Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Home - Test Footage

My blog has been pretty quiet since graduation, this is largely because freelance work has taken over my time and can't be posted for various reasons. However, I have also been working on my own projects, trying to make things happen and attempting to get a foot in the door of the film making world. Working for myself has personally been a big achievement and the variation in projects is genuinely exciting. I'm constantly facing new challenges, trying to solve problems on my own and keeping control of deadlines whilst also meeting new people and trying to become more than just a CG artist. I knew when I left university that I wanted to be more than a CG artist. My ambitions have always been concentrated on making work that is impactful and lasting. So, what is to be said of all this? Well, I will be showing more work on my blog. Most of it will be tests and proposals, rejected ideas and projects that didn't quite make it. Some of these may develop further, but mostly, it is exciting purely showing my personal work. I will also be redesigning my site and relaunching it sometime early next year. I have a lot of ideas for the new site, all of which I still need to develop. So, I would like to start by showing some test footage for a project idea I had a month or so ago.

Home - Test Footage

In 1969, before the U.S set foot on the moon, Nixon's speech writer wrote the follow letter in case the worst should happen.

IN EVENT OF MOON DISASTER:Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace.
These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.
These two men are laying down their lives in mankind's most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding.
They will be mourned by their families and friends; they will be mourned by the nation; they will be mourned by the people of the world; they will be mourned by a Mother Earth that dared send two of her sons into the unknown.
In their exploration, they stirred the people of the world to feel as one; in their sacrifice, they bind more tightly the brotherhood of man.

In ancient days, men looked at the stars and saw their heroes in the constellations. In modern times, we do much the same, but our heroes are epic men of flesh and blood.
Others will follow, and surely find their way home. Man's search will not be denied. But these men were the first, and they will remain the foremost in our hearts.
For every human being who looks up at the moon in the nights to come will know that there is some corner of another world that is forever mankind.
 Source -

The first moon landing was one of the greatest achievements of the century, watched globally as we stepped forward in both science and technology. The act of transcending our own planet and venturing out to expand knowledge and understanding was perhaps the most inspiring moment of the generation. However, behind all this passion for success was a real sense that it could all go wrong. The fear that two men could be left isolated and alone, away from home and left to die. The proposal for this animation was centred around this scenario. A moving and affecting story that lasts far beyond the credits and stays with the audience. This is an animation about life and death, the bravery of stepping forward into the unknown and the idea that even in the darkest times, good acts will always provide hope and inspiration. The short would have been a series animated digital paintings documenting the final moments of the stranded astronauts as they contemplate the life that they have left on earth. Flashes of their former lives would inter cut the sequence, demonstrating all they have lost. This sequence of slow and still shots would have been overlaid with the voice over of the speech above, as if read out to the nation.

Ultimately, this proposal was rejected and I think I know why. Mostly the narrative and atmosphere of the piece need some work. But despite the weaknesses, this rejected project will push me forward to creating another project. The style of the animation is something that I want to keep exploring. Animated concept art such as this has an emotive quality. It feels hand made, formed from lines and shapes crafted by a person, rather than the cleanliness of CG. My life since university is centred around finding new ways of working, producing animation that is lasting. 

My graduate film "The Minor Key" had some problems and at the core of them was the sterile CG. I created an interesting narrative with emotive characters, but the quality of the image didn't quite match up to this. So I find myself exploring new paths, new mediums. All the while expanding my CG knowledge, hoping to one day use it in a new way that truly captures the audience. This is an exciting prospect, more work will be generated, ideas explored and mediums discovered. All in the pursuit of creating interesting, lasting work. Let me know what you think of my work so far and keep checking back as I begin to get my website rolling again.


  1. Hi Jordan

    I think one of the key problems with 'The Minor Key' is not necessarily 'sterile' CG but the role of CG in your work. In short 'why use animation / cg?'. The Minor Key could have been live footage and it would still work. Thats not to say your work isn't good its just how you chose to make it. However finding a role for CG would solve your problem.

    For example, if you take Waltz with Bashir it uses CG to help reconstruct a persons clouded memory of sad events before revealing real footage at the end. CG is the a vital part of the storytelling strategy.

    Hope that helps

  2. Hi Alan,

    Thank you for the feedback. I think you are correct and it is something that I'm looking to explore within my own work. I've always had the primary goal of making films without really exploring the context of the medium itself. I remember some of the discussions we had around "The Minor Key" involving the use of texture and possible CG effects aiding the emotive quality. This may have been an aspect that would have really helped, but time was obviously an issue on such a short project. I'll definitely take this feedback forward with me and try to think more intelligently about why a format or medium is being used. Perhaps even a series of mini projects exploring this idea itself may help. Many thanks and hope to see you soon. :)