Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Keeping 'em coming....

Here are my next lot of 'boards, written as they would happen chronologically. Although there's a gap here between the second and third page cos I ain't written it yet (the missing bit being the answer to the narrative's puzzle). I was just desperate to start drawing the protagonist in his living hell to see how it would look!

Monday, 18 January 2010

Trouble in paradise

Here are some storyboards I have been working on. They've been written in chronological order but this is not necessarily the order they will appear in within the story. Instead, the narrative will start in the present tense and flashback to these scenes as the plot unravels...you with me?

The current day will depict the man you see here alone in his flat going through a daily hygiene and housecleaning ritual which will get more and more ridiculous by the minute. He showers and brushes his teeth endlessly, dusts and vacuums the flat again and again, never leaving his apartment for fear of the dirty world outside which he has no control over.

When the story then goes back in time we will realise that events in the past have caused these obsessions and we start to wonder what else could have happened. Why is the man now alone? What has happened to his wife and the pet cat she hated?

The flashbacks reveal a once blissful relationship in turmoil. We see the wife's descent into depression, her extreme hatred of the animal pushed further on by the allergy its brought out in her. The husband does everything in his power to make things okay but they seem to go from bad to worse.

He then notices the vent hidden by their wedding photo in the bedroom. This vent will have great significance in the present day. It will be symbolic of some piece of the puzzle which is out of the protagonist's control. In the present it constantly spews forth dust and muck which he finds impossible to clean. Why is this? What does the vent represent? Guilt over something he has done wrong? I don't actually yet know...

...that's not to say I haven't had ideas. They just haven't yet been quite right. You can probably guess. I did say I wanted this story to be dark.
Anyway, this losing battle with dirt sends the hero(?) deeper into psychosis. He starts to soup up his vacuum cleaner to tackle the problem. The machine then eventually starts to take on a life of its own. When it speaks we hear the darker thoughts and fears in the guy's head. As the nightmare then worsens, we witness the horrific physical union (or hallucinatory union?) of man and machine!
This is basically how the rough story structure stands at the moment. It has been approved. When laid out in chronological order, the end of the narrative (where the truth behind the protagonist's lonely routine is revealed) actually happens in the middle. It is the piecing together of the clues from the guy's history that will lead the reader to the conclusion.
I've got the joy of depicting a frantic cleaning regime yet to come. However, when the storyboards are complete the real fun is going to be when I cut everything up and piece it back together in a crazy new shape.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Noise making (non obviously musical)

We were all asked to bring along a non musical, sound making object for a lecture by the legendary Ron Geesin last week. Unfortunately it had to be postponed because of the freakish weather we've been having recently. The little undead fella you see here was going to be my contribution. Wind him up and he makes one hell of a racket. Thankfully the lecture has been rescheduled for next week, I can't wait!

As for the other pics, I thought I'd share my current working space with you before it changes drastically (we're moving home) and also give you a little peak into my methods when it comes to writing.
Basically, all my ideas end up in the light blue folder you see here. The sketchbook and a4 writing pad are for drawn and written research respectively. I tend to write in pictures mainly and then compile them (or photocopies of them if they're from the sketchbook) in the folder in the order I want the narrative to take. If I come up with better ideas for certain parts, the older bits then get relegated to the back of the folder. I might revisit these deleted scenes later though if I get stuck.
Tonight I've been thumbnailing out my story chronologically in the sketchbook (the last pic). I say 'chronologically' because I eventually intend to splice the scenes up so that the narrative will jump back and forth in time. I'll explain why and also what the hell my story is about (which I promised for this post - sorry!) in the next installment!

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Man, machine, space and time

Some character designs here showing how the star of my new project might look as both a human and a machine hybrid. Had been thinking the spindly old James Jonah Jameson look-a-like was a dead cert but now my story is changing I might make him a little younger.
The storyboard was just an improv based around the idea of dust particles containing their own little micro - universes. This idea might pop up in some shape or form but I'm not sure how yet. Maybe providing a twist at the end?
Anyway, yesterday I had a bit of a breakthrough. I had been panicking that my original idea was getting lost. I'd had some great, thought provoking tutorials but I was scared they were leading me away from the two things that were exciting me about the project: the comical but macabre idea of a man biologically fusing with his vacuum cleaner(!) and the fact I wanted the story to be a dark horror. But by erasing the original story setting of a library (yes, again! The man-machine had actually been inspired by a cleaner who uses a vacuum back pack at work) I was able to bring all the elements back together harmoniously...or so I believe at the moment!
Basically, I'm gonna take my character down the OCD route and have the whole narrative played out in his tiny but immaculate bedsit. He never leaves and is scared out of his wits by germs. He keeps his environment completely dirt free....apart from one vent coming in from the outside. However hard he cleans it, this vent, which is high up and slightly out of reach, keeps spewing forth dirt and muck....
I'll reveal more in the next post!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010


Here is a taster sequence for my latest idea. I suppose it represents a "trailer" or "pitch" for my new project.
I'm basically mashing together ideas from Jekyll and Hyde, The Twilight Zone and Tetsuo to make a parody about a man who becomes fused with his vacuum cleaner!
I want it to be a dark, atmospheric but funny horror with maybe a little bit of gore and not very much dialogue. In fact the only speaking part might be reserved for the cleaner itself!
More about that to follow....
For now, just sample this silly sequence showing our protagonist getting ready for work - dramatic super hero style!