I spent the weekend in Leeds getting a dear friend of mine to record an original music track for the beavers. He’s done a cracking job, getting the vibe right on the money.
My favourite part of the process was trading out a guitar squeal to kick off the music for a sampled beaver scream that we altered to sound a whole lot more aggressive.
He experimented with a few different riffs and quite a lot with his various peddles, ultimately giving way to the ‘Big Muff’ peddle that we owe the heavy, growling, low-fi sound to.
Ever since I started this project, they seem to have gained an awful lot of support in the media. Am I going to be preaching to the converted by the time I’ve actually finished this?
Got some good feedback from my presentation on Friday. At the very least it got a good laugh, but I’m still very conflicted about whether or not it’s making the right point to the audience. About half of the people I speak to seem to think it’s on the money but others believe the story could do with a human voice and others thinking I need to amp up the devastation (Jon being a strong advocate for both).
After my feedback a couple weeks back from Helen, I thought my new ‘evil beaver’ design worked nicely but Helen seemed to think even these dark, mad eyed devils still looked rather cute (I can’t seem to escape my massive admiration for the little beasts) so perhaps I do need to go even madder with the devastation to compensate?
One group on the feedback sheet suggested I over-stylize the devastation sequence with bright red and orange, this could be more fun than the mysterious night setting?
The only other feedback suggested getting some harsh sound effects going in the devastation sequence, which is definitely something I want to play with in the future.
As with feedback from the Scottish Wild Beaver Group, the older committee members are unsure weather or not they wish to associate themselves with a film that frames the beavers in such a light, regardless of the context. I’m going to carry on with it regardless and perhaps try to convince them otherwise when the animation gets better.
For now, I think I’m gonnna leave the beavers alone as my other projects are becoming more and more urgent.
I’m seeing beavers when I close my eyes.
This is my improved version of the animatic, ready for Friday, unless I decide to change anything in the week.
Not sure about how I’ve done the osprey catching a fish, might be a bit too ominous? Not quite what I want.
The new evil beaver design works nicely I think, helps contrast between beaver reality and beaver fever dreams.
I really like my new version of the reverse shot after the fever dream. I think the butterfly adds to the tenderness of the beavers. I animated this new version of the shot on a whim, making it up as I went along but I think I’ll keep it.
Here’s something I put together to help me with the colour script.
Now that’s what I call a beaver.
Yesterday, I got a notification on my phone about a beaver related story running on BBC news. Quite pleasingly, it’s a very relevant story a report published on the effects of the reintroduced beavers in Scotland.
The points I’m trying to make in my film are well covered here. There’s very few beaver positive stories in the mainstream media, quite often stories covering reintroduction look like this:
Funny they use a picture from the same shoot.
Here’s an improved version of last week’s beaver animatic. I’ve upped the pacing and the madness and made it more of a beaver-fever dream. I think it works a lot better than the last one.
If I’m gonna improve it any more, I will probably begin to do rough animation for the animatic in TVPaint. I might redesign the beavers in the devastation sequence to all be wide eyed destruction machines to add to the contrast between the devastation and the reality.
My biggest problem right now is that I haven’t taken the joke far enough. Jon’s advice is to balls to the wall mad with this, get the beavers riding falling trees rather than running away from them, set the world alight to have a deeper contrast between the beaver fever dream and beaver reality.
This is what I’ll work at in my next iteration.