Monthly Archives: February 2012

“Newspaper Cases” Treatment and Timeline

My story is about an elderly man, Ian, who lives in a large metropolis city.

Each morning Ian is delivered a file with top-secret information about a case that has been deemed unsolvable by his employers.  His job is to prove them wrong by piecing the facts together and solving it for the authorities.

We follow Ian through 4 days of his life. We hear his thoughts as he works thought the case. However on the 3rd day the papers are not delivered. Causing Ian to say at home all day. On the 4th day we find out that the “top-secret” case files is actual the newspaper, during the last scene we learn that he creates the cases in his head, by connecting words that he sees in the paper.

I will be giving the animation a graph novel look to it while we are interacting with Ian. The animation of his thoughts will have a collage aesthetic to them, however produced primarily in aftereffects. I have chosen this story because of the continues looping that it suggest of Ian’s life.

I have chosen to call the film “Newspaper Cases”.


I have been doing a lot of research on the noir genre, graphic storytelling, and visual narrative. I have also been exploring different animations aesthetics that I like such as the works by Miwa Matreyek ( ) and Lawrence Jordan. ( )


My current time line is:

Feb 15— time line / research presentation

Feb 19— complete script/story

Feb 25— Storyboard, outline of shots

Feb 27— organization of scene/project files

Mar 5— visual presentation, script

Presentation of what I have collected for

-Animations of his thoughts.

-Ian— back grounds decided and created/ing

Mar 8— Record narration

Begin sound edit…. rough

Mar 19— Sound project

Sample of final sound

Mar 30— finish Ian’s animation

April 9— Work in Progress Critique

April 20— finish animation of Ian’s thoughts.

April 25— picture lock begin sound mix

April 30— Final Critique

– near finished edit

-working on exporting

May 10— Final Class Screening!


I’m feeling behind but I feel good about this story and am ready to see it all the way through!


As I search my mind for good metaphors to have my character use. Things that let my character stand on his own two feet and have a life of his own, even in my 3min movie. I found this and want to share it as an example of the feeling i would like my film to have. may be not directly but underneath. Hope you enjoy it as much as i do.

Dangerous Habits Blog

So you want to know what I do. Well I’ll tell you a story. It happened the other week. It’s a short story, but still as depressing as some of the other stuff I’ve seen in my career. You might want to refresh your drink.

It was dark. It was cold too. A whole night outside would have killed a man. The snow created a pretty contrast to the harshness of the cold, a nice effect that would almost make us not dread winter. But we still do.

A gunshot sounded off far away, showing me that even in the harshest of conditions, people still need to work. Now, you can either be a criminal, or you can be anything else. There’s only a small fine line between the two you know. So I stay as close to it as possible. Anyway, the gunshot interrupted the quiet night where the…

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An Ambiguous Detective Story

It is hard to come up with a good detective story. And thats why I like the idea of keeping the case ambiguous. This allows for the story to go just about any where and evolve with the animation. At the end the audience is able to piece together the case and assume what its about on there own. its engaging because its ambiguous.  

Everything about the case that the audience sees is animated. Crudely and with out direct connection to what its about. like whats in the detectives mind, his thought process. I like the idea of him being at a desk or eating breakfast. or both… because i would be animating his thought process it would be of the little things he’s trying to work out in his mind.  Between narration lines there might not need to be any narration because we would be seeing it…. and then cut back to him at the desk/tabel and then another thought…

I do want to give it a feel as thought its not the first time he’s thought about the case… or that it a reoccurring thing… a loop never really ending.

I do care about the story in that it needs to at a basic level make since. I like the idea of a murder. The first animation of his thoughts would be him thinking of what happened (a gun going off. a person laying on the floor, dead. and person running from the scene.) this would set up the base of the case for the audience but not limiting me in possibilities in any way. 

after a cut away to the man seating (coffee cup or poking food) we would then here him thinking about the possible suspects… maybe a cross stamping over them as he lists there definite or not definite alibis. maybe with a simple animation of what they are. yet all the imager that is given and the narration must lend its self to the ambiguity of the case… we cant hint that detective might have a chance in solving it with the knowledge that he does have. if that makes sense?

As i said earlier i like the idea of the detective being trapped in a circular routine. I don’t think i would loop the film, but i would end it the same way that i started. (animation of a city sky line and the sound of a beeping alarm clock bing heard over the noises of the city.)

A Dilemma Between Storys.

Some where on the blog ( 1 of 5 places) I mentioned how when i first walked into my 4500 class I had a plan. It was a simple story that had resinated with me. I have spent a lot of time trying to come up with an idea for my 4500 film over the last 4 years, ever since being excepted into the BFA spring of ’09. Yet for some reason I haven’t been able to come up with one. Its not that I haven’t had ideas, cause I have… a lot of them. However each one of them was connected to a certain style or effect that I wanted to use or do. So the full “story” wasn’t there, and when I would try and develop a story I get distracted from the story thinking/worrying about how i’m going to make it…silly I know but its something I’m struggling with.

The story that I walked into class thinking i would do was about making decisions that at first wouldn’t have been the one made. The theme came to me when I was recently looking for a place to move to. I transferred  this theme to the idea of a young child needing to pick a toy to bring to show-and tell. I internalized the idea and spent a good amount thinking about it before i wrote it down in a letter to my girlfriend. I was excited for it. It was a story that had a beginning to end. it had a theme that i connected to and felt like i would be interested in until the end of the projects. However when i expressed this story to some close friends it wasn’t met with the same ethucseasum. I was asked the large question of “why do it in animations” which is a valed question but not hugely supportive seeing as I’ve been struggling with coming up with a solid idea for so long now. However it got me thinking about other options…

The second idea that i’ve been currently bouncing around with arose from a class i’m in right now called ‘The Art of Travel’. I spent last year studying abroad in Lancaster, England, and did a lot of travel while I was over on that side of the pond. This got me thinking about doing a film that would utilise my experiences traveling.  I thought about doing a personal film illustrating where i went and what i did. This idea came from the fact that i lost all of my edited photos upon my return, and subsequently haven’t been able to share my travels beyond the photos that I had already uploaded to Facebook. But I’m not wanting to make a personal film about my life or what i’ve done. I want this project to be a personal film on a deeper level than that. Thinking about the film ‘Slacker’ I thought about how I could connect that to what I did while i was traveling, and thats people watch.

At first I thought that a good way for me to incorporate this would to do a film about someone people watching, and imagining about where the people are going or doing. This then evolved into using the camera as the person doing the watching and flouting between different people traveling but shifting to someone eles just as we see the first person beginning the next part of there travels. I would be capturing moments of different peoples trips. This idea would also allow for the film be come a circle in its structure, returning us to the first person that we viewed. However then thinking about the power that animation holds and how he looping effect/aesthetic could be developed through the transition of pencil animation, and the cross fades between images.

However before either of these ideas I was really wanting to make a noir/crime influenced animation. I thought about it for almost all of last fall. I wanted to give it a kinda graphic novel feel to it. I came up with a short script and was a kind of Odyssey feel to it. In which a tired detective was stuck at  working on a case that is left ambiguous for the audience. He is distracted from this case to work on an urgent kidnaping case… which ends up being a wast of time…

I like the idea of the detective not finishing the case, and is in some ways stuck in a loop of trying to figure it out, day in and day out….