If it's crap ... We'll tell you
It's been a little bit over a month now since Spill.Con happened and about the same time that I finished my Spill Film entry. It wasn't much of a film, though. Despite me working on it past the last minute (and sending it in at five in the morning on the day the screenings were gonna take place), scribbling away on my tablet until the wee hours, I ended up cranking out something that wasn't much of a film. The final result was more a teaser, really. My storyboards and quick thumbnails told me one thing but my mind saw another.
It was an accumulation of almost a year's worth of work and almost two (maybe three) years of gestation in my mind and my sketchbook. From my grand plan and my master story I concocted, I had to boil it down into some form of a self-contained narrative as well as offering a glimpse into what I had kicking around in my imagination.
I'll spare you the full details but it was a long and arduous journey to make my short. I was in foreign territory working with Flash and almost more so in After Effects; everything was alien and bizarre. I had these programs for the longest time but had never bothered learning how to use them. Because of that, every step I took; I took five steps back. I learned as I went and, in my lesson of humility, lost many presumptions about these programs. What they were, what they were capable of, how to do things, why they did things, why it didn't do what I wanted, what are my parameters, what are its parameters, etc. Flash, especially. I walked in thinking this took all the animating out of, well, animating. How it just monetized and compartmentalized it all into a couple keystrokes. There wasn't a hand behind the pencil anymore, I originally thought.
Needless to say, I wasn't thinking that anymore after I began. Especially in the case when I was adding color to 220 hand drawn frames of a walk cycle that didn't even last four seconds.
The most valuable lesson learned, though, was what I was and wasn't capable of. One of those things being that I'm not capable of nor was I made to be an amazing animator. I'll do what I have to do to get what I want but there is a point where I will settle. Redrawing a picture over and over again but each time it needing something fractionally different than before so it can create an illusion that (if done right) isn't even noticed, isn't much my bag, baby (Especially when I want/have to do an entire shot or sequence again because I feel it isn't up to par with my standards). It's the fundamentals of animation, I know, but I find it mind-numbingly tedious. Those who have a passion for it, I salute you. You must have sage-like patience to put up with such repetition. I know it just isn't me.
Despite this, I still love and appreciate animation. That's one of the reasons why I attempted this feat. I wanted to see where I could take it and where it could take me. After all the trials and tribulations, though, what I ended up with was an edited down version to what I had set out to do.
...and it wasn't even shown on the day.
And thank God it wasn't. Thank goodness that it took so long to download that day and didn't make the roster with the other shorts. I don't get embarrassed easily but this would've killed me if it was seen on the big screen. The fault was completely mine, too. When I rendered the project, the video's audio was uncompressed and was completely butchered. It was fuzzy, inaudible, and it often cut in and out. It was a debacle. It was a mess. Hell, even when it was put up in that carousel with the other shorts, those seen and unseen, I was utterly embarrassed. Especially then, after it was put up, because I had talked about my "Spillm" submission to others and made to sound better than what it actually turned out to be.
Since it's upload to the site, I've retreated back into the shadows with my little miserable short in tow, like some wounded animal carrying his tail between his legs; pride shattered, confidence weakened, spirit broken. Seeking sanctuary and solace in a place away from the noise to heal and, in a manner of speaking, I did that. I went back to work not soon after it was posted and have spent the past month or so to, the best of my ability, fix what I broke. What's posted below is proof of that. It's still not the best of mixes out there in the world but a far cry better than what was previously sent, posted, and seen by you unfortunate few. So, without any further stalling, my "Spillm" submission with an audio mix that I'm content with:
(It looks better at 720p)
I'm still not happy. Besides me not being an actor (I was squeezing my larynx to get my voice to sound raspy and weak on top of me already loosing it, again, this year) butchering my own weak dialogue, I don't think it conveys all too well the ideas I wanted to explore and isn't as impressive enough to pique the interest of the viewers to what I had in store.
I won't go into it now in this blog entry, but I will delve deeper into my story and divulge my forgone plans to you, the reader (however many there are currently reading this), with pictures, notes, sketches, and concept stuff (briefly seen cobbled together at the end) I put together to help me solidify my world on paper (so to speak), keep a record of what I had in mind, and keep it all consistent. There might even be some new stuff. So, until next time...
...TO BE CONTINUED.