Friday, 26 February 2010

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

My 3 Clowns in progress

This is some character design work towards my final 3 Crime Clown Scene Investigators.

Maya Swinging Pendulum

Monday, 15 February 2010


I will be studying the shots used in Ratatouille. There are many scenes in here that successfully evoke emotions in the audience so it would therefore be interesting to analyse the editing techniques used to evoke these emotions.

Summary of story
Clown is found dead in a trashcan during a kid's party.
CSI (clown scene investigation) are called to the scene. They take the body to forensics.
They see a necklace attached to the body neck belonging to a mother.
They arrest this mother. As they are leaving, they are bombarded by parents reporting stolen valuables.
One of the CSI realise that the clown had full site of the kid's mother during the party. He deducted that the clown witnessed the kid's mother stealing from the guests as the entered.
He goes to the house and finds that their valuables are there. This confirms that the other mother is not guilty and that her chain was stolen and used to strangle the clown.

Unfortunately, this idea still isn't clicking for me, I should have my story finished by now, but I'm still not happy with the logic and length of the overall story and the story, although it does make use of CSI shots, does not successfully reference it enough. Writing this story made me realise I should edge it towards a kind of series thing where the 3 clowns that are part of the CSI (Serious, Sad and Stupid) are the protagonists that go round solving murders.

Checking my scene

Storyboard for the first part of my scene to check for timing and to visualise whether or not it 'works'. To be honest, even before storyboarding, I had my doubts about the length of the scenes, however, this will allow me to get a detailed view of the overall time, so I can then make more specific adjustments later.

Sunday, 14 February 2010


I will be analysing the film 'Ratatouille' for the 'story and structure' essay. I'm a bit unsure about how to use quotes for this essay, because it feels like you're justifying the directors use of shots with how they make YOU feel. I'm not 100% sure about which sources to reference as I will be mostly comparing the nature of the scene, to the shots used.


7 year old's birthday party in their pateo

Clown is making balloon animals for a group of children, the clown glimpses towards Mary (the birthday boy's Mum) and greets her, Mary smiles as if in a hurry and continues to greet parents.

Aerial shots of the kids playing around the garden follow to show the passing of time.

Shelley, a friend of Mary, and mother of one of the children attending the party, sees one of the children dropping a piece of litter and asks the child to throw the litter in the bin. The child steps on the lever beside the bin to open the bin lid, as the lid opens, the corpse of a clown jumps out at the child, in an almost 'jack-in-the-box' fashion. The shot stays on the dead clown, and slowly fades out.



Three clowns, Serious, Stupid and Sad on unicycle's are seen riding to the scene of the crime with sirens on the front of their vehicles.


7 year old's birthday party in their pateo

Three members of CSI (Clown Scene Investigation) are seen at the scene. The area is blocked by tape with the words "punch line, do not cross".

Mary stands beside the tape. Shelley is seen running up behind Mary and shouts "Don't let them investigate the scene!", Mary shakes Shelley off her and says "calm down" she looks at the trio, "who are you?".

All three are facing away from Mary, the closest of the three drops his arm behind him towards Mary and hands her a business card.

She reads it and mumbles "clown? scene investigation".

Serious shouts "Stupid! Check for any cuts!". Stupid checks for cuts and replies "Last week sir!". Serious replies, "what?". Stupid repeats himself "It was last week sir!". Serious replies, "what was last week?!". Stupid then says "his last haircut! last week sir!". Serious responds with a serious face. Serious then says "Sad! Check for any cuts". Sad wails "It's a tragedy!!!!" (crying at the sight of the clown). Serious says, "We'll take the body back to the lab".


Forensics Laboratory

Stupid is sat beside the body with a microscope on the clown. Serious asks "Do you see anything Stupid?". Stupid replies "I think it's a clown sir". Stupid then says "uhhh sir, we should take his clothes off, can u pull down his trousers!?". Serious replies "I'm not doing that". Stupid, whilst pulling down the corpse's top, finds a gold chain wrapped around the neck of the corpse. "uhhhh look! I found a chain! Can I have it!". Serious replies, "that's evidence Stupid". He takes the chain off Stupid and sees that on the chain it has the name "Shelley" engraved onto it. Stupid then shouts out "Does that mean Shelley killed him?". Serious hesitates, and then confirms with Stupid, "yes".



CSI are then seen walking across Mary's house with Shelley cuffed. As they walk, several neighbours run towards CSI, they shout things like "my wallet's missing!", "my watch is gone!". Stupid then shouts "it's okay, we know who's stolen your stuff, it was this girl right here" (pointing to Shelley). Serious then says "wait Stupid". Stupid replies, "why sir". Serious orders, "uncuff her". Serious confidently says "I know where all your valuables are, follow me!". He walks to Mary's house with everyone tailing her.

