30 Jan 2011

Transcription - Poem Choice and Research support

After some down time over reading week to recover from the hard work of narrative, I've decided to throw myself into the next project and overcome a hurdle that has always plagued me. Pre-production. Normally I would procrastinate on this stage for longer then I should but not this time. I want to make full use of these ten weeks and focus on it with absolutely no distractions.

First, what is it I want to get out of this project and the animation I plan to produce at the end?

I want to create a detailed world that could be inhabited by characters of the world.

I also wanted to find a subject that allows me to not get hung up on my weakness. The poem I wanted to look for had to be based in a real world without surreal imagery that I would have to create.

Without further ado, the poem I have selected to transcribe is:

O Captain! My Captain:

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills;
For you bouquets and ribboned wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding;
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head;
It is some dream that on the deck, You’ve fallen cold and dead.
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchored safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won;
Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! My Captain was written by Walt Whitman, and was supposedly about the death of Abraham Lincoln. Instead of looking at this poem from an analytical perspective, I wanted to transcribe it literally. By this I mean really base it in a time of adventurers and large masted ships.

I searched for quite some time for a poem or short story that would allow me to create a world that would also allow me to follow my own goals, and it was this poem that instantly stuck in my head. It follows a simple narrative told the side of character, a sort of inner monologue for his fallen captain and father.I want to create the world that the Son and Captain would inhabit, telling the story of the poem through the objects found in them and that are connected to the characters that would inhabit it.

For art direction, I've been thinking of the location that the world is set (the Caribbean), so how would I emphasise the sun and general brightness of the locale? I have decided to focus on an exaggerated vivid colour use. For an example, look at Hezarfan and Battlefield Heroes:

I believe this sort of art style would help bring the audience to the Caribbean with the vividness of the location.

To sum up this lengthy post, I leave you with some research that I have done into the time (1720s) and locations.

I have chosen to create an environment in this stylised land because it allows me not to get 'hung up' on my weakness with character design and the like, instead allowing me to create a unique yet realistic world that tells the story of the poem through objects...

I look forward to getting my ideas down on paper and getting an analytical storyboard drafted up very soon...


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