Proof things are moving along

Here’s the current version of my Farnsy-themed animatic!

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I (and our growing team) just spent a few weeks working on an application to Film Victoria‘s Digital Media Prototyping fund. It’s 80 pages long. You could injure someone with it if you swung it at their head. I would never do such a thing.

The “future-innovation-online-mobile-media” discussions that’ve gone on around it, and at MEGA, are starting to really do my head in. It’s becoming very clear that I’m not the sort of person who does big, visionary ideas involving technology that hasn’t been invented yet. I prefer looking at what already exists and trying to figure out how we can use it all in an amusing way.

Also, people continue to tell me things like “in the future, you won’t be a storyteller: you’ll be facilitating OTHER PEOPLE’S stories!” Because in the future nobody will watch a TV show or movie without interacting with it. Also, in the future everyone will wear silver jumpsuits and eat Space Food Sticks at every meal.

Never mind. The application we put in (around The Precinct and our “choose-your-own-adventure” thing) may not be enormously innovative technically, but it’d be (i) a lot of fun, (ii) a sweet tool for showing broadcasters the possibilities of COP ACTION as a cartoon and game and (iii) not half as easy, cheesy and token as some TV series online tie-ins I’ve seen.

And I am trying to open my mind to more inclusive, truly “interactive” stuff. As long as I can still make my funny toons.

Ackersley and keytar

Ackersley and keytar

Speaking of which, for those who were not at our secret Precinct puppet/slide-show in July, here’s the images we showed telling the story of our 1986 flashback episode! Since there’s no script or explanation, it will be be bit mystifying to most of you. Make up your own story: it’s TOTALLY INTERACTIVE OMG LOLZ

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We’re going to be pitching The Precinct to an audience of INDUSTRY BIGWIGS as the grand finale to MEGA later this month, and are able to make suggestions as to who should be invited! If you know of (or ARE) a switched-on film/tv/online industry person with a sense of humour, drop us a line and maybe we can swing a ticket their/your way.

Precinct ep. 00b: Eras of Farnham

Eras of Farnsy

Eras of Farnsy

For the upcoming Precinct animation: obviously “You’re the Voice” Farnham is familiar, but here’s sketches for some later era Farnhams. Click for a larger version.

Many of them will appear in this cartoon: basically he’ll be changing costume for every shot. Pain in the arse, as it means more character builds. But we’ll be using the eras of Farnsy to help show the passage of time, so it’s necessary.

Production begins on The Precinct, episode 00b: “Playing To Win”

Det. Ackersley, 1986

Det. Ackersley, 1986

YES! So, as I mentioned previously, I’m starting up a new Precinct short animation, the goals of which are:

  • to give viewers a bit more of the story we’re dealing with in the series
  • to reveal a bit more about Det. Ackersley’s personality
  • to show lots more ACTION and fast cutting
  • to shamelessly wallow in my John Farnham love and persuade him to get involved with the show

Since the production of Precinct episode 00a, “Good Friends”, was short and fast, and I was planning for MIPCOM and working a full time job then, I didn’t blog about the process at all. This time I want to post a lot about how it’s going, to (a) get the word out about The Precinct and (b) keep me motivated to finish.

Since I knew the point of this cartoon was mostly to show a little animated Farnham singing, the first thing I did was decide which of his songs I’d use as backing (yes, this cartoon will be packed with delicious copyrighted music, so I probably won’t be able to legally put it online).

I sat down with my Farnham collection and decided on a montage of the Precinct theme song with “Break The Ice”, which Mr. Farnham sang for the movie RAD, and the Little River Band chestnut “Playing to Win”. The three tracks are all synthtastic and in the same key, so they mix well.

Once I’d sequenced the backing music I wrote the opening scene, a short bit set in 1986 which features Ackersley getting yelled at by his angry boss. It concludes, slightly cheesily, with the words “playing to win”. At which point the song bursts forth.

After doing a few thumbnail panels on the tram, yesterday I started the storyboard/animatic properly. Here’s what I have so far!

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I haven’t “written” the whole “Playing to Win” sequence that’s coming up, because it has no dialogue. Instead I’ll just keep doing thumbnails of the montage images.

More soon!

EDIT: I worked more on this today. Now we’re almost up to the “Playing to Win” bit.