Idea for ENO

Elizabeth (18 years old, 5.5 feet tall) lives on the moon, she is intrigued by the life on the earth and comes down to London one day.  It’s 1888 now. The whole new world is so different from the moon, everyone is busy here, which seems very detached. Suddenly, a man, Jack, wearing a black gown and a white mask on his face comes to her, grab her hands and takes her away from the crowd. He shows her another side of London, beautiful parks and delicious food which she had never seen on the moon. She feels so comfortable and happy with him and just follows him everywhere. He gives her roses and confesses his affections. She accepted that and lives with him, she has nowhere to go anyway.

Time flies. Elizabeth has never seen Jack taking off his mask. Out of curiosity, she took off his mask when he’s asleep. The face behind it is so dreadful, half of his face is actually just skeleton. Elizabeth feels so scared and runs away. Jack awakes, he smashes out the door and chases her. Elizabeth found the way to the moon has been blocked and there’s no way she can be back to home. Her knees come down to the ground, crying and crying. Jack comes to her back with a sharp knife in his hand and took Elizabeth’s life.

Days While Making Children Society

Last Saturday, I went to Barbican to watch a ballet performance, Elizabeth. It explores Elizabeth I’s life and loves which weaves dance, music, text, and song into an opulent performance.

There is a nanny or butler stands in the stage to read the monologue and leading actors dancing follows the line. In this way, the body language is more understandable and quite inspiring for animation. For instance, people show arrogant, affection and other different emotions with dancing. One movement leaves me a deep impression which is a man walks confidently but he actually feels so humiliated.  The background is very simple, just one brown wall with wood texture. The background offers the stage an emptiness which is good for lighting. In some scenes, performers’ shadows appear on the wall.

I found watch different kinds of arts are very useful and inspiring. And the backyard of the Barbican is a really nice place to grab a beer.

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya is a feature film written and directed by Isao Takahata who just past away this month.

I randomly saw a documentary online. It is three hours long about how the movie is made. I watched it for five minutes and paused it.  “I need to check out this director’s works. ” I was thinking. Then I spent one afternoon to watch this movie. The beautiful line quality, the colors have been chosen, those things have been mentioned too many times. I wouldn’t discuss more at here. It is an absolutely stunning piece of work.

Princess Kaguya’s story is like a life cycle of human being. We come to the planet and leave in the end. For Princess Kaguya, she is an outsider to the earth. Takahata leads us to see the world with her point of view. Many things become not judgemental at all. What’s right and wrong? Is it really a moral standard for everything?

In the documentary, Director Takahata used seven years to finish this film. When he was at work, he was so calm and wise. Sometimes, he even made some jokes about his own age. “I may die at the premiere day due to anxiety, ” he said, which is quite sad to see him made jokes about his own death now. I start to think about what makes him so calm? There are many issues with this film, money, time, and not enough people for animation.

I’m currently working on the children society project. The schedule is a little intense, each of us has two months to finish a minute animation. In the beginning, I also feel anxiety as my classmates and I couldn’t stop thinking about the schedule and animation at night. However, one day I just said to my friend “It doesn’t matter. Whether we will finish it or not with what level of quality. Those things are all not important. ” It is meaningless to be worried, the right thing to do is find the solution. By thinking about solutions, you can find calmness and be more efficient.

That’s Mr. Takahata’s impression to me in the documentary. He seems like a total outsider.

Is Picasso a “Scumbag”?

Picasso’s exhibition “Love, Fame, tragedy” is currently displayed in the Tate Modern museum. Most paintings in the exhibition are related to his muse Marie-Therese Walter.

Picasso’s personal life is famous for having relationships with many women and treated women as sexual objectives. However, he is not the only artist treated women in this way. On April 17th,  Japanese photographer Nobuyoshi Araki’s model posted a blog named as “What It’s Really Like to be an Artist’s Muse”. In the blog, she accused many personal things happened between the artist and her.  Wait, those topics are enough for feminists to have an orgasm. But this article is going to talk about none of that.

Let’s make an assumption. If the Muse was be told the tragedy going happen to her before she met the artist, will she still fall in love or start the sort of “relationship” with him? The answer is yes. Human beings are all vain animals. What can be more attractive than being an artist or let’s say Picasso’s muse? When she met Picasso, he’s married and much more mature than her. It is easy to foresee the tragedy. But she still chose to be his muse. The situation is the same for Araki’s model.

For them, we are all outsiders. By reading articles, news, or interviews, people think they already familiar with the story or even familiar with those people. Then they start to judge the protagonists. No one knows what really happened. Only the protagonists in the story know the truth, others all live in their fake moral standard fantasy.

Araki’s model keeps blaming that Araki treated her as an object. She seems to suffer in a low self-esteem for a long time. However, after 100 years, or let’s just using Picasso as an example. When people are admiring the paintings, people see a beautiful young girl, no one regards her as a “sexual objection”. In the painting, the woman has a well-shaped body and the colors he had used seem very peaceful. Audiences can easily sense that Picasso loved her deeply, even though it might be too dramatic.

