Progress and Blocks

Recently I had brief surge of energy and progress on the film. A seemingly impassible mental block immediately followed

I assembled all of the rough animation that I had, cut it into the animatic and added some preliminary sound effects. The goal was to have something substantial to show to a small group of friends to get some honest feedback on how the story was reading.

Despite the useful feedback, the general reaction was not as enthusiastic as I had hoped. The pacing was too even, lacking dynamic. The character was too passive. There were moments that seemed to work, but not enough to really sell the story or to empathize with Guy. My biggest fear of this film being nothing more than a novelty that quickly wears off was starting to surface. And my momentum slowed to a halt.

Since that session, I haven't taken the time to seriously rework the story. I have notes, ideas, thoughts, suggestions, but no progress. This is partially due to a lack of time but mostly it has to do with the frustration of not knowing where the hell to begin. This film has been looming over me for so long, and I have put a fair amount of work into it so far that the thought of throwing away scenes and starting from scratch makes me want to throw up. Part of me wants to just pack it all up in a box and forget about it. The never ending hustle to balance freelance gigs to pay the rent and appeasing clients is consuming all of my time and motivation.

If anyone has any words of wisdom on story, motivation or time managment...I'd love to hear them.

1 comment:

Morgan said...

Mike, I know this is an old post here, but I just read this lament, and I've been there myself.

You know what really, really helped me with this kind of story/blockage/problem? The screenwriting classes I took at MCAD!

By moving from my usual way of working, with images first, to using language -- and the screenwriting form -- I was able to more easily develop, troubleshoot, and structure the stories I wanted to tell. It totally "unblocked" several stories I had started visually, but got stuck on story-wise!

It really changed my way of working and now I have several scripts that I'm hoping to produce (some day!).

I even found out that the great animator Paul Driessen doesn't do ANY drawings until he's worked out the entire film as a screenplay!! Wow.

I'd recommend a good book or class on screenwriting! For a guy already as good at telling stories as you, I think it might be the "missing piece" you need. I think it was for me!!

Good luck. I like all the work your doing....