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Monday, 26 October 2015

Secret Life of a House Robot: PreVis Version 2

Maya Scene So Far


  1. Nice, can't wait to see it finished

  2. Hi Adam,

    Okay - a quick summary of what we discussed this afternoon:

    You need to take more time in terms of establishing everything for your viewer - as right now you're rushing the camera around oblivious to the needs of your audience. Your opening sequence needs to establish the following things:

    We need to be shown the room. We need to be shown the box, so we can read it. We need to be introduced to the robot. We need to be shown the robot is obedient and follows orders (otherwise his rebellion isn't funny). Your camera needs to feel motivated and controlled - i.e. it's moving with purpose and it's showing us things with purpose. Right now, you've got a real attack of 'Maya' camera. I want you to write a plan of the shots you need, as opposed to simply working in software and always rushing everything! Until we can actually follow your story, none of what you do on this project is going to matter at all...

    The sofa sequence: again, the camera moves around incessantly and for no real reason that I can determine. Your sofa gags need to be a 'fixed shot' montage - i.e. the camera stays were it is, the sofa framed, and the only the robot moves in frame - so each time we cut to the next set-up of the sofa, the robot has shifted his position or is doing something else. This kind of fixed shot montage is funny because the structure encourages us to expect something funnier/sillier each time the shot resets: so Robot sitting up > Robot lying down > Robot bouncing up and down > Robot eating crisps > Robot drinking wine > Robot wearing bra etc. The camera stays still, the set up remains the same, the joke gets funnier.

    I think you need to get your head around the idea of montage more generally; the wooing of the hoover is another set-piece that would be funnier if you break it down into a series of short, sharp gags, as we see the robot's attempt to seduce the hoover grow more elaborate. You need to plan these sight gags out so they too have a sense of escalating from simple to more elaborate. Think about the conventions of romantic love and work out your robot equivalent.

    The ending - as discussed, you can't show the fate of the homeowner, or you have no ending! After the robot hears the door open, open the next shot on the hoover box, now done up again, as if nothing has happened, only maybe there's parcel tape around it now; then the camera slowly tracks back, and as it does we hear the television is on; the camera continues to track back - keeping all the time the hoover box in view, until it takes the sofa into the frame, and then we see the robot is on the sofa, the shot widens further and we see he's got his arms around the hoover; then we see the box in the background shake violently and the voice of the homeowner coming from inside it...

    Oh - and Adam - seriously, you have to DESIGN something now too; your robots were coming along, but they didn't have a strong sense of era or place. Personally, I think everything would work more easily for you if you set this in the late fifties or sixties - in terms of design etc. it would make everything more comprehendible for everyone: It would also make your robots and household appliances much more graspable for you in terms of identifiable shapes etc.