Before I started my present project, I had agreed to partake in another project Jared had challenged us with. Graham Marsh, the illustrator of the book "Max and the Lost Note", wanted his work turned into an animation. I was one of the first people he approached about the idea. I saw the potential of the opportunity and decided to give it a shot. However, the communication within my group of interested comrades was pretty poor (I was guilty of this as well) and so nothing was done to continue. That is what we have discussed here in this relay of messages.
I also asked for Jared to look at my work so far on this blog.
Blue is Jared, Purple is me. The first e-mail from me is the most recent sent. Would make more sense if you read the last red bit first. Hope that makes sense!
Hey Jared, Thank you ever so much for the fantastically detailed reply. A lot of queries I have had have been answered, so thank you for getting back to me so promptly. I only wish I could have been in contact with you about all this sooner.
I'm so surprised about being the only person getting back to you on the Max and the Lost Note project. I guess other people have been rather distracted too, and have failed to get back into contact about the project work, which is a rut I was in too. I think the communication of the group I had gathered wasn't all that great, and maybe the people who had nominated themselves to be a part of the Max project weren't 100% dedicated to the idea. It is a shame, as I see the potential for the future to work on Graham Marsh's would probably result in some kind of employment, like you said. I think having the opportunity to complete your own project from scratch is a carrot too tantalizing to avoid.
I'm happy for you to forward on the message you e-mailed me. Hopefully it will help others understand the urgency and seriousness of the work that needs to be done, and will help clarify a few points as well. People need to know that they need to communicate more.
Your pointers you have given me for my blog have been helpful. I too am worried that I am falling into the trap of doing a very childish story. At first I intended to do a more spooky idea, centering round a ghost scaring a boy instead of monster. I intended the ghost to be animated in 2D, and the rest in 3D. May be tricky, but that would be a nice challenge! I still want to try and do a 2D and 3D animation, and that may be harder to do if my character was a monster. What do you think? Would a quirky spooky story be more challenging and interesting? The story would be more sinister too, probs not a cheerful happily ever after thing.
I think it may help if I research some more edgy stuff. I have looked at a lot of mainstream stuff like Monsters Inc, and will be writing a bit about Monsters vs Aliens, but I feel that I need to find some hidden treasures. Maybe some of the Haff Festival clips we saw will help me. Do you know of anything else that would inspire my creative senses? I also want to study interesting bedroom designs, but I'm a bit thick when it comes to environment concepts. Do you know of any good leads in that area as well?
You don't need to worry too much about me basing the whole story completely around the song, I wanted to show that this song inspired me, and may help as a basis for the music in the future. I'm sorry if that was misleading, I'll try and rewrite about that in the blog later. I see your point though, I won't let myself be tempted to make a music video. Thank you for your concern.
Sorry this is a long reply. But yes thanks again for your help and sorry about causing an inconvenience. I'll probs add your e-mail to my blog so I can expand on how I can improve. Hope that's okay!
On 23 September 2010 16:46, Jared Taylor
Hi Emma, good to hear from you, you are the ONLY student to respond to my mails about Max and the Lost Note. I wasn't aware until very recently about the problems with the new email addresses, it's clearly made things a little difficult. I have to say I'm really disappointed with the response from your year, it's left me in a very embarrassing position with Graham Marsh, to the point where I will have to consider very carefully before putting any live projects in front of students again. I don't mean to single you out for attention Emma as you were the only one with the professionalism or courtesy to actually let me know what was going on. If you don't mind, and if you give me your permission I'd like to forward my response to you to the rest of your year so that they can understand what's gone on here.
I think that there has been a real lack of understanding about what constitutes a valid BA project. You do all have to make a pitch, but the pitch is about viability of an idea, its planning, its research, and its communication as much as it is about its design or its storytelling. You should also bear in mind that a successful pitch will get a good grade, regardless of whether or not the pitch gets green lit. What this means is that every student will be responsible for an individual pitch, their grade is dependent upon the quality of that pitch, not upon whether the film is green lit for production or not. A valid project doesn't have to be an original idea, or even a short film. It could be an adaptation of an existing book or other intellectual property, it could be a series of adverts or stings, it could be a credit sequence. The only real caveat is that work must be equivalent. If the work lacks in complexity then it must compensate with quantity and quality. Max could have been a perfectly valid project for you to undertake as a BA project, despite the fact that you were working to develop someone else's design...
The reason that I liked this project for you guys was that it stood a real chance of providing you with your first paid animation jobs off the back of a well known IP. It will still be possible to get employment upon leaving college with a good portfolio, just not as easy as if you had worked on something where a lot of the legwork in terms of making connections has already been done.
Thanks for the link to your blog, you're doing a typically thorough job of researching your ideas, which is good to see. What I would say to you that you need to be careful about is the childlike elements of your story. Every year we get at least two pitches which are very similar in content to yours, perhaps it's a sign of students leaving their childhood behind them as they move into their twenties and looking back on it with nostalgia... For whatever reasons, it's very very common, and its ubiquity makes it difficult to do well. It's good that you're thinking already about the musical accompaniment to the story that you want to tell, but as this is a film rather than a music video you might want to develop the story in more detail and source music to fit rather than hamper your creativity by telling a story to fit the music?
I am sure that whatever you develop as a project will be done to the best of your ability, and it is after all, your project, but the advice that I have given you is concerned less with the next year of your life than it is with the next ten.
I'm terribly sorry about my lack of responses to you lately. I have been quite distracted this holiday and have only just managed to log into my new rave e-mail account. I hope you've had a pleasant Summer break!
I have considered continuing with the Max and the Lost Note project, but due to the lack of communication from people who I thought were still interested, I have started trying to develop my own animation idea to be pitched. Also, Kofi notified us on an e-mail that you had sent notifying him on what we are expected to produce when we return for BA, I was under the impression that maybe we were meant to produce our own original ideas anyway. I apologize if I got the wrong end of the stick there.
I'm fairly pleased with the idea I have come up with, and I hope that I will be able to really make the most of it. Here's my blog. I've started putting some stuff on it, so you can have a look. I'd be interested to hear what you think
Again, I am truly sorry that I have had to turn down the amazing opportunity to work with Graham Marsh. I hope he won't be too offended. However, I feel that this is a great opportunity for me to utilize my own creative abilities, since I have always been interested in coming up with stories myself. I hope you will both understand.
Thanks again and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Emma Wyton :)