Monthly Archives: January 2014

Fargo Notes

Fargo (1996 Crime Drama)

A pregnant polic chief thats investigating a series of homicides in Minnesota. A car salesman that is struggling for money hires two criminals to kidnap jis wife in the hope that her rich father will pay the ransom so he can pay the criminals and sort out his debt.

A Coen brothers film that was awarded 2 Oscars (Best actress in a leading role, Best writting, Screenplay written directly for screen) among 60 other wins and 32 nominations.


William May ( Jerry Lundegaard, the struggling carsalesman)

Steve Buscemi (Carl Showalter, one of the criminals)

Peter Stormare (Gaear Grimsrud, the other criminal)

Harve Presnell (Wade Gustafon, Wealthy father)

Frances McDormand ( Marge Gunderson, Polic chief)

After watching Fargo for the first time I found I enjoyed the film. It has an interesting story with a variety of different characters with very different motivies. I look forward to working with our group to add to the story as we have plenty of opportunities to exploit the things that the characters could be doing that isnt shown with camera. Another thing that I think our group was quite lucky in having, was the fact that this was a Coen brother film, a consistent feature throughout their films Chekhov’s gun theory, were everything on camera has to have a reason that is relevant to the story. There are no coincidences, they also use foreshadowing a lot. I think that recognising these facts will give us plenty of opportunity to exploit the film as much as possible while still remaining true to the original story and themes.

After reading the section in Vogeler’s about how the narratives that feature in film, no matter what the genre, follow a very similar structure, using plot points and character archetypes. I am not much of a reader (Something I need to change) the book has been a big benefit to my understanding of storytelling. It has opened my eyes in way, over the past few days I’ve been looking at the films that I have watched over the years and the characters that I have grown to care for and I have realised that all these fit to Vogeler’s theory, I have became more than just a viewer, I have lost my willing suspension of disbelief. Feels like I just joined a special club.


Introducing maya!

We are back after a long Christmas break. Conann give us our first taste of Maya, so much to take in one day! He focused only looking at the basic of Mayas complex interface and its abit overwelming. Just thinking of babysteps and we’ll get there one day!

We also got a new 6 week project and a new group. We have been giving films to look at in depth, for us Fargo, then we have to look at each character with the timeline of the film. Then we have to come up with stories of what the characters would be doing while they are off camera. We have also got a new book to read ‘A Writers Journey’ this is to help us with our new project for when we are filling in the blanks of our characters. I guess that the main learning outcome for this project would be to learn about the key ingredients in story development and to gain an understanding of the character archetypes that consistently feature in film.

Glad to be back, really need to get the head down this semester after the slip up at the end of last semester! 


Movie poster for Fargo.

Typography and interactivity continued ……….

After we presented our idea to Mike and Gregg we were given some suggestions and the time to enhance our product. The things we missed out on was we didnt link our game close enough to our actually world project, Gregg suggested the use of multiple projects that would surround our players showing visuals of an underwater habitat to create a more authentic gaming experience. Something like this……..

After this the group decided to look into other types of interactive media that we could potentially use for our product. This led to the designing of a video which was worked on by Scott, Gail and Nadine. Heres the link pretty cool give it a go …..


We had been asked to create a Text for our worlds, one that would be used for communication on our world. Things we were told to consider were who was meant to understand it, could it be a series of symbols instead of type?, can it actually be used and clearly enough to understand it and to also research typography. Websites to give a look in terms of typography are

I also looked into different types of typography heres a collection of my favorite ones I seen………

Heisenberg and ambigrams what more could you ask for?

Anyway my decided to incorporate the typography task in with the game that was designed thus killing two birds with one stone 🙂

Game logo design by Nadine I think.. cool as fuck!


We have been assigned a new project, using the last world we have been working on (Mumster Project) we have to make an interactive product that relates to the story we made an animatic about.

We all left today to do a bit of research and then to come back together again to discuss the possible outcomes we could have. I decided to look into the idea of making a board game as we briefly mentioned it earlier. Originally I was thinking that the board games story could be post-animatic story given us the chance to introduce alot of new characters. Looking at the market for board games we found that family orientated games were best selling, eg Scrabble, Candyland and Monopoly. Keys elements that would need to be featuring in our boardgame would be an uncluttered and easily/quickly understood board, if we have pieces that move we need to ensure theres enough space for them and all labels need to be contrasting in colour to the background so that they can be read at a glance. To make our game differ from standard boardgames I was thinking of suggesting changes like maybe have a game with multiple layers/ levels making the game longer or shorter in duration and also we could design add on to increase and decrease difficulty.

After a group discussion we were first thinking of making a board game. However we all liked the idea of incorporating some sort of physical activity that could be a possible add-on to base game. So we began looking at board games and group games that were in the market today. From this we found that we all liked the popular game Bop-it in terms of the game play it offered. We also wanted to create a game that wasn’t an actual board we preferred a sphere design as the centrepiece of the game. Other aspects of our game would include a game of ‘hide and seek’ equipped with wireless trackers on individual remote controllers for each player. A score system that allowed the players to keep track of the score, the lowest scoring player because the mumster for the game of hide and seek when thats completed the game will reset and start over.

Remote design by gail.

Interface design by Nadine.

Game device design by Scott.

Having a laugh. Buy our game….. You know you want to ……. Look at them smiles 🙂

Second animatic task :)

Our task this week was to firstly pick a 30-45 second clip from any film that had three characters in it. We then had to take only the dialogue from the clip and swap the script with another group. This left us with the challenge of creating a new scenario for the dialogue to fit with.

Our group were given a short piece of dialogue taken from Shaun of the Dead, a phone call between the protagonist and his mother shortly after the beginning of a zombie apocalypse.

We began by thinking about how we could take this as far as possible away from the original story. We all agreed on having our characters be doughnuts and the conversation would be happening with two doughnuts (protagonist and friend) still on the kitchen counter while the other two are on a plate at the table ready to be eaten (Mother and Stepfather whose bitten). I really liked this idea and felt it was a good fit for the dialogue.

We looked at the Annoying Orange series on youtube as reference to how we were thinking of how we could make our doughnuts act.

Annoying Orange link…….

This is a screenshot of our teams finished second animatic which was completed by Gail and Scott, they done a very good job. It was completed using photographs and flash to animate the faces. Mike did give us some advice on how we could improve on this. He mentioned things like making the stopmotion more fluent and ways in which to make things more clear and interesting to the audience. I really enjoyed working on this section, I found that it was really fun to take scripted dialogue and then working as a team to create an entirely new context and actually creating in my opinion a very good idea. A link to the full video is below.



Sound design!!!

The first time I had about sound design was this short documentary on a pretty cool guy called Ben Burtt. It was on the bonus features on Wall-e, before this I never really thought about the level of thought or creativity that would go in to creating the entire sound of characters and other elements of animation films. 


Above shows the set up that Burtt used to create the iconic noise of the lazer guns in the star wars films and he used the same method in capturing the noise of Eve’s gun in Wall-e. I’ve attached a link to this short documentary below, after seeing it I felt quite motivated to create my own unique sounds. Image