Mary's House

'knock knock'
"Hello, may we come in mam", Serious politely asks. "Hello, uuhhh yh sure" replies Mary. Serious asks Mary a question, "did you have any of your things stolen during your son's birthday mam?". "No", Mary replies. "THIS IS WHY SHE'S THE ONLY ONE PEOPLE!", Serious walks up to a desk and forces open a drawer to see watches, wallets, bracelets all fall to the ground.

We see shots of the public retrieving all their items.

"How did you know?", asks Stupid. "Well Stupid, firstly, the child that discovered the corpse expressed the fact that Shelley asked him to throw away the piece of litter, so if Shelley knew about the corpse, she wouldn't have asked the child to proceed. Secondly, the position the clown was performing in, had perfect vision of what Mary was doing and happened to see the fact that Mary wasn't only greeting parents, she was stealing from them. She couldn't take the risk of the clown knowing what had happened so she took care of him with the necklace she stole off Shelley". "Wow Serious, you're so cool" says Stupid. Sad cries "he's soooo good!!!!"

We end with a zoom out of the 3 CSI.

20 rules for writing detective stories

These rules published by S. S. Van Dine really helped me in creating the ideas for my story. They were also very interesting to read as you can see how they are applied in Detective shows.

Monday, 8 February 2010

1 minute of Ratatouille

Plot for FOURTH idea!

Begins with a 999 call being made at the scene of a crime. Call is made by a girl in her early 20s. Next to her, is a dead clown with a unicycle beside him.

We then cut straight to a few days later when the detectives begin to interrogate the possible suspects. One detective speaks to the girl that made the 999 call, while the other awaits a call to confirm forensic results before interrogating the 3 suspects they have.

The detective receives the call and confirms with the analyst over at the forensics lab that their were traces of 'lavender' and a 'button' that may possibly belong to some sort of bag. After this confirmation, he begins interrogating the 3 possible suspects.

We then cut to the talk between the female witness and the detective, he asks her questions such as "Can you please provide us with your account of what happened mam?" and "Did you make any contact with the body?", she replies by saying "I was just walking back from work, and he was just lying there, with blood comin from his head, I immediately called the police"
and "No! I wouldn't go near it, let alone touch it!". After receiving these replies, he lets her leave. As she leaves, she drops her bag, and the detective helps pick her items back up.

We then cut back to the interrogation between the detective and the 3 suspects. He asks them questions such as "Where were you on the 8th February?", "Can you explain why lavender from your shop was found at the scene of the crime?", "Can you explain why this button, a button that you sell at your shop was found at the scene of the crime". The scene is shot by the questions being simultaneously answered by each suspect to defeat the need to show each interrogation which would be boring. The detective fails to get any information out of the suspects and steps out for a while.

The other detective completes the talk with the female witness and joins the detective, he asks "any luck with the suspects, also was that the forensics lab on the phone?". The detective interrogating the suspects answers, "no luck, and yh they were forensics confirming that there were traces of lavender and a button found at the scene". The detective that spoke to the witness then says "what?!" and realises (with flashbacks) that the witness had a piece of lavender in her hair aswell as the fact that her bag fell on the ground as a result of it having no button.

He pursues her, before she leaves the police station. He takes her in again. Thinks for a second. He walks out, and comes back in with a picture of a clown and leaves it on the desk. The girl remains calm for a few seconds, then out of nowhere she bursts out, attacking the picture of the clown. (The assumption here, is that she's a freak, that hates clowns). The detective cuffs her.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Bouncing Ball

Definitely a good tutorial to get started on Animation, although animating a model seems like a daunting task, this definitely eased me into the concept.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Plot for THIRD idea!

IDEA 2.5

Quick idea:

Teenager has night shift at a pharmacy (like Boots) and he works at a Photo lab. He rides his cycle there, he crashes and is left with the handle bars and one wheel, he says "this is not my day". He then walks to the front of the store door, holding what is left of his bike. He drops the keys whilst trying to enter the store, he says "this is not my day". He then begins processing photos, in the photolab. He realises a photo of a dead body laying on a floor with blood coming from it's head. He says, "this is not my day". He panics and, holding the photo, runs out of the photolab, tripping over what's left of his bike, doing a flip, and landing on the store floor, holding the picture. The camera slowly zooms out of the picture in his hand of the 'corpse on the floor' to the teenagers body on the store floor.


Wasn't sure how to go about doing a 'whodunit?' as it requires me to try and come up with the perfect murder, which is very difficult to do. Although you see it time and time again on detective shows like 'Monk' it is still very difficult to do. I remember seeing a 'behind the scenes' thing of 'Monk' on how the writers create murders but this is not with me at the moment, and I couldn't find it on YouTube.

I was thinking something along the lines of, the forensics lab as suggested by Phil, and have their be the 'hair' from 3 possible suspects.

Detectives questions the 3 suspects, but get nothing.

Something gives the detectives a 'big break', maybe one gets angry, throws the unicycle (evidence) against a wall, and something falls from it?