Please separate the artworks with gossips. Because life is meaningless and fake. No one knows what they want and no one can make a standard of right and wrong. Just take it easy and enjoy it.

Children Society – continued

The background of my film, I will do it in photoshop with Kyle Monet oil brush. I took reference from Monet, cause I want the scene seems like in a dream. Everything looks quiet dreamy.

Things I need to notice:

Keep it simple!

Make the line organised! really tried the lines and styles before do any animation. Be careful about the line quality!

Ask people’s opinions! I’m just a beginner in animation and I shouldn’t be too confident about myself. So keep humble and asking questions!

When I was designing the master, I use dementor as a reference. But I turned it into a cute version.

I want the little girl can be naive, brave and kind hearted. I’m taking references from Miyazaki, cause he’s so good at animate little child. In his films, there are many little brave little girls and each of them have a strong character and personality.

 

Term 2 assignments self-examination 01

 

This term I feel much better than last one. But I need to learn to keep things simple, instead of making it complicated. I learned my lesson from the body language. I was too focus on the storytelling, made it too long and it turns out quiet rough. Every little assignment, I need to really think out the character I’m going to draw, instead of making it roughly. At the beginning, I was just thinking, it’s a practice, not a film. So that’s the reason I didn’t do the character turnaround and everything. But it’s totally wrong. Even though it’s just 10 seconds practice, it’s still nearly 120 drawings!

I’m currently working on the children society, the main character is a red hair little girl. When I was a kid, I really like little mermaid and want to dye my hair into red after I grow up. Sadly, the red hair doesn’t work on me.

The Grand Budapest Hotel

This is an absolutely beautiful movie. It makes you laugh all the time and cry in the very end. The male leading character who acted by Ralph Fiennes has a strong personality and attitude. The character is so vivid and believable. As the story goes, I feel that it is him leading the story instead of story leading him.

The shots in this movie is also brilliant and creative.

Those two scenes are both about escape and chasing. There is also one part in the chasing section is quite nice, which they are in the snow field and the chasing road sets up as a game pathway. In this case, the camera move can have reference from video game and add more fun elements to the film.

Meanwhile, the rhythm of the plot gives me some inspiration. Wes Anderson knows how to get the audience attention and make the audience to relax a little while and then grab their nerve.  Stories with a historical or art background always make an artificial story more convincible. This is what I have learned from the Grand Budapest hotel.

East of Eden

I’m  currently working on the body language and facial acting projects. James Dean’s movement and facial acting has a strong attitude and highly recognizable. Andy Warhol did a series of printmaking of James Dean, which I saw that in Miami. His printmaking works are all based on people who own a distinctive style. The printmaking shows a classic James Dean look – tight jeans and black jacket, which defines the word “teenager” and “rebel”.

I also went to the Opera house recently to watch the Ballet show “Giselle”. I had interest for ballet since I was a kid. When I studied ballet at that time, I quitted because I am not flexible enough. But since that, I started to love ballet performance and got intrigued by the elegant movement. Maybe it’s the same reason that some boys like to watch basketball games. In psychology, it says people will automatically put themselves into the game or shows, when they are watching it. This sort of empathy may bring their a fake feeling that they are can be as good as people in the shows. And perhaps, that’s also the reason why people still love James Dean now. Every boy wants to be him and every girl wants to date him. He’s fulfilling people’s fantasy the whole time.

Term 2 assignments self-examination 02

Continued:

Maybe that’s reason why I like to draw red hair kids, to achieve my childhood dream. I’m currently working on the character design and the style design. I kept telling myself to keep things simple. And I should be more organised and patient. In this project, there are three characters, the main red hair girl, a giant monster, and another older and taller girl. The story is the little red hair one beat up the giant monster at the beginning and then scream it out. She realise she should learn to control her emotion, so just hide inside of a tree. Inside the tree, she sneak peaks that a girl’s toy left on the tree and she’s asking for help. The little girl fly to the toy and hand it to the older girl.

I

Here is a style testing I did. When I design the character, I took reference from Miyazaki and as for the clean up line, I took reference from the Big Bad Fox.

 

Mamoru Hosoda

Recently, I’ve been checking Mamoru Hosoda’s animation films. I grew up with his animation – Digimon Adventure.

His animations  empathize  with the audience in a powerful way. When I was in primary school, I watched the Digimon Adventure and I was at the same age with those leading character kids. The story was so really, even it tells a surreal world. I was sincerely believe I would be the “chosen kid” in it (maybe similar to British kids want to go to Hogwarts). However, it never came true.

The girl who leapt through time is an animation film by Hosoda which left me a deep impression.

I can see Doctor Strange may get ideas or reference from this film. Today when I was in the life drawing class, the model who was very good and professional finished a pose, but I thought she was still making a pose, and at a certain moment, I had a sudden illusion that time actually stopped for me. After that, we start to do slow motion drawings. I was so into her movement, and the more concentration I was, the more I feel of “time stopping” and became very dizzy. This doesn’t make any sense, right? But after the life drawing class, I guess the film may have a strong influence by really life, even though the story is totally fictional.