutors on Monday (26th Sept) I had a few things to think about. I decided to gather more research in the form of children's books, as the tutors seemed to like the idea of the film in a "picture book" style. I ventured to Waterstone's and had a great time looking through lots of books in the kids' section. (I've always felt that the children's section is by far the most exciting place in any book shop anyway...)

It wasn't long before I found inspiration. Two books by author, Anna Kemp and illustrator, Sara Ogilvie, caught my eye instantly. Their first collaberated book; "Dogs Don't Do Ballet", and their second and most recent book; "Rhinos Don't Eat Pancakes" are fun, cleverly written and beautifully illustrated. The illustrations instantly had me hooked for their vibrancy and charming style. As I read the books there in the shop, I fell in love with them! I had to buy them!

As well as the illustration style, the stories also inspired me to change/alter my ideas for my film too. The feedback from the session with the tutors, had asked me to try not to think of the film too realistically, and to be more adventurous with the story.

So now, taking inspiration mainly from "Rhinos Don't Eat Pancakes", I decided to turn the toy Babbit into a large rabbit which Mollie befriends. I had the idea that as Mollie grows older, the large Babbit will grow smaller, as a metaphor for growing up, taking on new responsibilities and embracing life, but not altogether losing your sense of imagination. My first story ideas for this were centered around Mollie gradually growing up with Babbit, and with every year she grows (represented by Mollie's new shoes; ie: from slip ons, to velcro, to buckles, to shoelaces...) Babbit gets smaller as she learns to adapt to getting older. Mollie would realise her Babbit growing smaller, and vice/versa with Babbit realising too, and both would become confused and upset. Then Babbit would one day disappear at bed-time (as Mollie would always sleep beside Babbit at night-time) and she would stay up and look for him, until, exhausted, she would have to sleep in her parents room. When she awakens and returns to her own room, she would find a toy rabbit, and Mollie would then know that Babbit would always be with her.

I started by doing some quick life drawing sketches of rabbits from a google image search. I will need to do more research at a later stage.

So here are the first sketch development designs working in a style inspired by the books featured above:

Mollie is featured in a few illustrations in her school uniform, as this is the "climax" of the film, when Babbit really starts to grow smaller rapidly as he notices Mollie growing up fast. This is also when Mollie would really realise Babbit growing smaller... The illustration showing a woman fitting Mollie's new school uniform is an idea for a scene which would show both Babbit and Mollie being curious and unaware of what this uniform means to them at that point. But as the story would develop (with Mollie leaving home every weekday to go to school) Babbit would then really start to notice the change in Mollie, and the change in himself.


I had a one-on-one session with Leonie on Tuesday (4th October). She really liked the picture books I am using as inspiration, and liked the idea that the Babbit is now "big" and the idea that he grows smaller whilst Mollie grows bigger. She brought to my attention that the story still had no structure. She suggested trying to tell the story from anothers' point of view, either Babbit's or the parents'. She suggested that, as Babbit is there for Mollie because she NEEDS him, I should think of all the ways the parents could be "ignoring" Mollie therefore NEEDING Babbit to "fill in the gap". So this could include swimming, riding a bike, holding hands while crossing the road etc... Leonie also suggested I should develop my own style inspired from the books I have bought. And for a last resort (ie: if my story just doesnt get sorted out); that I could contact the author and illustrator of the books and ask if I could possibly animate one of their books.

I still need to brainstorm more ideas... Overall the session with Leonie was great and really got me thinking a little more about the structure the film's story could take.

Almost instantly after having the session, I thought of another structural story idea that could possibly carry the whole film. A new baby brother arrives and Mollie is feeling left out and ignored by her parents. The big Babbit keeps her company, helping her do things as well as allowing her to cause mischief (to get attention from her parents). The ending is still not worked out, as this was just a quick story structure idea, but from a comment that Leonie made, there could possibly be a "twist" ending in that Babbit actually interacts and helps Mollie's parents as well, which Mollie may or may not discover.... It's still just little ideas. I will need to have another session with either James or Leonie to sort out more ideas soon.



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