Then this 'big break' allows them to question a suspect again, and they resolve the case?

I'm really struggling with surfacing this idea, maybe this is what 'Writer's block' feels like if that is such a thing, but on a serious level, I don't know, I'm seriously considering my 'Boots' photo lab idea.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Plot for SECOND Idea!

Really appreciate the comments left by Phil on my first idea, it really put things in perspective for me. The example story that Phil gave was so good! The idea about a Frankenstein monster being developed using a clown's foot which resulted in the monster performing unicycle tricks. I laughed, and was soooo tempted to use it in my piece, as I could imagine the shots coming together, however I did feel a sense of cheating, and it felt as if I was taking Phil's idea rather than taking his advice. I've started considering the three acts (capturing attention, creating suspense and resolving an issue), as presented to us by Phil in the briefing.

As a result, I have created another plot which will be my 2nd idea:

Catching attention
The story begins with a clown on a unicycle speeding it's way into a laboratory, occupied by one scientist, and then crashing into the lab equipment.

The scientist rushes to the clown and after taking his pulse, confirms his death. He immediately reaches for his phone and dials 999, however, the scientist only goes as far as dialing '99' as he realises that the clown's death provides him with the perfect opportunity to carry out an experiment in which he had been awaiting a patient for (this realisation is made evident with a 'change in focus' shot that switches from his phone to the 'Experiment X' folder behind it). He sets up his equipment, and turns everything on in the hope of reviving the clown.

To his amazement, the clown rises. However, the clown does not look happy, it gets up, and walks towards the scientist, forcing him backwards. It raises it's hands as if to strangle the scientist (referencing Frankenstein) but then, instead of strangling the scientist, it walks beyond him, and reaches for the unicycle. It begins to ride this, circling the scientist in a joking manner.

Additional points:
I don't believe where the unicycle came from and why it was inside a Medical building needs to be established. I believe this, because the fact that the clown is misplaced in this environment adds to the mysterious nature of the scenes that follow.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Plot for First Idea!

It's 2035 and the advancements in technology has resulted in the introduction of ubiquitous services via robots. As a result, 95% of humans have become reliant on robots and do not require the need to go outside their houses. The majority of the outside world is populated by robots resembling various types of bicycles.

The story begins with the dumping of a bag, fit for a human, in an alley way. Within this alley, rests a unicycle, by the name of 'Hero Cycle', disposed of by it's owner. It witnesses the dumping, and proceeds to investigate. It scans the bag and identifies it, and then transfers a signal to the 'police', the police motorbike comes over. It identifies the bag and then flips it onto it's seat and drives off. The unicycles, known as the 'Baddies', that dumped the body happen to see the motorbike leave with the bag, and then in calculating the correct decision to take, decide to pursue the police bike. Then, 'Hero cycle' sees the 'Baddies' chasing after the police bike and it decides to observe what's happening.

The Police bike stops for electricity. Whilst recharging, the 'Baddies' see this as an opportunity to retrieve the corpse, they succeed in this, and begin their getaway. They encounter 'Hero Cycle' on the way back who takes the corpse back off them and then cycles towards the Police motorbike. Once 'Hero Cycle' catches up with the police bike, it realises that the police back has malfunctioned during the removal of the corpse during it's recharge. 'Hero Cycle' views the motorbike's display to see that the last message received was 'Recomended location: Laboratory', it then makes it's way there. Trouble entails as it attempts to get to laboratory, but it finally does.

This is my first idea, which still seems a bit too risky in terms of the world that I've set this in. I also believe that the 3 objects can be used differently, for example, using 1 object per Act. So every act, a new object is discovered. I may refine this, to create a more structure story, or may just work on a new concept in a more structured way.

Here is some research carried out for this concept. In this idea, the different types of unicycles stated below, relate to the various species of unicycles I could portray:


▪ the wheel (which includes the tire, tube, rim, spokes, hub and axle)
▪ the cranks
▪ pedals
▪ fork-style frame
▪ seatpost
▪ saddle (the seat of the unicycle)

The many different types of unicycles can include:
▪ freestyle unicycles
▪ trial unicycles
▪ MUnis
▪ giraffes
▪ long distance unicycles

Variations include:

▪ Giraffe
▪ Geared unicycle ("GUni")
▪ Multi-wheeled unicycle
▪ Kangaroo unicycle
▪ Eccentric unicycle
▪ Ultimate wheel
▪ Impossible wheel
▪ Monocycle
▪ Eunicycle
▪ Freewheeling unicycle
▪ tandem
▪ recumbent
▪ hydraulic giraffe
▪ unibike
▪ suicycle
▪ motorized unicycle

To begin with, when your heart stops beating, your body's cells and tissues stop receiving oxygen. Brain cells are the first to die-- usually within three to seven minutes.
About three hours after death, rigor mortis -- a stiffening of muscles -- sets in.

May be used as the 'MacGuffin' in my story, and therefore may never be seen.