Two Is Company

I've got some cool news this week. A new artist has joined the Hunted project! He's going to be helping out with character concepts, and I couldn't be more excited! As soon as we have something ready to show, I'll be posting it here.

Characters are definitely not my forte, so I'm pretty pumped to have a seasoned character designer lending a hand on this. :D

In other news, I wrapped up version 2.1 of the animatic this week. I made quite a few changes in light of the feedback I got. I tweaked camera angles, screen direction issues, many of the cuts, as well as some important story beats. The whole second half of scene 7 had to be reevaluated. People just weren't clear on what was going on, and I had a time discrepancy to resolve. It's still not perfect, but it's closer now.

One thing I've been learning more about is how to navigate in and out of screen direction. Namely, how one goes about bridging scenes where screen direction has to change. For most of the film, characters travel from left to right. However, there are moments when I need to film on the other side of things. Most of my set building revolves around this function of the camera. How interiors are arranged, for instance, is largely dictated by camera needs. But what about when I have a cool design for a shot composition, but it goes against the 180 rule? Bridging these moments was tricky. Maybe I'm overthinking this? Maybe all that matters is that the audience understands the set, and never feel irked by a cut. I'm learning, though!

I also had fun doing a little world building and reference gathering. In order to get new artists up to speed, I finalized a visual guide and finished a character design document. I also spent some time pouring over reference photos for character inspiration. Reference gathering always gets me excited!

One of the many reference photos I gathered. This one is for Chloe. I like the intensity of it. Kudos if you know what film this is from.

One of the many reference photos I gathered. This one is for Chloe. I like the intensity of it. Kudos if you know what film this is from.

Bailey

Simple Cameras

Cinematography is hard. In this case I'm trying to pull off a scene that has more movement and action than the other scenes. It's been a fun learning experience, but also tough.

When it comes to action scenes, I think it's pretty easy to get it wrong. And while I know I'm not the most experienced camera operator, it doesn't stop me from having some strong opinions on the matter. Specifically that scenes, no matter how intense they are, should be clear and understandable. A pet peeve of mine is the overuse of the shaky-cam effect. It decreases one's ability to perceive what is happening. Yes, camera noise can work at times, but only when it aids the story or a moment. When it's used right, it feels right. But it's rare.

In Hunted, I've been forcing myself to design a shot and then do as little with the camera as I can get away with. For instance, there is a scene where Chloe (protagonist) stares at something that is off-screen. However, the camera remains stock still. It's often tempting for me to put a little zoom on it for a dynamic feel. But I'm experimenting with stripping things down to the essentials, like a graphic designer would remove unnecessary shapes for a minimalist feel. Simplicity is so hard to pull off. I often refer to it as having the audacity to create something vulnerable.

Gray block out mesh of Chloe. Very simple stuff, but hopefully it delivers in the end.

Gray block out mesh of Chloe. Very simple stuff, but hopefully it delivers in the end.

Bailey